It’s been asked before, to account for memory.
R&R could have been a one-liner.
It was more than knowing how boozy mornings could pull the convertible down a lakefront promenade, to make a waggish, Tuesday brunch. Brunch for two, hold the heterosexuals at the door. We only ever took clear drinks to the pool. We restrained our jokes at the cost of decency. We ignored any bill that had fallen down the back of the cabaret.
We put a pin to anything that wasn’t pickled. We lanced any pretty, ripe thing we found in the sun.
Pulling the top down, or off—or perhaps, he would remind me, that drawers open easily, too—we were never so frivolous as to ignore the wealth to be found in play. Stringing lights, batting averages of boys, these were only apologies for a party. We saw each other, and he was light; and he arrived to a life always worth performing. It was he himself that deserved telling; and we all knew that. Because, if it has to be true, why lie to explain—even imply—that none of us were ever really taking R&R. We argued, a long time ago, we should never bother with something so arduous as fact—not to share love, or anything so costly; with such wealth of arms cradling ‘round.
If an airport layover could not be a stage; if there was no way to account for how trivial it was to take a trip to the moon—without casually including how his charmed tiara saved the flight-attendant—as she nearly blew-out the hatch, attempting to fry a tray of bacon in zero-G—what, in the end, is the point? To say he was leaving orbit would be losing a crucial thread. If a hostess could not be an opulent goddess; if a cabdriver not reincarnated as a chariot-leaping-megastar—thinking, so much as saying, “R&R,” would abandon the tropical flavour measured in serious business.
To ignore the incomparable dazzle of any rococo affair, or the flourish—of a cheeky and burlesque-worthy spirit—is a mistake that belittles a life made for living. I know—as he generously shared with me—if you don’t keep on top of it, life only arrives half-full. And there’s only so much time left before soldiers go back to war.
In memory of Ron Leach;
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