Wednesday I zipped along I-6N to the lilting strands of Alison Kraus’s voice was a good way to start the day. I made it to Seymore before I needed to zone out for a few & slipped into the Outlet’s parking lot & slept. 20 min later I was alert again & heading up to Columbus to pick up SR 46 & head west. It was a beautiful day. Cool, clear, crisp, blustery & the tires of my KIA sang to me thru the winds that whipped about the ineriour while tangling thru my hair. I was heading to Bloomington for a dash-out & some growlers of Saison or whatever else I could find @ Upland Breweries.
I’d rung my friend Michael to let him know I was going to be in town in case he wanted to share supper or something & he was thrilled to know I was coming & promptly asked how long I was staying, & that of COURSE he would love to dine w/me. I chatted w/him for a few miles & he helped me find my way to the Cracker Barrel for a late 2pm lunch & we sat & ate & giggled & conversed for over almost 2 hours.
I’d planned on just seeing him for a hug & a smile, dinner & conversation but he had other plans he’d made for the evening as soon as I’d rung him & we ended up after lunch toodling about the town in his Mazda, (which I tease him about for its white like a charger) & sight seeing for quite awhile. He showed me the newest Jazz Joint, we went to a couple of markets, checked out the cinemas (decided to not see a flick) then to the bookstore where we ended up losing each other AND ourselves (& 2hrs) in the rows upon rows of printed captured thoughts, facts, ideas & discoveries on precious pages bound and shelved for both perusal & purchase.
(I love bookstores. I would have no qualms being locked up in one overnight w/nary a thing other than a flashlight, a pillow & some Oreo’s for company.)
I hadn’t intended to take up his 1/2 off day from work but it ended up we spent the entire rest of the day together & also ended up @ The Outback for a yummy supper of steak, spuds, broccoli, iced drinks & more conversation & smiles.
I had a grand night w/him, he is such a dear man. He’s built about like Yevla but w/glasses, a wider smile (if that is possible) tan hair (like sand on a winters beach) & a laugh that can be both perverted & contagious @ the same time. He cracks me up w/his wild stories & ideas & yet he makes me feel comfy when it comes to just spending time together.
Later on we both realised it was too late for me to drive home & he being the gallant he is, was kind enough to rent me a hotel room. I was beyond grateful & it was a lovely room @ the Radisson considering it was a brand new hotel.
The bed was FABULOUS & I slept like a log, I was SO exhausted & in the morning I took him to brunch to say ‘Thank You’ in a much tastier way for it had been so very kind of him to do this. We ended up @ a wing place he frequents there on the town square. We both had curly fries, I had teriyaki wings, he had medium buffalo hot. It was an interesting establishment. It used to be a grand restaurant named Grady’s in its day & on the doors, they had left the original wrought iron door handles w/Grady’s intact when rehabbing the place.
Afterwards, we walked about the square for a time, I was absorbing all the colours of the trees.. for they while not up to their full range of colour, still topped ours in leafy splendour. It was a great day to be on a walkabout w/a friend. I loved hearing the crisp leaves crackling beneath my shoes & there were hundreds of leaves lying about and the COLOURS-!
OH- Reds & Roans, Russets & Rubys, Oranges & Melons, Yellows & Saffrons, Golds & Coppers, Browns & Mahagonys, Auburns & Chestnuts (colours one could but taste if one could but close their eyes & try) all falling about to lie in discarded & assorted sizes along the pathways of this college town. They simply added their charm to the storybook setting of this day & I found myself w/o thinking slipping my hand into his as we scutted along thru the crunchy, colourful carpet underfoot, chatting & smiling in our own little world & it seemed so natural, that even he didn’t bat an eye at my move. And neither did I. He simply smiled, gripped my hand in his larger, warmer one & fell back in step beside me.
The smell of autumn itself was so rich in my nose, the cooking aromas of the hundred different restaurants crammed side by side vying for the never stopping spillage of hungry IU students trickling along the sidewalks @ any given hour of the day.
Later we stopped @ Starbucks (sorry Heine Bros but you aren’t available in Bloomington!) & then FINALLY we drove over to Upland Breweries where I purchased four growlers of beer (2 Bad Elmer & 2 Upland Wheat) for Rincewind, Ilex, JAC, the doctors dinner here @ work and 2 six packs for a lady here also.
Finally, it was time to go home for both of us. I had miles to go & he needed to meet his daughter for some school shopping & such. He helped me pack the beers & figure out how to get back to LV.
I was rather disheartened to say Good Bye for I rarely get to visit w/him but when I do, we make the most of it & this visit so far? Was the best. I shall venture back to his city before Christmas I am sure and as always I am sure it will be just as nice a visit as this one was if not better.
Michael is a good man, a kind man & I am lucky enough to have him as a friend along w/the other men I consider to be my friends. I may have known him longer but I adore him just as I do them.