Secret Pop

Jan 2, 2005

What's a little dawn between friends?

I went to see Finding Neverland. And I was really moved and inspired by it. Reminded of love and loss and the desire to be naive as a child but not necessarily innocent. To have done things without having done them. To be wise without being weary. When J.M. Barrie described the word "just" as "a terrible, candle-snuffing word," I scrambled for my little notebook. It meant a great deal to me to be reminded of the promise of belief. I'm sure -- under other circumstances -- I, too, could fly. I'm waiting for an opportunity to test it. And I do believe in fairies. I do. I do.

The crowd in the theater was remarkably lowbrow. Amidst the crinkling of plastic wrappers and shopping bags and the incessant stage whispers of curious children to their inattentive chaperones, I actually heard soda cans being opened. Who goes to the theater with a sack lunch? Honestly. It must have been poor day. That and the sounds of varying stages of oldness made the experience less transcendant than it might have been. But I still felt sweet and sad and appreciative. I still adored both Johnny Depp and Kate Winslet and that darling little boy. And I made distinct plans to purchase the score, because it was ever so lovely.

Afterwards, we went to The Cheesecake Factory for cocktails and dessert for those among us who wanted it. Then John Meeks and I went off on our own to the Red Fox and then Nunu's and eventually to his chilly new dwelling, where we sipped whiskey and talked about a bevy of unimportant things until it was long past the possibility of getting home undetected.

I got off the 5 early and drove along the Cardiff coast on a whim. And I sort of admired the handful of early risers who were standing out in the dew, appreciating the sunrise and the incoming waves. I thought to myself that we are often up at the same time, these people and I, only I am on my way to bed and they are on their way to a day of some kind. These surfers and worshipers and businessmen and mothers of school age children. These busy doers of all that gets done. Bakers. Bankers. Maybe even a few dancers. They're all up and at 'em. And for some reason, I envy them. For some reason, I wish I could be more disciplined about sleeping when others do. I so often find myself sleeping when everyone else gets everything important done. And that begins to feel like hospitalization. I've had no recent surgeries or illnesses, so there's really no call for all this daylight recuperation. I just need to buckle down and be awake earlier. J.M. Barrie also said, "Young boys should never be sent to bed. They always wake up a day older." And it made me wish that I might find a way to never have to go to bed again. If I could just stay awake longer, the rest of my life could be just one very, very long day. And that seems like a glorious idea at the moment.

I did not bother trying to enter the house with any amount of stealth. My father was awake, preparing for church. My mother was watching television in her nightgown. She scolded me for the sake of my health and then left me to find whatever sleep I might while they set off for church town. I don't think she was really angry at me. But I know I'll get no sympathy if this cough of mine persists. I was asking for it, wasn't I?

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