Tuggey, Pens, And long exposures with the Ice (cream) Cafe

photo credit to Martha Zumack
Here we are, Tuggey and I.
Tuggey is getting married in july of this year. It will be in Sweden and I will be on the Cook Inlet, knee deep in Salmon and shoveling Ice. I will be tipping a Veronica's server for a decadent Parfait and running out of money. I will cold and wet and happy and i will be restless. That adventure will be old hat. Last week's Pizza. And Tuggey, who gave me my nicest wool coat, will be happy too: Trying his first Dom Perignon, sitting at the receiving end of run-on toasts and sentence fragments.

We picked him up once late at night near the Bad Bellingen train station. It was late and he was set out to walk to kandern, set to arrive around 5, set to take the winding hill and valley German roads.
I was young and we made small talk. something i avoid. With him, as with many people I've been close to, there is a buffer of (s)mall talk until we play music together, at which point there is no going back. My favorite recording is lost. Merritt Remy Tuggey and I had a guitar, piano, accordion, and, i think, a tambourine. I'll sing it for you: it goes like this.

father was a butcher
father was a butcher
father was a butcher
he made meat.

mother was a mother
mother was a mother
mother was a mother
She made me.

brother. . . .

and that was that. now he teaches kids in brittain and marries swedish girls.
there have been Seven weddings in the past three years. Seven, and a dozen more i would have liked to attend, but for that demon Distance. I've cried at four, been in three, and yet when i think of weddings, I think of one moment first. I was fresh out of highschool and the flower girl in Angela's Wedding to Peter. Joel was the ring bearer, we were barefooted and Roy gave one hell of a poem-bottle against the hull of their marraige. Afterward, with beautiful longhaired friends and strangers in dresses walking past me, I got in an innocent and animated comversation with Daniel, and Aussie. We were talking about pens. He pulled out his favorite, had me write with it. Had me see the purity of line, showed me how he held it. In my pocket mine and i showed him. I was thrilled with a pearlized uniball mirco at that point. the loveliest green ink pen an art-store has to offer. We were in our elements. We traded. I kept his till it was dry. I haven't seen him since. I wouldn't care if i did. That Eight minute wedding conversation would lose it's 'brave new world' idealism.

but i digress. Life is short, and i'm going to go make something of it.

“…for sitting softly cushioned,
or tucked in bed, is no way to win fame;
and without it man must waste his life away,
leaving such traces of what he was on earth
as smoke in wind and foam upon the water.
Stand up! Dominate this weariness of yours
with the strength of soul that wins in every battle
if it does not sink beneath the body’s weight.”

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