My mom always loved the Gershwins, but we didn’t listen to their music really when I was growing up . . . there were just the songs I tried to sight-read from a Reader’s Digest songbook, and “Rhapsody in Blue” which she’d always wanted to choreograph a dance to — though she hasn’t been a “dancer” since her teens, mama loves to dance.
In college, though, friend L., also a dancer, also loved Gershwin. Though she never shared a dorm room with me, she was perpetually in my roommate’s and my room, doing homework and talking to all hours, and sometimes we’d go to bed before she left.
It’s one of those nights I remember, me up in my top bunk, the lights out, and her down at the desk using the computer — “I just have to listen to one more song.” And the song was Gershwins’ “The Man I Love:” “Someday he’ll come along, the man I love . . . .”
A few years later I had dinner at her apartment — one of many times — and on her piano was a book of piano solo Gershwin songs, and I sat down and played them, starting with “Embraceable You.”
So that now, when the word “embrace” makes me start singing, I’m back at her piano, with the scent of a savory pasta sauce wafting in from the kitchen and people talking and everything cozy and friend-like — much like it was a week ago, when I traveled to another state and got to visit in her house with other friends.
And remembering makes me glad and grateful.
©2015 by Stacy Nott