Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Time with Sam

First thing, I have to get a memory down so that I can remember Sam's observations for years. I had been sharing a story of a woman who had come up to me and been a frightening kind of crazy. I have many a good friend who I would, and they would themselves, describe as unbalanced but she set every alarm in my head ringing.

She asked me my name. Sam said they always do. I told her it was Cathy. And Sam laughed. He followed by saying that you can always judge how unnerved people make you, by your unwillingness to give them even a real name, as if they could do anything with your first name alone. That you would want to be able to walk away with no feeling, if they were suddenly attacked by wolves and were calling out to you. CATHY!!!!

So yes. Sam has been in my head for the past couple of days, and has been filling it up with great amusement and fun stories. We spent a few days together recently for Mosaic... and any internet stalker worth their salt, that I might some day acquire, will now know what city I live in... or did at the time of this writing. Mosaic is a cultural festival in my city, where various organizations, dance groups, singers, musicians and artists come together in their own pavilions to showcase aspects of their cultures. Traditional costumes, foods, songs and performances make up the weekend. A lot of drinking takes place and there are buses that ferry people to various pavilions all around the city. A good time is had by all.

On the Thursday I found Sam and a couple of friends in the Ethiopian pavilion. He made me so happy, saying that it wasn't Mosaic until we had run into each other. We always start out separately each year but usually find one another. Our groups cleaved together and then cleaved apart in a new formation. We went around to the Hungarian, South American and ended the first night of Mosaic at the Scottish pavilion. Sam drove me home after some time at his friends' apartment. We chatted for a couple of hours and it was almost a relief to connect with him after so long. A great van talk, where you feel time as a quick thing you pass over with a variety of topics and then flit back saying: "What?! Has 2 hours passed already?" It was really late at night, we had a great cd on repeat that was just the right mix of interesting (a Latin America version of Stairway to Heaven) and not distracting.

Friday I went for a great long walk where I saw a friend I've known for years and 2 people I'd met the night before (the renters of the apartment). I had a small nap on the back of a large frog statue and then went over to Sam's for a barbecue. Music and dancing all afternoon with an exuberant zest for life. Off to Mosaic again. Ended up leaving Sam as he had had a bit too much to drink to leave his house at the moment, and got picked up by people. At the Chilean pavilion I saw 2 women I'd worked with last summer and at the Philippine pavilion, my group met up with 2 other people who joined us. The webs of connection are way to tangled in this city.

Throughout the night we called Sam's group to find out their progress to see if there was any chance of meeting up with them, but all we managed was to have some hilarious conversations on the phone.

"What are you saying? ....I think he just yelled incoherently and hung up"
"Are you anywhere near _____? Well we're leaving _______."
5 minutes later
"So you're now heading for ____ ? What happened to _____? Why did you get kicked off the bus?"

The group disbanded when Mosaic ended at midnight. Emily and I made our way to her house and we checked in to see if Sam and his group wanted to go for a walk now that the pavilions were closed. Turns out he and 2 friends were a block away. We ended up walking around in the area and then all the way back over to Sam's house... maybe over an hour's walk in total.

We got to his place and he made everyone tea after setting up his computer to play 3 things: a recording of rain, a variety of jazz and a looping video of a fire burning merrily. We all looked at each other and shared a laugh at this delightful quirk of our friend. Messel asked a question that has me still laughing. "Which of us is he trying to seduce?"

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