Tuesday, February 5, 2008

Calla lilies and Bocephus

Symbols of my life have been coming back to me. At least we call them symbols in literature, so why not in my life. When painting pottery with my daughter on Sunday, I quickly had to remember something I loved, so I could paint it on our fruit bowl I was making. I remembered calla lilies, remembering them was remembering me, a younger twenty-something-year-old me with barely any bad habits and really, really big dreams. Remembering those flowers allowed me to remember a girl who used to believe in love. I will marry the man who brings me 13 calla lilies; I used to say. No man ever did. Why 13 you might ask, I dunno because anyone can order a dozen and 13 would show someone who defies convention and steps beyond the norm. Additionally, I would have carried calla lilies down the aisle had I ever gotten married. Those things won’t happen, probably, and flowers aren’t love but that crazy, wonderful, outgoing artist forgot about calla lilies when she stopped believing in romantic love. Maybe. Why would I forget about something beautiful, simple, and perfect? I still think they are, I just forgot. Have I been so busy being a mom that beauty escaped me? No, I didn’t, because I taught my daughter to always stop in the supermarket to and smell the flowers, or to smell the flowers in planters, lawns and trees in the flower seasons. I remember now I used to buy myself one calla lily at a time and paint a painting of it. I painted an entire vase of calla lilies using only one flower and moving it around and around. I know I forgot that it is okay to spend money on something elegant, like a flower that makes you smile. I need to teach her that.

The same day I remembered calla lilies my dear friend made me a MySpace page. I needed a page so I could read her blog. On my page, she put a picture of Hank Williams, Jr. Bocephus, and that young woman I remembered used to love Bocephus. Everyone thought I was nuts, but he was cool, maybe cause he loves to fish like I do. “Hey man them ain’t high-heeled sneakers, and they sure don’t look like cowboy boots…” I actually bought myself a pair of high-heeled sneakers at a yard sale; they’re cool. Here’s to my friend for remembering something about me that I forgot. That is the beauty of friends that you have had for decades when they see you they see you maybe younger, closer to how you were when they met you, they remember you fabulous, unwrinkled, size 8. And that is how I remember them. I can’t believe I forgot how much I love Bocephus, my goodness, it was my vanity plate for years. He was it! I had every cassette, every album even! Wow, way, way back. Now when I go to my myspace it plays that voice that used to sing me to sleep, jam with me in the car, hold me when I cried, and make me smile. His lyrics ran through my head constantly, hearing the music again, I still remember all of the words. Thank you M for remembering me, the fun me, the young me. (Even if I have forgotten who I was.)

Calla lilies and Bocephus probably don’t mean shit to anyone else; to me they are dancing on Friday nights and being too cool to even pay attention to that guy looking my way, they are laughing with girlfriends, not caring about bills cause they always got paid, believing in dreams, racing for an unknown future, midnight rescues and coffee klatches. Calla lilies and Bocephus are dancing in the rain with Markie Cruz (RIP), driving around in a Chevy pickup watching the snow with James (RIP), and playing harmonica while Yogi (RIP) played his guitar and sang. (They are not holding his hand while he died in the ICU, and racing to get his soul out into the sun.) Calla lilies and Bocephus are Christmas Eve watching Mac (RIP) play and that one lone guitar riff he played me goodbye, stroking Shelby’s (RIP) ponytailwhile sneaking off for lunches at the river.
Dear G-d no wonder I forgot calla lilies, FTD doesn’t deliver from where the great men who have loved me live now. Perhaps I will buy myself one tomorrow and remember me and that I have been loved, very loved it’s just that no one is left to remind me and I had forgotten. Wow, thank you for the symbols…

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I hope you bought a calla lily, they really are beautiful.