Friend, Grant Me Absolution
It was, on a Fall day in 1988 that I first crossed paths with the girl who would become my best friend in the whole wide world. Mother of my god kids. Forgiver of all my aberrant behaviors. Supporter of my dreams.
She is the best.
It’s now twenty-four years later and she’s still closer than family and knows me better than I know myself.
Several months ago, over iced tea on her back patio near Radium Springs, she invited The Good Man and me to come out to New Mexico for a summer camping trip. Now I adore camping and was totally on board. The Good Man and I were already talking about flying or driving and how long we should stay.
And then life does what it does. It got in the way.
When my best friend asked me to spend some time in Quemado, it was February and I had nothing on the calendar that would inhibit a vist.
Five months, lots of overtime hours, and three countries later, my outlook wasn’t as clear.
So I was a bit sad to have to tell my friend that no, I wasn’t going to be able to go camping. I had just got back from London and The Good Man was up to his eyeballs in alligators with work too.
And money is always a question mark.
Damn it all to hell…we just couldn’t swing it.
I was supposed to be out there charring marshmallows and hiking where there is no mobile signal over this past weekend.
When I was still in flux about going, I happened to get an email from a joint called The Uptown Theatre in Napa. This is where I saw Rosanne Cash and Hugh Laurie and it’s rapidly become one of my all time favorite venues for live music.
Seems this little ol’ band called The Mavericks have reunited and were doing a show at the Uptown. The same weekend I should have been going camping.
The Mavericks are more than a fantastically talented band, they are an integral part of my life and the life of my best friend and our friendship. Their album “Music For All Occasions” is a landmark in our world. We love this band. A lot. Their music sums up a lot of what the late 1980’s and early to mid 1990’s mean to both of us.
It’s a soundtrack to our most cherished memories.
So when I saw they were playing a show nearby, I hedged my bets. All along, I planned to go to New Mexico, but I bought the not very expensive tickets too. If I lost out on the tickets in favor of New Mexico, so much the better. If we couldn’t swing camping, then The Good Man and I would take in a show.
Eventually we had to make the tough choice to stay back in California while my dearest friend and family went out to the woods and enjoyed the best of New Mexico.
Which meant The Good Man and I went to Napa. Being Catholic raised, the guilt was overwhelming. Both my best friend and my best guy should have been with me that night. It felt wrong to be at a Maverick’s show without her. Like I was being both a bad friend and a bad person.
That said, I still enjoyed the hell out of the show. This band is amazing! I last saw them back in 1998 when I had just moved to the state of California and seeing them live was a tonic to my confused, tortured soul. My friend and I lamented back then that she wasn’t able to come out for that show.
And here I went and did it again.
Every day I’m checking the band’s webpage to see if they have added any dates. If they come anywhere near New Mexico or Northern California again, we’re are going! No if’s, and’s, but’s or international demands from my Boss.
We’ll bring the godkids too. They need to know what we know.
Confession is good for the soul, right? I hope so. I called my best friend yesterday but her phone went right to voicemail. That means she’s still out there where email and Facebook and all the rest don’t really matter.
If I don’t catch her by phone maybe she’ll see this post and know that I went and saw our favorite band without her (again!), but I was thinking of her the whole time. And that’s the truth.
Plus, I’ve done way worse things over the course of our twenty-four years and she’s forgiven me. I think we’ll be all good.
Should I tell her that I had tickets in the second row? Hmm. Maybe not.
Should I tell her that I met and had a nice chat with Robert Reynolds after the show? No, I probably shouldn’t.
That might be pushing it a bit.
A couple photos from the incredible show:
Lead singer, the amazing Raul Malo
Original members, reunited. Raul Malo (l), Paul Deakin (c), Robert Reynolds (r)
All images Copyright 2012, Karen Fayeth, and subject to the Creative Commons license in the right column of this page. Photos taken with an iPhone4s and the Camera+ App.