Back when my grandparents were alive, we'd cap every visit I made to Twin Oaks with a singalong. It was always on the last night, and my uncle always played, and we'd sing "I Don't Want to Play in Your Yard" and "I Love You Truly" and "The Band Played On" and, for my grandfather, "On the Banks of the Wabash (Far Away)" (because his mother was from Indiana.)
This singalong was a tacit tribute to my grandmother's childhood, which was generally acknowledged to have been of the taffy-pulling, idyllic variety (despite poverty etc.) and included vast amounts of music. We used a peculiar songbook called "Songs of the Gilded Age", which had been put out, I guess, in the late '60s and featured stylized watercolor illustrations of Gilded Age folks in the good old summertme, or at the Saint Louis World's Fair or whatever might be appropriate to a given song. The book was divided into sections, like "Places," "Travel", "Love" and "Stories." I had my own copy of the book (where either came from is a mystery) and I played from it a lot at home. I can still play "On the Banks of the Wabash" from memory, although I was never much good at accompanying myself, and my singing suffers when I play, or vice versa. I left my copy in Chicago, though, when I moved out of the dorms, and when I went back for it was told it had been thrown away.
Anyhow, after my grandmother died and she was sending signs to people left and right and things briefly became very irrational and full of possibility (my grandmother was a big fan of books like A Search for the Truth, incidentally), I opened my closet one evening and "Songs of the Gilded Age" fell out and smacked me on the head.
That was two years ago this July, and I hadn't thought of it lately. But then, yesterday, I was walking on Atlantic Avenue and noticed a thrift store that I'd never seen. Went in, and although it wasn't very good, and really overpriced, by habit I moved to the book area to check for career romances. And there, of course, was "Songs of the Gilded Age."
I didn't buy it; I hope that doesn't matter. After all, I have my own copy at home. But I can't help wondering what she's trying to say...
Along similar lines, since I've been feeling more than usually superstitious lately, I passed along a Craig's List chain letter on Wednesday, within the specified thirteen-minute time frame. I was told that if I reposted the letter, having opened it (and of course it was labeled with something ambiguous and tempting), between three and four pm of the following day, something remarkable would happen to me. They hinted that my true love would be involved.
Well, between 3 and 4 pm yesterday, I was watching "Le Doubleur" at Lincoln Plaza Cinema with my dad and a bunch of old women, so it's very probable that I missed the extraordinary happening. Or maybe it just hasn't come to my attention yet. But I'm certainly in no position to toss away true love.
I'm reading In Patagonia. Mostly because I've always been annoyed by the Moleskine inserts that proclaim "the legendary notebook of Hemingway, Renoir, and Chatwin!" and never really felt the latter had any business being in such distinguished company, even if he did demonstrate more of an attachment to the Moleskine notebook than did the other two. So, in fairness, it seemed only right to come by my prejudices more honestly - and, really, if it's an educated opinion it ceases to be a prejudice, doesn't it? (But then, where does Creationism fit in? I suppose that's the meat of the problem, really.)
Had a sad realization yesterday about the nature of eccentricity, but have forgotten it.