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Saturday, February 14, 2009

Nobody Knows Me Like My Baby
or an evening with Lyle Lovett and John Hiatt

Okay, so Geo, Mary Ann, Howard and I went to see Lyle Lovett and John Hiatt perform at the music hall last Thursday night.

We ate dinner beforehand at a not-so-little place called LuLu's Noodles whose cuisine was a combo Vietnamese/Japanese/Chinese. Good thing the food was spicy hot, because the restaurant was freaking iceberg cold. Seriously. I felt like I was sitting in an igloo. I almost put my coat back on. Pay the gas bill already!

It's always a good time hanging with MA and Howard, and this evening was no exception. The three of us are planning to attend SXSW (the four day Austin music festival with a zillion musical acts) next year--not Geo's cup 'o java, but thankfully he's cool with me dragging my friends along for the ride. (Just one of the many reasons I'm lucky to be hitched to his wagon) Anywho, we started discussing other festivals we three might want to attend... Austin City Limits Festival, Bonarroo... when I mentioned Burning Man, MA let out this incredible, somewhat loud, excited yelp--which of course made me mirror her yelp--which made the man behind her levitate off his chair, forcing his LuLu noodle to slither from his gaping jaw--which made me laugh and point. Okay I didn't point, but I did laugh out loud.

So we file into the theater, settle into our seats and who should be sitting across from us? Why the levitating, noodle-dropping, "Burning Man" dude from the restaurant. And just because we're so mature, we kept calling out "Burning Man" and laughing... Okay, you probably had to be there.


The concert was a lovely, low-keyed affair. Each singer took his turn performing one of his hits for the audience, taking time in between to tell stories, converse with each other or in some instances interview the other.

At one point John Hiatt acknowledged his daughter's presence in the audience. Turns out she and her gaggle of college friends were sitting right in front of us. You know, for young girls they sure do have small bladders. They must have climbed in and out of their seats at least six times during the show. Either they were drinking a LOT beforehand, or they collectively have the laziest sphincters of their age group. 

But I digress...

So at one point Lyle started singing "Nobody Knows Me" which is a beautiful song that happens to be about cheating, but also speaks to one's deep connection to another.

That got me thinking about intimacy and what exactly that term means.

Sure most people equate the ultimate act of intimacy with swapping fluids during the heat of passion. And yeah, sex is an activity where the partners should have a strong bond of trust and love towards one another, but I'm not sure it qualifies as the definition of intimacy. Don't get me wrong...fewer sites are as sexy as clothing scattered hastily on a staircase, but who hasn't been caught up in the pure lust of an undeniable attraction only to discover the complete void of a connection afterwards. Left only with the uncomfortable awkwardness that comes from satisfying a physical urge, but not the emotional need.

No, I think true intimacy lives in the little acts... knowing he likes the sweetener in his coffee cup before pouring, leaving a Reese's peanut butter egg by her keys in the morning, buying him his favorite bagels, calling her to let her know her favorite singer is on World Cafe, needing to utter only the punch line of a joke to make each other laugh, finishing his thought, rubbing her feet without being asked, purposely saving part of her meal to share with him, the gentle pressing of his hand against the small of her back while waiting in line, the soft rubbing of her thumb atop his while holding hands, running his fingers through her hair while listening to a band play in a darkened night club, casting a look across a crowded room conveying a thought whose meaning only the two of them understand...

Monday Geo and I will be marking our 24th year of marriage. At times it hasn't been a cake walk--just ask him. (Oh, he's got stories... and maybe a few scars. I kid... or do I?) Still I can't remember the time he wasn't part of my life. And I can't imagine life without him. It has been a wonderful journey. I'm blessed that way.

I tease him there's no way I'd leave him for someone else. Truth is it'd be way too much work catching a new dude up on my life, likes, friends, inside jokes, idiosincrasies, phobias... This level of intimacy takes a long time to grow. So I guess he's just stuck with me.

Like Lyle says... nobody knows me like my baby.  


Anonymous said...

Hey there. An old friend and co-worker who loves your blog. (thing Nil Lara lover! WTF happened to him?) Congratulation on the anniverary I can totaly relate. 27 year and all friggin' bizzare and wonderful at the same time. Congratulations!!!

Murray said...

Paula? Is that you?

Anonymous said...

Yep. Sorry for the typos the other night. I had a few glasses of wine!
I've really been enjoying your blog. It's a scream and I've passed it on to some other old friends.