This is coming from August of '05
29-years and 6 months of blessings, that I've never actually counted, and disastrous moments of my life, that have made me who I actually am, have finally presented themselves for what they truly were all along.
As I walked through the garden of Chicago, barefooted and singing, she sat alone at the stoop of a fountain, also barefooted and singing. There was a broken sunset, caused by sky scrappers, lighting her face and making her eyes shine.
She placed her guitar to her side, her long black hair tossed to the left, and raised her hand, with tattoo on wrist, to spark her cigarette. The lighter didn't spark. She tried again. Not that time either. I walked at her, feeling like the quiet cowboy from American Graffiti to help her.
Sticking the already flaming Zippo lighter I've had for the past 15-years in front of her, she looked up and took the flame. For the next 15-seconds as I stood before her, I had found what I was looking for on the trip out West. She was my muse. She was my reason for doing whatever it is that I do. And whatever it is that I may do.
No words were spoken. No smiles exchanged. No nods. No waves. No nothing. And it felt good. It was so unlike me to not start conversation and try to meet her. And it felt so good.
As I walked away, I heard her strumming her guitar again. And the song she played stopped me dead in my tracks. "Isabela" by Ray LaMontagne. And just hearing the chords, without her singing due to the smoke dangling from the lip, I knew she was telling me her name. And she was.
I went back to her as soon as I knew the song, sat next to her and played right along side of the beauty that she was. We stayed at that old fountain until 12:30 in the morning, playing songs with each other, and making a nice amount of tips from the passing people of the city. When the coppers finally asked us o leave because the park was closed, we had the first conversation since we bumped into each other earlier in the evening. Her name is indeed, Isabela. And she is from New York City. Here, in Chicago, "on a trip to find whatever it is that I need to find." [Her words exactly]
We spent the entire night together, sipping coffee and talking and playing music for the late night drunken fool's at the a 24-hour diner on the North side. When we parted, she told me goodbye and said she'd be in town for a few more days and hoped to see me again. I told her that I'd look for her. She told me that she hoped so. And I will.
When I got home this morning, a thousand songs ran through my mind, begging to be put on paper and played. And I hope that she had the same problem when she got to wherever it was that she was going.
And I hope to see her at the fountain again tonight. There are far too many songs left to be played, sung and written.