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Once in a Blue Moon, Revisited (a guest post by MTM)

Was she there before she was here, she asks? Well, let me tell ya….

Every day we live passes methodically and in most cases unremarkably. Sure, there are the landmark dates; the birthdays, the anniversaries, the varied special or Hallmark dates that we feel inspired or compelled to take note of. May 22, 1997 was not one of those ‘important’ dates. Maybe its significance came as it marked the transition when the warmth of the Spring day finally triumphed and carried over into the night.

It was the night that I remember. I was living in one of a long string of easy sublets that I habituated in my time in Chicago; this one was a three-month stint in a three-lobed tower at the south end of the Loop. Restless and rootless, I went to see a film–don’t recall what film–at the Fine Arts Theater in the old Studebaker Building on Michigan Avenue. Afterwards I found myself wandering about the city, a flaneur with the flat patois of the upper midwest.

I recall seeing a girl waiting to cross the street. In the bright moonlight she struck me as cute, at least from my distance. The light changed and she crossed. For a moment I thought of following her. But I didn’t; then she was gone. I headed off into Grant Park, eluding the aim of Bowman and Spearman, the two Indian Warriors that guard the entrance on Congress Ave. Once ensconced in the darkness of the park, the soundtrack of the night rose in my ears.

I knew this was more than a simple full moon; in honor of the occasion, the haunting sound of the Cowboy JunkiesBlue Moon Revisited” had been echoing off the bare walls in my apartment earlier that night.  Now, shrouded in the lonesome night, I was no longer listening to it. It was speaking to me. Painfully.

Who was it that caught my eye that night, then disappeared? Was the girl even real? All I know is that when I saw her again, five years later at a little cafe in Charleston, I did not hesitate.

Too Much is Just Enough: Remembering the signs and realizing they were true.

52 Comments Post a comment
  1. Lou Mello #

    Michael, you are definitely kidding us, right, maddened by the cwazzzy blue moon. You really think you saw the Queen of the Andra-Dites in Chi-town 5 years before stalking her in Charleston? That would be an amazing story…..believable? No, but, still a really cool story.

    By the way, I imagine the flaneur of May 22, 1997 was a flannel kind of guy, n’est pas? (I’m a lumberjack, yes I am)

    March 30, 2011
    • MTM and I flipped a coin, and I am stuck responding to comments.

      I read this sort of writing and aspire to do it. Did he see me that night under the light of the blue moon?

      I know he did.

      And, MTM does own one piece of lumberjack flannel, Lou. He wears it as a work shirt.

      March 30, 2011
      • mtm #

        You will always aspire to greatness, but it is you that inspires me. Consider this post your second-to-last gift for your birthday month!

        March 30, 2011
      • I can’t believe I inspire you, MTM, but I am glad I do. xoxoxo

        March 30, 2011
      • Lou Mello #

        GAR

        March 30, 2011
      • Smooch. Smooch. Smooch.

        March 30, 2011
      • Lou Mello #

        covering my eyes and ears.

        March 30, 2011
      • 🙂

        March 30, 2011
      • Ewwwww!!! TMI! TMI!

        March 30, 2011
    • I love responding to comments, by the way. My initial one sounds like I don’t. I just wanted him to add his flaneur-flare to them today. 🙂

      March 30, 2011
  2. What lovely, prescient posts from the Maher-Watkins lately.

    I had *no idea* that Patrick would be the one. No vision, no premonition, no vibe. Nada.

    I truly had no idea what was happening; I pretty much stumbled into a relationship. I’ve always been a bit stunned when someone expresses an interest in me.

    But by the end of the first date, I knew things were right, and never turned back.

    March 30, 2011
    • When MTM said hello to me, I didn’t look at him and say, “He’s the one” either. When we went to lunch the first time, I knew something was different about it, but I didn’t come away from that lunch saying “I’m going to marry him.”

      But, like you, I knew things were right. I think letting things be right is more important than trying to make them be.

      March 30, 2011
  3. I wanna know how much of this is true. No, I know all of it is true. I want to know how much of it is real. Reality and truth are two different things. And I trust you, in your heart, that this is true.

    BTW, gotta love the Cowboy Junkies reference. But I wonder, does Andra put up with them?

    March 30, 2011
    • I used to have Cowboy Junkies on my iPod, Carnell. You don’t give me enough credit.

      March 30, 2011
      • I give you a lot of credit. Just not for musical taste…. Rick Springfield? OMG

        March 30, 2011
      • My musical palette is eclectic. And Rick Springfield is AWESOME. I got mad at MTM because we couldn’t stay an extra day in Nashville to go to a Rick Springfield concert.

        And, I’d be at Prince right now if MTM would’ve gone.

        March 30, 2011
      • Well yes, Prince is awesome. You and Nancy could have gone together. She wishes she were there. My daughter is babysitting for some friends right now who are there.

        But Springfield? No. No way. Never. I am 100% in support of MTM there.

        March 30, 2011
      • Well, you take your Johnny Cash, and I’ll take my Rick Springfield.

        March 30, 2011
      • You just compared Johnny Cash to Rick Springfield? I think Hell just froze over and all the real musicians from the past are twirling in the graves.

        March 30, 2011
      • I am sure I will burn in Hell over it. The horror of such blasphemy……..

        March 30, 2011
  4. Great cover song.

    For Lou…

    March 30, 2011
    • The way they say the word ‘lavatory’ is one of my favorite pronunciations. If I could get away with it without sounding pretentious, I’d say it that way, too.

      March 30, 2011
    • i kind of imagine lou doing something more along the lines of this

      http://media1.nfb.ca/medias/flash/ONFflvplayer-gama.swf

      March 30, 2011
      • hmm, well that’s a bit of fail

        this is what it’s supposed to point to

        http://www.nfb.ca/film/log_drivers_waltz

        March 30, 2011
      • I love that video, Eugene. I know I’ve seen it before. It is so completely Canadian, and still universal.

        March 30, 2011
      • Lou Mello #

        Now that is a good video and I would enjoy being a log driver and pleasing girls completely….never mind, strike that….pleasing the lovely Miss TK is what I meant to say.

        March 30, 2011
      • Oh Lou. I’m covering my eyes and ears…….

        March 30, 2011
  5. A Guess #

    If something could be true just from its gorgeousness this would be it.

    March 30, 2011
  6. MTM put this link in the blog (on the big ole blue moon, no less), but I wanted to make sure people didn’t miss it. I’d never heard this version of Blue Moon, and it is lovely.

    March 30, 2011
  7. Jill Stevenson #

    I knew with both husbands that they would be “the one”. In each case, I remember looking across a room and seeing them and having a feeling. I can still recollect each instance and think of those moments often. The first one was standing across a crowded room, lounging languidly against a wall, in a room full of politicos awaiting election results. The second one was seated at another table at a dinner party and, again, I looked across the room and saw him as if for the first time. Andra, you will remember that the second was a close childhood friend of the first and a member of my first wedding party. It does get rather incestuous until you know that the first one is deceased. Had he not died, I never would have looked across that room and found number two!

    March 30, 2011
    • I never knew your first husband, Jill, but I have always thought you and Dan were just perfect together. There was an article in the NY Times this week that reminded me of you, sort of.

      http://www.nytimes.com/2011/03/27/fashion/weddings/27VOWS.html?_r=1&ref=weddings

      March 30, 2011
      • Jill Clary Stevenson #

        I read that too and am glad to know I’m not the only person who reads the weddings in the Sunday Times. I suppose we all live vicariously through those about whom we read. You would’ve enjoyed my first husband – he was a scream; very witty and totally opposite of Dan in looks. I guess we are both lucky to have had a second chance at love. MTM obviously still adores you.

        March 30, 2011
      • I am not ashamed to admit that the Sunday Styles is my very first section of the paper. I have my method for processing all the trash in there, and I love every minute of it. I’m glad to know I’m not alone, too.

        March 30, 2011
  8. I have no trouble believing in MTM’s vision.

    I have been privileged enough to find “the one” twice in my life. The first time I let her slip away, the biggest single mistake I’ve ever made. The second time, thirty years later, I was a lot smarter and married her.

    March 30, 2011
    • You and Cheryl are perfect together. I am so glad you met. I love that story.

      March 30, 2011
    • Thank you for a beautiful bit of writing MTM…and I’m in complete agreement with Carnell. I knew Bill was the one..and I’ve been lucky as well and had three “the ones” in my life. The first I married and later parted from via divorce. The second I loved and promised to marry but he changed that. The third is Bill and as the adage goes, it’s/he’s “the charm.”

      Sometimes I fancy writing my love/emotional memoirs, and if I do/could, I could only hope of being as evocative as MTM.

      March 30, 2011
      • Cheryl, I love your writing. I wish you would do more of it for pleasure, because I always enjoy reading it.

        March 30, 2011
  9. Melissa Flynn #

    Wow, if this is a true story, I’m speechless–what an amazing connection. Not like I ever questioned it… Lovely post, MTM!

    March 30, 2011
  10. I am just now reading the blog post at 10:55 am. Thanks to waking up four times last night I slept in until 8:30 am and had to hit the ground running. I thoroughly enjoyed this blog post by MTM. It was nice to hear from your perspective MTM. You are a true romantic and an excellent writer. I am so happy for you and Andra. May you both have many years of wonderful life ahead of you. God bless

    (p.s. I will read and respond to the comments at a later time)

    March 30, 2011
    • I just talked to him, and he is tickled with the compliments.

      March 30, 2011
  11. Best darned “2nd to last birthday gift” I’ve ever had the pleasure of reading! Also loved the use of “flaneur” in the piece. There are times when the use of French just seems to “say it” better than English. (imho) Did you expect such a cool gift, Andra?

    March 30, 2011
    • I knew he was writing this last night, but I had no idea what he was putting up. It was a gift for me to have him write it, because I did not feel like doing it due to a bug and because it is beautiful.

      March 30, 2011
  12. Good stuff, MTM. Good stuff. You should write the forward for her novel.

    March 30, 2011
    • Oh, dang. I forgot that another piece of this whole thing is begging someone famous to write a forward, in addition to begging people to publish it and begging people to endorse it and begging people to buy it.

      But, we will get there. Both of us.

      March 30, 2011
      • Of course, in my long-standing tradition of typos and misspellings on your blog, I realized it’s actually “foreward.” But when I type “foreward” I get that red squiggly underline.

        Thank goodness for editors. 🙂 Go team.

        March 30, 2011
      • Well, we both made the same mistake. Therefore, I have decided that my book won’t have a forward. Or a foreward. In the tradition of short attention spans, it just needs to smack people upside the head from the first word.

        March 30, 2011
  13. Alison Dailey #

    MTM – I’m blown away by your writing. wow! Two excellent writers under one roof.

    March 30, 2011
  14. Beautiful writing, and a wonderful story. It was so nice to see you at lunch yesterday, Andra. I knew from my first words with my husband that he was the one. I asked him what his name was, and it sounded so magical to me that I asked him to write it down so I could keep it. Then, I told him that “l’amour” meant “love” in french (well, close enough). Part of his name was “Lamour”. I took it as a sign.

    March 30, 2011
    • Laura, thank you for organizing that lunch. I was feeling a bit puny and wasn’t entirely myself, but it was good to see everyone. I always come away wishing I could visit with people more individually, but the group is great.

      And the Lamour thing. Clearly a sign. I am a big believer in signs. That is a lovely piece of your story. Thank you for sharing it here.

      March 30, 2011

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