Sunday, January 6, 2013

The 12th day of Christmas: One more cup of coffee

It’s the second round of the annual  urban forest that begins when the trees arrive from Quebec the day after Thanksgiving lining the streets with fragrant corridors of fir, pine and balsam for a month. It vanishes on Christmas day. Then in the days after Christmas begins to reappear when the trees that have lived for awhile in homes and offices, decorated with lights and favorite ornaments, pieces of beauty and nostalgia, find their way back to the streets again dry, stripped and naked. They reach a peak a week or so later lining the streets again with the smell of the forest, waiting to be picked up. I love that these trees, immigrants from Canada, are ground up and turned into mulch to added to the life of Central Park. Helping things grow. I feel like there’s a parable in there somewhere. 
I’ve wound up with very little time to prepare the church for tomorrow and finish my service. I’m happy to see that Chris has knocked everything  down from last night’s memorial service. There’s a pounding on the door. I finally get the door open and a Spanish woman says A man looking for you...maybe he come back...
Soon enough, Dammarius appears in my doorway. It’s been awhile. He’s back in the city. Has his own apartment. Wants to check in. Help out if he can. I can get him to help with the physical set up for tomorrow, moving the communion table, the piano...table cover, candles. He’s happy to help.
I go back to working on my service.It’s a good story. He came here from the south to be an actor. Won a part in Glen’s play. Told Teddy he needed a place to stay. Teddy hooked him up. After the play, he used the opportunity to get a job with Verizon and then his own place. Spent time in their training program in Connecticut. And now he’s back. Wants to pay back. That’s how it’s supposed to work.
When he’s done, we’re sitting and visiting when RL looks in. You are spending way too much time here, he says. Got to finish my service, I say. There’s probably a joke or two in there somewhere.  I introduce him to Dammarius. 

I mention the Noche performance last night. How the right flamenco dancer could get me to leave everything and roll away in a gypsy caravan. Which leads to a good segue into a story about RL and his cover of Bob Dylan’s One More Cup of Coffee, on his Silence is Golden album. How Dylan called him, accused him of spoiling his song. I told him, Spoil your song? You’re in France writing with a French writer and a Hungarian fiddle player about gypsies and I take it to Mexico and spoil your song? I told him, Bob, if you ever paid attention, you just might learn something and actually be successful... 
Dammarius is looking wide eyed. I shrug, say, It’s true...
I open up my Itunes and play RL's version.With his own added verse.   Dammarius wide eyed again. 
I’m running our of time.  Reluctantly tell them both I got to get back to work. Alone again. With my service. It’s dark outside. Twelfth night. 

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