March 1, 2009
I am trying to balance my chair on the uneven ground under the big oaks. I can hear Coldwater Creek tumbling down the little falls where I know two bottles of champagne are in a weighted bag at the bottom of the catch pond. The stem of my crystal wine glass is cold between my fingers on this hot summer night in 1981, and the late-harvest Zinfandel is the color of a pirate’s trove of rubies and garnets in the firelight.
Greg Botz’s kind and handsome face is ruddy with heat as he tends the steaks on the fire. He’s dressed in a tuxedo even though we’re a rough mile away from the inn where we all live.
I’m wearing a long peasant dress with a little off-the-shoulder black sweater my Aunt Nan gave me. The table under the trees is covered with a red and white checked cloth and a big bowl of steaming spaghetti and a green salad sparking red tomatoes have just arrived by the hands of three more friends emerging out of the dark.
They have hiked the mile up the glen for this dinner in honor of my 31st birthday: Doc Lynn Scecina is one face that comes into focus out of the shadows. And there is Eric Crocker.
If there are any jealousies flowing between us, I don’t know about them; if there are troubles to come, I don’t know about them. I am at a time and a place in my life that feels balanced on a gimbal of timelessness. The forward motion of our lives halts and some part of me steps back, outside the circle of the fire and looks in, clicking the deep shutter of memory, letting all the light in I can.