non-alcoholic champagne

Tahija called at midnight to wish me Happy New Year’s (computer trouble kept me from posting). I could hear revellers in the background and thought of the non-alcoholic champagne I gave Lamarr at Kawnzaa. He joked it wasn’t going to stay non-alcoholic long. I said he could keep it to offer friends who don’t drink.

He looked at me like that was a novel idea. They’re on the 30 side of 25. They do what they want. I only hope it is what they want and not a deep groove worn by generations before them.

I hope one friend strolled in last night and said, oh, cool, non-alcoholic champagne! Because I have to drive later. Because I have alcoholism in my family and I mean to triumph and transcend. Because I’m revelling in the clear focus of a sober mind. Because I mean to write a song/poem/theorem/letter/acceptance speech before the end of ‘08. Because my body is a sacred vessel of the divine. Because I’m a good Muslim. Because I want to be different. Because I am.

Happy New Year Tahija. Enjoy your youth. I’m serious.

The two images are details from Meg Saligman's Common Threads, the largest mural on the east coast. It's in Philly, at 15th and Spring Garden. When I first saw it I pulled over and just gazed. For a long time. These two teens, details from the mural, seem to me to capture the spirit of Tahija and Lamarr when I first met them.