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Sunday, January 17, 2010

Wish I had a poem to share

But I don't. Not tonight. So instead I'll offer you some opening lines and let you do what you want with them. I only ask that you share the poem if you use them. But first, let me share some random thoughts about my day.

S and I started it at 6 this morning by going to the fitness center in Gaylord's Opryland Resort and Convention Center in Nashville. After a 40 minute workout (despite a painful Achilles tendon), we swam for 20 minutes in the indoor pool. Then because it was raining and cold outside, we spent about 20 minutes in the outdoor jacuzzi. I've felt warm and proud all day.

In regard to the Achilles tendon problem: That bum Achilles has been at my heels all day. S thought it was a little bit over the top, but I figure anytime I can get 3 puns in a single breath, I'm doing OK.

We were planning to go to the Frist Visual Arts Center in downtown Nashville and then maybe have dinner someplace like The Wild Horse Saloon and hit some of the clubs along Broadway before coming back to Opryland. If you've never done it, it feels a little like New Orleans, albeit on a much smaller scale. But there is one way Nashville tops the Bourbon Street experience.

Nashville is the Music City. (It's home to the Country Music Hall of Fame and to the Bluebird Cafe, which is a songwriter's Mecca.) And because it's the Music City, it's packed with country star wannabes, many of whom are really quite talented, but most of whom can only dream of getting a contract. But that doesn't deter them.

The clubs along Broadway and Second Avenue, let groups come in to play without pay -- they play for tips. And here is what makes it better in that one way from New Orleans. Because they're not paying the band, the clubs don't care if you walk in off the street and listen for free. There's no cover and no minimum drink requirement -- not even one. You can just walk in and listen. And there are enough good musicians and singers to make it worth your while.

The problem today was that because of my injured Achilles, I wasn't sure I wanted to stay downtown tonight and then try to make my way back to the hotel through streets I didn't know using a GPS that sometimes decides it just doesn't like me and wants me to get lost. I could tell S wasn't happy about my suggesting we start back while it was still light. It is, after all, our anniversary weekend.

But we got to the Frist early, and since it wasn't open yet, we decided to go to the other end of Broadway for lunch at the Wild Horse Saloon. Then as we walked back past the clubs on Broadway it was clear -- at 1:30 in the afternoon -- the street was coming alive. So we started going in and listening and moving on to the next club on our way back to the museum. The highlight came at Tootsies at the corner of Broadway and 5th Ave.

I remember the last time we were in Nashville and spent a late night downtown, Tootsies was the place to be. And here it was on an early Sunday afternoon every bit as alive as it was on that Saturday late night when we were there before.

We were also able to enjoy the museum, and then get back to the resort in time to have a pleasant romantic dinner at an Italian restaurant and to enjoy roaming around the shops before coming back to our room. Now we're sitting here listening to jazz and blogging and thinking about tomorrow.

On the way back to the museum, we were talking about how the product model at the Opryland resort resembled that of a cruise ship. And then we remarked on how the cheaper rooms, which were not available when we booked, didn't have balconies, just like the inside state rooms on a cruise ship don't have balconies that extend out over the ocean. And I reminded S how much we enjoyed having a state room with a balcony on a cruise we took several years ago. She said we hardly ever spent time in the room. I said, though, that I spent a lot of time on the balcony in the middle of the night. That's how I came up with these lines.

Standing on the stateroom balcony
Peering into the endless black
Of a horizonless night


  1. It sounds like a splendid way to spend your anniversary, despite your 'bum achilles heel' and the cold.

    And then of course at the end of it all you managed to find some poetry.

    Life's like that sometimes, when you least expect it, good things happen.

  2. What a great time you two had. Wonderful. Now I want to go on a cruise. Hubby has never been. One of these days. Glad you two enjoyed you anniversary in style.

    Have a terrific day. :)

  3. I can see you standing there
    as close to the railing as you dare
    nothing preventing you from jumping
    into the inky depths
    except common sense
    and the love of your opulent cage...

    a little dramatic, huh?

    good to see you
    hope you and S have been well!

    Peace ~ Rene, Ed and Mary

  4. I hope your Achilles tendon gets better really fast. BTW, I've dated a number of bum heels in my day :)

    Happy Anniversary to you and S!

  5. I was fascinated by those three lines of poetry -reminded me of a challenge in a creative writing class and put me in the mood of film noir. Thought I'd have some fun with it:

    Standing on the stateroom balcony
    Peering into the endless black
    Of a horizonless night
    I couldn’t help thinking of that dame that walked up to me
    Just a few hours before.
    She had the look of a wanderer
    But a wanderer who knew her way around.
    Only tonight she was a lost kitten
    with eyes as deep as that horizonless night.

    “I know it must be fate, Mr. Marlowe,” she said to me,
    “That on this night, when all seemed so hopeless
    I should find you here.”

    That’s what she wanted – hope on a hopeless night.
    I had seen that look before.
    Sometimes that look would lob a zinger
    right into the pit of my stomach.
    Another needy client
    short on hope,
    short on insight,
    Even shorter on cash,
    But long on virtue.

    I promised her I would see what I could do.
    I wasn’t so sure about this beau she told me about.
    I didn’t know if he was on the up-and-up,
    But he obviously meant something to her,
    And now he was nowhere to be found.
    I don’t know why I agreed to it –
    Yeah, I know why –
    It’s because I’m a sucker.
    A sucker for a cry for help,
    A sucker to track down dead-beat scum,
    A sucker to thrash out a little justice in this God-forsaken city.
    A sucker for the deep dark eyes
    Of a helpless girl
    On the edge of another horizonless night.