the beach at Arbroath, Scotland

27 March 2004
these are the dsys

i keep a mental catalogue of the favorite days of my life. mental is bad because even though they are my favorite days, they seem to frequently fly out of my head. then i have to hunt them down, somewhere in between the complete libretto of Les Miserables and the Periodic Table of Elements (which i like to believe i once knew).

i have only four so far. they're rather recent, because although i knew i had many other good days, they haven't come to mind yet. i'm sure they will. so i will share these four, and write them down so at least they won't escape me again.

One. (April 2003) this one was the day of the opening of the show that Antonio curated. Jury was in it, and it was at the Haverford School, where Antonio teaches. we all arrived at the school, and it was a rather paltry opening. one person from the press showed up, and other than that, it was just friends and relatives of the people who were in the show. there was a ton of wine, and we all sat around a big round cafeteria table, laughing and talking and getting more and more drunk. from there, Donna, Lindsay, Jury and I drove over to a little Italian restaurant, where we ordered a ton of food, an entire bottle of wine (the only time i ever ordered a whole bottle wine for a meal), got even more drunk, so drunk that we didn't realize that the very polite staff hadn't informed us that the restaurant had closed 25 minutes earlier. the conversation was the best part. i hadn't hung out with these four people together for such a long time, and all of us just clicked so perfectly. it was wonderful. i drove home on the Blue Route very slowly and carefully.

Two. (February 2000) this was the day i first really spent with John. strange, sweet and awkward. there was that weird sting of meeting someone in person who you've only known online. i also met Olive for the first time when we went to the Morgan Library for lunch. she gave me a copy of one of her comics and we spent some time looking at illuminated manuscripts, all lettered in a perfect shade of blue. John and i went shopping all around Manhattan for paper (i was into bookbinding even then), and then went back to his apartment. he kissed me for the first time.

Three. (March 2003) Lindsay, Jury and I went to Centralia. it was such a strange, surreal experience. we decided on a whim to go, drove 2 and a half hours through unpredictable weather, all so Jury could have white branches for the piece she was working on (all the trees in Centralia are bleached white from the sulfuric air). the day was freezing, all of us were dressed inappropriately, and it snowed off and on most of the day. the steam and smoke rising from the earth seemed thicker than i remembered it, it was like a living entity rising out of ground, bounding toward us and enveloping everything. on the way back, we got caught in a freak blizzard that nearly drove us off the road. Philadelphia, meanwhile, got nothing, no snow, not even a drop of rain. i remember the end of this day: Jury and I sitting in hot shop, watching Eoin blow glass so beautifully and effortlessly.

Four. (May 2003) this was the day of the Tyler teapot exhibition at The Clay Studio. first friday, everyone i knew was there, and i walked into the place to find that someone had bought my piece. seeing my teapots there, on their own shelf apart from all the others, adorned with the little red dot. John and my parents were there to share it with me, along with all my friends and classmates. the rush was unbelievable, and it was something i'll never forget. afterward, John, my parents and I went to eat at this really good Afghan restaurant. the night in Old City was so perfect, breezy but still warm.

i actually know what the fifth day is but for various reasons, i'll have to tell that one some other time.

i notice one thing about all these days...they weren't generally remarkable in any way, it was just the people i was with who made it so extraordinary, so perfect. it made me realize that are very few people who i am completely comfortable with and trust implicitly. and they're all here.

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