Tonight, at our local brewery, dinner and the one beer I allow myself per week (it's a pint, though, so really almost two when you get down to it), while we watched the Angels play Toronto on the big screens. Santana pitched a complete game; when he is on, he is on.
(And when he's not...YIKES.)
I watched the ridiculous promotions (bobblehead gnome? Rally Monkey Chia Pet?) that showed up between innings, smiling to myself at the action on the field. We were greeted, our hands shaken, a laugh exchanged. Sometimes, sitting there, it sort of amazes me that we know so much of the staff, and they know how predictable we are. If one of our group is missing, everyone has to stop by and ask, "Where is big boy?" "Where is the girl?"
There is a comfort in being known even if I do like wandering the world largely anonymously. There is a mystery in how we bounce into one another's lives, and I remain constantly amazed at how connections are made, in my life seemingly in the most unlikely ways. How sometimes the reality of presence moves from the unexpected to deep expectation.
Now you see me, now you don't.
I watched a batter's self-aware stance, while behind him, a spectator waved to the camera. I am curious about those who deliberately draw attention to themselves. When we were in New York, we had to wait about an hour and a half to get into the Met because the Alexander McQueen Savage Beauty exhibition that the daughter and I saw in May was closing down, which was drawing mobs to the museum. A camera crew appeared, presumably a local news crew, and as I became aware that the cameraman was panning down the line just a few feet from me, I turned to face the opposite direction, my back to the lens.
And I suppose that negation is just as telling, an equal but opposite way of drawing attention.
On the television screen, the camera pans to Santana in the dugout. He looks deliberately blank, elsewhere, locked in his own head, and then a moment later, he is laughing uproariously with a couple of his teammates, 180 degrees from the moment before.
Today, I was asked some questions, and as I answered, I realized how remarkably secure I felt in my relationships. How privileged I am in my friendships. I enjoy my solitude but I am surrounded by interesting people who inspire me and stimulate me, friends, family, acquaintances. Who offer encouragement, reading suggestions, a fun camera trick, a bit of news, a smile or a wave.
How the world changes when we are desired, wanted, welcomed.
Go listen to some good music: "Solitude Standing" from the album Solitude Standing by Suzanne Vega. Posts can sometimes be inspired by something that happened within the space of three seconds, and here, I sort of backed into what I was saying, and then sort of swung around and finished somewhere in the middle. What does all that mean? Dunno, but you can probably figure it out. I know at least one person will.