The following thought's are brought to you courtesy of listening to the Bryan Ferry version of Goodnight Irene:
Many years ago, I brief had a crush on a boy we will (because it was his name) call Kai. Like me, Kai was not from Southern California. While my family was from the Northwest, he had grown up in Eastern Texas and his people were mostly from Louisiana.
We met on night at a party thrown by a friend's roommate, who was also a transplant to the area. The roommate had come to California for college and ended up staying, hoping to pursue a career as a musician. As a result, not only did said party include some really good, authentic Southern food (the best red beans and rice I have ever eaten!), but also some great, live music.
It was on that clear (and magically smog free), summer night that Kai asked me to dance to him. The song was a slow, Cajun waltz sung accompanied only by a fiddle and a guitar, and it was lovely. Dancing there under the stars enveloped by music, arms and a warm breeze on my skin, for a just a few moments life felt perfect. Things changed not so long after that, but even now thinking back on that moment, I can recall the warm contentment of just how intoxicatingly pleasant the simple things like stars, wine, music, good company, and dancing on a summer night can be.