Friday, June 17, 2011

The Perfect Night is Born

Every few years, without planning or warning, the perfect night in Pittsburgh is born.

A few years ago, I had a perfect afternoon that extended into a perfect night. It included long walks, beer, hotdogs, cemeteries, poetry and conversation. Maybe even a little bit of streaking, but that's just a rumor.

This past Wednesday night was perfect. I called my friends Lindsey and Andrew to go get ice cream at Dave & Andy's in Oakland. They had just ordered a pizza and invited me over to share. We read the latest issue of work from Mudthroat Records, including a CD of original music, which we listened to on the way to get ice cream.

Dave & Andy's was delicious, as always. The weather was pleasant, so we walked around until we got to Schenley Plaza and found what I can only describe as a shallow sandbox. It was part of a small garden sitting area near Fifth Avenue; people had written messages and drawn pictures in the sand. Someone suggested we make some crop circles, so the three of us started shuffling around and around and then people walking past said things like, "Oh wow, check that out!" and "That looks so cool!" Some drunk college students came over to watch us shuffle. We stopped to admire our work and then started up again, adding to what we already created. We didn't talk really, just moved around one another in circles.

As it goes with perfect nights, the sandbox was right next the Cathedral of Learning. We decided to go inside to see if we could catch a glimpse of our work from above. We took the elevator up to the 36 floor and stared down at our creation. We knew the wind would take it from us eventually, but for the moment, it was beautiful.

On our way back to the car we stop at The Original for a few beers and some conversation over poems and ideas for collaborating. As we drove back, we listened to more music and said goodnight.

Today marks eleven days until I move to California. I'm happy I can take this night in Pittsburgh with me. I think I'll carry it around with me in my pocket for safekeeping.

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