written August 19, 2012
To the Forest Park’s northeast, down forever-sloping Art Hill, over bridges, past paddle boating couples, and around golf course paths lest you soil the cement, is the Missouri History Museum. The hot journey was not without an entertaining hgh school tale of Younger May being email-pegged by a crush as nonsexual. She may have suffered fools, but I have benefited, gladly. The story allowed May to beg the question of attractiveness. While it is the duty of all (kind and astute) males to relieve women of the cuts and bruises Elle has inflected on the gender it serves, I realize I am lucky. Whenever I remind May of her “striking” pseudo-Russian looks, it was from utmost sincerity. The conversation was sparked in part by the exhibit inside, “Underneath It All,” tracing women’s style-suffering back to spinning jenny apparel. While we’ve come along way from whalebone-inspired fainting, browsing the centuries of damage done for the sake of fashion, I wondered when women will cast off high heels and the like. May liked the long straight lines of the 1920s and 1930s, but recoiled at the “tackiness” of the 1960s. Funny, she has always seemed straight out of Mod London. We browsed the book store, until I began asking trivia questions. “Which books begins this way?” I began. May looked queasy and wanted to run away. Back in went on the shelf. Perhaps miffed at not recognizing the opening to an Austin novel, May tore into Harry Potter when I mentioned it, leaving the museum. “That is not literature,” she dismissed the boy wizard. We poled the group, being ourselves, of how to extend the day further. This proving inconclusive, we headed back to Lindenwood to walk May’s dogs Lucius and Phyllis. Upon entering the cool house, they (especially Lucius) began jumping up to me. We three seem to be the verge of normalized relations, taking me as a friend and not an intruder. Progress. We set off with our rowdy pack around the block. This would be enough to stretch the legs, while I proved I could tame them.
After some fun, May and I decided on dining out in the Central West End. I was excited to eat at Sub-Zero, a trendy sushi and vodka I had stood outside of for dozens of hours. Tonight I would not be asking anyone if they “have a moment for gay rights.” As we walked up Euclid I could hep but notice a small band of blue t-shirted individuals. Part of me wanted to slink past, and the other wanted to make a big deal of the gorgeous woman (See? Effortless!) on my arm. Taking a table outside, in view of my old canvassing post just north of the bar, May ordered a gimlet, and we selected the spider roll. Travel was a main topic, and all the tendrils such a discussion can follow. We both fortunately have the globe-treking bug, and would like to revisit the same countries like England and France, and set off for new adventures such as Australia and India.
A few blocks north of Sub-Zero, past obnoxiously beautiful grand homes, guarded from the likes of the local community, we slipped in Left Bank Books. Who this side of the Harold Bloom could better help me selected a promising read? May wasted little time in championing IQ84 by Haruki Murakami (Hm, looks Kafkaesque, I nodded, reminding myself my literary knowledge isn’t the result of box tops). IQ84 will go on my list. For Eric’s critic’s pick, he showed his date a collection of Calvin and Hobbes (It works on many levels, you see). From there we strolled back down Euclid, finding almost all establishments packed. So went to Caribou Coffee for “a hummus pate fit for a king” while we people watched, content in ourselves on a superb night in the Central West End.
Getting darker, we drove back to South Grand for a quick walk. The finale proved to be where we began, on Magnolia, as I suggested we watch an episode of the PBS documentary Carrier. “This will give you an idea of what it is really like, the good and bad,” I prefaced the screening with, before launching into the seafaring drama of an askew boy turned-father-to-be and a petty officer who could not follow his own shore leave advice. May seemed shocked by its realism, its tight spaces and tighter tempers. She seemed touched to experience it with me, after some writings. She began to drift off though, fight as she did. We said goodnight, May noting the time as she had throughout our record setting day.