When I heard her say, “Tom Robbins..something, something.” My eyes narrowed. I turned to look at her and I cocked my head sideways, like a dog would when he/she hears/feels a meaningful sound vibration. Listening.
We were a group of 10 or so enjoying the Memorial Day Holiday from a friend’s back porch. There were the usuals and the unusuals; veggie burgers, cheeseburgers, hotdogs, chips, baked beans, potato salad, gluten free cupcakes, non-painful conversation (thanks to the small talk Gods, we are past that), wine, IPA’s and the “house cocktail”. I love there was a house cocktail on offer. How unusual!
I didn’t believe I could be more delighted with this gathering of good friends and my good fortune until the mention of the novelist, Tom Robbins. Tom Robbins has a huge cult following among the weirder people of the world. I immediately went from mildly engaged (and mostly entertaining myself in my head) to fully engaged. Kaboom. Present and participating.
The conversation went at a quick pace and somewhat like this:
Did you say, “Tom Robbins?” I asked my friend who sat across the table.
“You’ve read Tom Robbins?”
“We both have.” (We being her and her husband), who nodded in agreement.
“Did you read Jitterbug Perfume?”
“I read that book, too!”, piped up another friend who sat to my right, “wasn’t that one about a dying God?” I looked over at him with incredulity, triply impressed that three people besides me temporarily inhabiting the same space had read Tom Robbins. I bubbled over with happiness.
“Yes, Pan was dying because people stopped believing in him,” I answered.
I asked the group, “What about Still Life with Woodpecker?”
“We quoted from Still Life with Woodpecker in our wedding vows,” my friend slyly reported with a smirk.
And did you like the movie, Even Cowgirls Get the Blues? This was my test. It isn’t possible to honor this majestic novel in movie form. Albeit, the film was a good effort, justice wasn’t done.
“I didn’t even watch the movie,” she replied and took it to a completely different level as a Robbins loyalist. Anyone who reads Tom Robbins knows full well his novels aren’t translatable to screen.
“Wasn’t Keanu Reeves in that movie?” and DINK my other friend cemented his inclusion in our nerd stan for Tom Robbins.
A moment with friends. See it for what it is….grab it, savor it, enjoy it, taste it, relish it, feel it, be present with it. Precious and awesome. And no selfies were taken in the making of this memory.
The little things.