Sitting with coffee on my patio in the muggy morning, I dug into figuring out how to access a website I built in 2009 for a musician in town. She needs a ton of edits and bless her heart, I have been so swamped that when I searched my inbox for the specifics, I had about 30 unread emails from her spanning 3 months. I just haven't had time. Ugh.
Aside from all the shows I perform and all the shows I promote, I also throw parties for Formula 1 race weekend in Austin called Blu at the W. It's a massive undertaking! I often end up working late, waking early, having meetings and so forth, that it's hard to get to complete tasks and I rarely get to just fill my day with the people I love. Today was full.
After realizing I didn't have the answers to the website issues above, I ran out of time, finished my coffee, tried to relax in the bath with a book and got dressed for a back to back Sunday. Here's a brief....
I went to a wedding shower for two lovely ladies who are getting married in November. I was 15 minutes late and had to leave 30 minutes early. But the time I got to spend there was invaluable, even if to just see these people I love in person, away from following their 2D lives on Facebook. A few hugs from old friends, a few beautiful giggles, a sangria and brunch, a photo. Perfect, but not long enough.
I was about to leave for my next engagement when one of my dearest friends passed by and I could feel, I could practically see, her sadness, stress, fear trailing behind her. No matter where I needed to be at that moment, I turned and said "I feel you." And we embraced and exited the front door where she wept and expressed things happening in her family and in her life. She's in need. She is at the alter. I listened. I left there with tears in my eyes and wondering how a person can carry so much burden without breaking. It's not humanly possible. And I want to help and I will help. And I'll be asking for yours.
I then arrived at Enoteca for a lunch with a friend of mine since she was in 2nd grade and I was in 3rd. I recently reconnected with her and it brings back so many memories of junior high and high school and the end of that era when I was graduating and we walked out the last day of school hand in hand singing Bonnie's "Let's Give 'em Something to Talk About". Ha. The simple memories.
As I approached the table, I saw that another old friend of ours was also there. A woman I haven't seen in many years. Along with a woman I had never met, the four of us chatted about our lives and about a potential new venture I will mull over and consider joining in. Overall, it was so sweet to see these ladies and be reminded of our past, while reveling in what we have become and dreaming about what could come.
I left there in a hurry to make a conference call with a man who is one of the most graceful and gentle people I have ever known and a woman I have worked with, traveled with and continue to admire for her business sense, her adventurous spirit and her talent. This conference call had to do with huge moving parts during the Blu at the W events we have coming up October 31 and November 1 (which happens to be my 40th birthday!).
After that call, I pulled my earbuds out (by the end of the year, I might have to have them surgically removed), fed my two Schnauzers, put my shoes back on, and drove up to 32nd street to visit a dear friend in the hospital. Bless his heart, he has been in the same hospital since May 19th after suffering a severe stroke. I was running a bit behind, since I was meant to meet one of my dearest friends there for the visit, and low and behold I couldn't get into the parking garage from the normal entrance and had to pull out, circle around and go into a different entrance, making me even later. My heels made loud clicking noises down the empty Sunday at 5:30pm hallways. It feels out-of-place to go wandering through these fluorescent spaces, dressed in heels and jewelry, a glass of sangria lingering in my veins, passed nurses and doctors in scrubs, into a room where a friend has been lying for more than 3 months. I slowly began to push open the door to his room, when the friend I was meeting there looks up at me in a blue plastic robe and purple latex gloves. This is unusual, so I backed up and waited for her to greet me in the hall where she explained that there is an infection and we have to protect ourselves. Luckily, he is on antibiotics that are attacking the problem, but just to be safe, the hospital has required that we don't touch him or anything. It broke my heart because my norm is to go close to the bed and offer affection and the momentary hand passing on his head, the light sweep of brushing his hair back with my palm. But today, we were meant to stay back, for our own good. And that was probably the best thing, because since yesterday, I have had a stomach gurgle, clench gurgle that I cannot explain. The perfumes of sterilized hallways, rooms, bathrooms and the general smell of a hospital were not helping, but I powered through. We sat in hospital chairs, 5 feet of distance between us, our plastic outfits and our bedridden friend and chatted with him as he slowly drifted into the medicine he had previously received. He is actually doing quite well considering all factors and we are trying to bust him out of the hospital to get him into a home as soon as Social Security says they will approve him. Needless to say, he admitted he was sad to see us go, and we wanted to stay, but it was time for him to rest and time for us to leave.
It seems strange to say, considering his condition and considering the early-day conversation with my friend in need, that we left the hospital to go have a bite to eat and to share some wine at Vino Vino. When we look at the hardships of our loved-ones, it seems selfish in a way to continue living your good lives, but at the same time, it's important to be a part of the moments that we have and that we will so cherish when they are no longer.
At Vino Vino, my sweet friend and I took the corner of the bar and shared some beet salad and some comfort food, french fries. Although we enjoyed chatting with each other about the plans for my upcoming birthday, and chatting with one of the bartenders who is a jazz pianist, and the other who we came to realize is someone I partied down with over 20 years ago in Austin, there was something somber, something beneath our smiles full of concern for the people that we love. There are things we need to do for them and there are things that we will do. But for a moment, we just enjoyed some food, some Rose´, and some good conversation. Just before leaving, the conversation ended up including the owner of Vino Vino with whom we waxed on about the changes in Austin, recalling when Antone's was on 6th, and later when there were three restaurants at 4th and Colorado; The Bitterend, Sullivan's, and Mezza Luna, where he was a manager.
On my way home, I called another person who is super close to me and I laughed so hard because she recapped my day for me, including a conversation we had earlier in the day about how we need to recreate a business we had begun and never followed through with. Her recap is actually what inspired this blog. She delivered the perfect rundown of my full, beautiful, human day.