“Tony, Tony, look around
Something’s lost and must be found!”
– Prayer to St. Anthony, the Patron Saint of Lost Things
Last night I saw Matt Costa perform at the Exit/In with a bunch of good friends. We were right up front and I, for one, had an incredible experience at the show. Great set, lots of new songs, and almost all of my favorites. Almost. I took many amazing photos. Color, black and white, sepia, you name it. I was close enough to have been able to tell him if his shoe was untied. The stage lights and the many bodies clamoring together kept me nice and toasty, in spite of the cold November rain falling right outside the door.
By the end of the show, most of my friends had scattered to warmer, drier places. But a few of us were left milling around, with the rest of the stragglers. I was going to throw away the cups we had left on the stage, when I saw Matt walking right toward me.
“Are you cleaning up other people’s messes?” he said to me. He is one of those people that manages to smile even while he is talking to you.
“Oh, no. Just cleaning up my own mess.” I assured him.
“Well you don’t have to do that. There are other people here to do that.”
He waited for me to set the cups back down in front of the monitor, and then we made our introductions. Since this is me we’re talking about, the grinning thing was mutual.
I thanked him for a good show, and he thanked me for enjoying myself. And I made a casual observation.
“There wasn’t really a whole lot of dancing space here up front.”
“Yeah, I know. I tried to do some dancing myself but. . .” and after a pause “So you can dance in that?” [You might be surprised how often people don’t believe me when I tell them I can dance, or at how many people try to use my wheelchair as an excuse for their own awkward feelings about dancing. I’m not, but you might be.]
“Yeah,” I said, “Here, come’re, I’ll show you.”
He looked at me uncertain, but after a second, came over, and I gave him an impromptu dance lesson. We did some little back and forth dance moves, and I taught him how to spin me in my chair, the way you might twirl any dance partner. [It’s really simple, by the way. I don’t restrict my lessons to indie celebrities, and would be glad to show any of you the ropes anytime.]
He was a very good spinner, in case you’re wondering.
We took a couple of pictures with one another, I thanked him again, and he promised to spin me next time. I told him it was a deal.
I got home so thrilled to overlook and upload my pictures, especially the ones Matt and I had taken together. He had been so friendly and sweet that I couldn’t wait to see how well my photos had captured all my happiness. But, true to my impeccable ability to drop, forget and lose anything of real value around the exact time I need something to go right in my life, for Heaven’s sake, I discovered that the camera was nowhere to be found. With no answer at the venue and no help from the place of business we had parked in front of, I am left to fear the worst. My camera, along with the happiest moments of my Saturday, and of the rest of my autumn, is gone for good.
A picture is worth a thousand words. So, if you loose so many of them, what is left to say?
It doesn’t really seem fair to me, even in hindsight. that my happiness should be taken from me so abruptly, and after such a brief stay, but I have been fighting tooth and nail to spin this positively. After all this has been a month of loss in all its forms, with little recover, and little relief.
And right now- though you can bet your next cup of coffee that it’s still cold comfort- this is the best I can come up with: I may forget my camera, full of pictures of that concert, and of my best childhood friend’s new baby, none of which will ever be able to be shared, but I won’t forget the experiences I tried my best to capture there.
I won’t forget how it felt to hold sweet little Gabriella in my arms, or to have Matt twirl me around the room to no music at all, with a huge smile on his face.
There are some things I simply refuse to forget; some things I will never drop, leave behind, or let get soaked in rain and ground water. And I am crossing my fingers that I make the same impression on my dance partners.