It was October 1991. I was half-way across the United States on my cross-country journey to Los Angeles. Hollywood. A new life of spectacular promise! Why had I waited so long? I'd graduated from college three years earlier. Those three years, more or less a giant party; the party I hadn't had while I was actually in college. I was crossing the Mississippi river on I-40(?). I remember thinking: "Wow. I'm crossing the Mississippi River!" I looked to my right. "Wow! There's the St. Louis Gateway Arch!" and then it was quickly in my rear-view mirror.
I had the fleeting thought that maybe I should pull off and go and see it. But then, I didn't. I was in an all-fired hurry, you see, to get to my new life in sunny California. Glamorous Hollywood! Looking back now, I wish I had stopped.
So, we stayed in a really cool hotel in the old downtown, just a skip and jump from the Arch. Its restaurant was closed, so we went up the block to another hotel, The Hotel Saint Louis for a nice dinner. It was quite swank. Hoity-toity even. So, here's the first synchronicity. They had pheasant on the menu. Not pheasant under glass; but pheasant. It was the first time in my life that I can recall ever seeing pheasant on a menu. And it was odd because I'd recently written a comedy sketch about Frances McDormand as the proprietress of a very strange diner. A diner that had pheasant under glass as one of its menu items. Weird? I think it is!
It gets weirder. A lot weirder. If you read these blogs with any kind of frequency, you might know that I've talked about both Robin Williams and Tom Hanks at length. So keep that in mind. So, after dinner, we were exploring the hotel. You know how hotels will always have like, furniture everywhere? Tables and chairs, of course; but stuff like armoires, chifforobes, credenzas, bureaus, chests of drawers, side-boards: you know, like strategically placed around the premises to A) Keep the place from looking too sterile B) Surfaces to place objets d' art, floral arrangements etc. C) Just because. I like to look in those things. I will open the doors, pull out the drawers, push up the roll top...I need to know what's in there!!! Usually it's nothing. Sometimes it's stuff like plates and flatware. Extra napkins. One time I opened up the drawer on an antique coffee grinder that was on a shelf at the Hotel Roanoke and found a note inside. It read: "A curious mind is a beautiful thing."
Joseph does not usually join me in this activity. In fact, he actively encourages me to cease and desist. But at the Hotel St. Louis, for some reason he decided to open the door to a cabinet. I joined him and we looked inside. There was something cylindrical on one of the shelves. It was wrapped in yellow tissue paper. I picked it up and unwrapped it. It was a votive candle, never lit. It seemed as though someone might've received it as a gift and perhaps forgot about it? Or didn't want it...
This was the candle:
So, here is my "Saint" Robin Williams votive candle from Saint Louis, MO:
Okay, yes. I stole it. But now it has a home. A flame. An answered prayer.
It was wrapped in yellow tissue paper. Yellow is one of my favorite colors. But it's a color of contradictions...it represents creativity and joy; but it also warns and can cause anxiety. Two sides of a coin. Sounds like most of the artists I know.
So, this may not be synchronicity but I thought this was interesting. Our hotel room was on the eighth floor, overlooking an intersection. There wasn't as much traffic as you would think; but it was extremely LOUD traffic. One morning I said to Joseph: "Did you hear that traffic? It sounded like a muscle car drag race. What's up with that?" He agreed. I looked up "loud cars in Saint Louis." It's a thing. It's a downtown Saint Louis thing. People are drag racing, drifting, doing stunts, revving engines, speeding etc. It's like The Fast and the Furious all night long. How weird is that?
We went to the downtown library. One of the most beautiful I've ever seen.
I wrote a blog about acting and actors and fame and success. One of the pictures featured Tom Hanks. On a candle. Dressed as a Saint.
I think so. But also kind of fantastic.
Addendum: So, the label on the back of the St. Robin candle is marked "Shop BobbyK.com" So, I looked it up. It's a funky boutique in Jacksonville Florida: kind of like WACKO in L.A. Here's the thing...Joseph has been wanting to relocate from Roanoke, VA; and as fond as I've become of it, I'm ready for a change myself. He asked me to pick some "warm" places. After a little research, I put Jacksonville, Florida at the top of my list. Very interesting...(Joseph says he will not live in Florida on principle. We'll see...)