I took a break from my routine of working this week to celebrate the unity of two friends: the fusion of two individuals into one. A wedding. For me that meant no weekend trip to Lanna Thai. No cribbage game on Thursday evening. No surprise visits to Woodland Hills, Anywhere, U.S.A.
Unfortunately, my friends chose an eventful weekend for their wedding, so I also missed the 80s Prom and Festival Earth celebration. Why didn't they check my schedule before planning this in the middle of last year?
Instead, I embarked on a 1,600 mile journey full of friends and family, childhood memories, and many variations of this question: "So, when are your wedding bells going to sound?"
I had a great time, but refused to answer any personal questions. "Well, that's a little personal isn't it," was followed by some awkward, yet refreshing, silences, but after 6-9 times folks caught on.
"How's the..." one would start. "Wait, that one sounds like a question and if you're thinking of making it a personal one, just abort now and refocus on a compliment or maybe an impression of your favorite comedian," I'd gladly interrupt.
I broke down and invited many of my friends to Tulsa after their begging became too much to put up with. I shared with them the beauty of our many wild flowers, the size and sheer number of potholes on Tulsa streets, and promised all huge winnings at any and all of the local casinos. Any who take me up on the offer will have the pleasure of erecting a tent in either my front or backyard. Choose wisely, friends, one affords quite the view of the Tulsa skyline. The other is fenced and contains a rather cute hare, who's been named Hank. I hope he's a male or that could be a little difficult for him to explain to his friends.
Hank, if you decide to chew on any of my garden plants I will be forced to evict you. As you know I've got some new chairs on the porch so I can watch you. We've been getting along famously. Don't ruin it.
Dust in the End
Back at the wedding, while sitting in the chapel admiring my boutonniere, my mind drifted back to Tulsa.
What am I going to do for the annual 5x5 art show at TAC Gallery, I thought.
I have plenty of ideas thus far, but nothing sounds worth pursuing. Maybe I can find a Bob Ross re-run on PBS for inspiration. I'm not going to be painting any cute little trees, but his mild manners and one-of-a-kind hair always serve to calm me.
If I do complete my masterpiece and you happen to stop in for the 9th Annual "5x5" fundraiser (See Arts on page for more on the event), look for the one that is simple, yet has underlying depth. There may be several that fit this description. Mine will be one of them, although I may choose to abandon the underlying depth and just go for something simple. I'll stick with what I know.
While away from home I was again reminded of the ease of getting around Tulsa, which was so very satisfying when I first arrived here.
"Isaac, go north three blocks and then east two blocks and you'll be there."
After I was reminded of which side of the ride was which, I was on my way. You cannot imagine how much easier that is than directions I have been given in Belize or even Chattanooga.
In Belize, directions consist of a pointing finger, followed by an "over there." This may seem like a system that would have limited success, but I always found everyone I was looking for and met a lot of people along the way, although it often took some time. The key was patience.
Because Chattanooga is not laid out like Tulsa, few people will be heard saying, "Yeah, it's on the south side of that intersection." Instead, "it's on the left" or, "the right" or, "opposite the Waffle House" are much more popular. When I got here I often thought to myself, stick to the right or left, people. I've got it now and I'm not ready to go back to "over there" or "ya'll, it's on the right past the gun shop."
I am ready for the continuous construction downtown to come to an end. It seems that shortly after each time I wash the car I find myself saying, "Dammit! I totally forgot about all this dust and gravel. Downtown, you got me again, man!" The hour it takes to go four blocks is also frustrating, but I hate a dirty windshield.
I think I'll try to incorporate some of this satisfaction and frustration into my art. How can I do that? Cars, colors, compass. Yes, yeah, yay! Or, I could glue some elbow macaroni on my five-inch square canvas and borrow a child's 64-color crayon box and go nuts. Sounds good, huh? Maybe good isn't the right word. Let's say fun. Sounds fun, huh?
Either way if you make it out to the 5x5 show don't wash your car that day. Wait 'til Tuesday. The TAC Gallery is on Brady east of Main. From my backyard it's over there across from Club Majestic. If you get lost just drop by my place, I'll introduce you to Hank. There'll be a tent in the front yard. The only requirement is you have to bring Hank a carrot, so he won't eat mine.
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