The end times are here again, the time to say good-bye repeatedly until it forms a mantra for renewed tranquility. This evening I met with Dr. Karla Kelsey for dinner at a little Thai restaurant before we walked to the bookstore where she and a Hungarian poet were doing readings from their works. My experience with poetry readings has been limited to this semester, but this one seemed to be beyond the norm, not only from my infinitesimal experience, but from others’ comments as well. There was a moderator who actually interviewed and prepped the audience for what we were about to listen to. This made the world of difference as my enjoyment level barometer reached a never before achieved level marking a new high.
Interestingly, a few of the people from my now defunct Budapest Creativity Group were there and another poet I had met. The store was trying desperately to close by 9pm, but we pushed and shoved their good nature until 9:30 before we released their space no longer keeping it hostage.
Karla, Allison, Jeff and I went bar hopping with no intentions of doing so. The first place we went did not have a table to spare nor a table to share. One would have thought it were a weekend night during a festival for the crowd was thick. The next place was equally non-obliging until a couple of guys in the far reaches of the back seating area took pity on us and relinquished their table into our custody.
The chatter was a mixture of the obligatory questions with Allison as the target: What were your highlights during your time here? What did you hope to do that you did not? What will you miss the most? We have to exclude Jeff from the last answer as he is staying on. These were intermingled with fresh stories, fun life experiences, and general jovial ramblings accompanied by a beer. Close to midnight, the youngsters were yawning, transitioning the conversation to mellow moods with restful chattering about bed, sleep, and tiredness.
Allison was merry meet, merry part and hopefully merry meet again.