My son's car died today, at my house. Parked in front. He limped it over here and declared it unsafe for travel. Hrrmph. Guess who's going to arrange for towing Monday morning!
Determined to still enjoy the afternoon, we decided to cook some fish for dinner, so we headed off to Uwajimaya to peruse the scaly offerings, but detoured to Mayuri, an Indian grocery store not far from my house. Within minutes of inhaling the curry, the garam masala, the cardamom and cinnamon, we switched to an Indian-themed dinner, and walked out with long thin hot green chillis, a hunk of ginger, a bag of black onion seeds (I bet there are 500,000 seeds in the bag) and an opo squash. Hungry! And still no fish.
Next stop was a store called simply Asian Market -- Uwajimaya somehow became lost to us. We pushed past the scads of late-afternoon Saturday shoppers, all the way to the back where the fish counter displayed a low, ice-packed table upon which sat at least a dozen varieties of whole fish: tillapia, mackerel, drum, catfish, bass, croaker, ribbonfish, carp -- the drill was to grab a plastic bag to cover your fingers, grab your fish, then hand it off to a fishmonger for cleaning/de-heading/de-tailing/weighing/pricing. So many languages everywhere around us! My son gave me a lesson on fish-selection, and we ended up with one very fresh rainbow trout.
Dinner was a feast -- a symphony for the senses. The fish, which Reilly broiled after rubbing it with an oil and spice concoction, made me weep.
So far, so good, all things considered. But I still had to drive R. back to Seattle (38 miles round-trip), and thunder was rattling the windows and it had begun to monsoon outside. And I desired only to crawl under the covers with a book and the cats.
But we set out, the fuel gauge flickering close to Empty. And, amazingly, we had one of those conversations that you can't plan -- the kind where you dig below the surface, get down to the nitty gritty, the truth of The Big Things: death -- both recent and familiar, as well as our fragile hopes, and dreaded fears. And the rain kept up its lashing, and we pushed on through the dark May night which rightfully should have been on the verge of balminess and scented with lovely blooming May things but instead smelled of the defroster on High. (Smelled like winter.)
I dropped him off, wished him well at his job-interview tomorrow (thankful for Light Rail), and headed back, listening to the Cuban-born father-and-son duet of Bebo and Chucho Valdes on piano. The rain eased; traffic was sparse at such a late hour, and I settled into a meditative state for the journey home.
Nearing my house, wisps of fog hung close to the ground, swirled and eddied into the night. Suddenly I wasn't ready for this day to end! I wanted to drive on with Bebo and Chucho, let the conversation with my son sink in and settle. But I gave in to a sensible instinct, and turned into my driveway. But sat there, in my car, long enough for this piece to finish:
Existing in this moment, with this music that is all about love (how can it be about anything else?), I would say that today was not a good day, but a perfect one.