1. Why do I continue to sleep through my alarm? Even though this really means sleeping through the neurotic alarm I set for an entire hour before I actually need to be awake.
1.5. How is it possible that my neighbors consistently seem to have an old disgusting couch to throw out on trash day, every week? Do they even have floors? Is it just a man made bounce n sag emporium of nasty trash couches? Do they just go through a couch a week? How do they even fit the couches in the narrow doorway???
2. Why does this train car smell so much like skunk? Is it a particular passenger? Did a skunk sneak on here? Am I going to survive without vomiting?
3. Will I ever listen to anything ever again other than this Lumineers cd?
4. Am I going to make it through this upcoming 12 hour work day?
5. Seriously. So many people have gotten off this train, and it still smells of skunk. OH MY GOD IS IT ME?! AM I THE SKUNKY ONE?!
6. I’ve had the same barista two times in a row now at Starbucks, do you think we’re going to be friends?
This time last year I was waiting outside in my winter coat, standing idly as tourists streamed by, their hands grasping their purchases.
He walked toward me and I guess I did feel a little nervous.
“What are we even going to talk about?” I wondered.
I had been surprised when he had called to ask me out. I had given him my number at a party in a rare moment of courage but I never expected him to call. Part of the reason I had said yes was the sheer fact that he had called. Dialed my phone number and used his voice to ask if he could take me out on a date.
As I had gotten dressed that night I thought about how this was what dating was “supposed” to be. And how this was the kind of guy I was “supposed” to like. Not the commitmentphobes on motorcycles, not the selfish temperamental artists but the “good” guy. The wholesome guy. The stable one.
The restaurant he had chosen was a fancy, historical Boston standard. Steak, seafood, baked potatoes and wine. We were easily the youngest people in the dining room. The menu made me uncomfortable. I do believe in chivalry but I also believe its unfair to make a man spend 40 dollars a plate on a first date, especially when I’m prone to eat only half of my meal.
I ordered baked scallops.
When it arrived in the little ceramic baking dish he was telling me about his college experience. His voice floated around me like elevator music as I realized, in horror, I had ordered the most quintessentially “grandma” dish imaginable. The ritz cracker crumb topping taunted me. “Early bird special” it practically hissed at me as I squeezed a wedge of lemon over the fish.
Almost every women’s magazine you read will tell you that a woman can tell if she’s interested in a man within the first 30 seconds of meeting him. If that was true, things weren’t looking good for us.
I took him in across the table. His face was round and almost angelic, surrounded by a halo of curls. “He must have been an adorable baby” I thought to myself.
But his smile was warm and his eyes were kind and he listened when I spoke.
I was being myself and I could tell, as conceited as it sounds, that he was captivated by me. Or at least the performance I was giving. The best version of my first date self.
Looking back on that first date, I realize that I felt almost like a shelter puppy on adoption day.
Love me I begged with my eyes
Love me I begged with my smile, with my laugh.
Pick me Pick Me oozed out of my pores like the Italian perfume I had applied hours earlier.
I’m not as damaged as I look, even if I feel that way. Just pick me and we’ll be happy.
The times we spent together felt nice in a storybook way. Walks along the seaport, christmas lights enveloping the bare branches of the trees. Hands being held, permission asked for first kisses.
It was nice, truly it was. But I never really felt like I could be myself. I never wanted to throw my body across the table and kiss him. My heart never leapt into my throat when he held my hand in his. He never really me laugh.
This is not like that time last year.
1. I overslept this morning, waking up ten minutes before I had to run out the door to catch the train. I made it. But I hate when this happens because I feel like the panic that occurs upon waking late negates any extra sleep you might have had. Leaving you more tired than before.
2. It is really cold outside today, and so I’m wearing my little knit headband thing, but now I’m regretting it because it keeps riding up and away from my ears. This is annoying enough that I would like to take it off, but my forehead is all toasty warm. First world problem, cannot win.
3. The man across from me on the train this morning had a huge, gaping, hole in the crotch of his pants. He was well put together otherwise, and the hole just seemed so unnecessary. It was large enough that an entire squirrel could have easily crawled right in there. And part of me felt like I should alert him to his giant pants hole, but then the other part of me so certain that he MUST know. So I abstained.
4. I’m writing this entry from a Starbucks. I am not complaining about this. Just pointing it out.
5. My skin is SO dry. I don’t know how this magically happens but the second it gets below 40 degrees outside my body is magically sapped of any moisture it once had, I feel sad and itchy and wrung out like a sponge.
If you see me today, be nice to me.
A house where you feel welcome.
Listening to somebody’s mother speak, biting your tongue when she repeats stories you’ve heard before so as not to interrupt the magic, lilting, monologue.
Rooms decorated with texture, clutter dancing all around the corners.
Clinking of glassware.
Homogenized happy voices congealing into an orchestrated cacophony, wafting from down the hall.
Driving to a destination worn into your memory the way the tide shapes the shore.
The waves of your steering wheel lapping over them, again and again and again.
Leaving a worn path in your wake that you can travel without a single thought put toward the task.
The familiar buzz of your cellphone, the conversations you carry with the hearts spread apart from you, and with the hearts you long to draw into your own.
A hug from the man who made you, cracking all your back bones as you exhale, righting and rearranging it all in one gesture.
Your Aunt standing at your kitchen sink. Washing and scrubbing and rinsing, waving away any gratitude like flies at a picnic. Smiling like her fingers aren’t pruning. Smiling like her shoulders don’t hurt. Smiling because she’s happy to do it.
The moments you realize
I need to freeze this.
I need to frame this.
I am here and I am above here.
Soaking it all in like a sponge.
So. I cooked a Thanksgiving Dinner. And it didn’t suck! And nobody got food poisoning! And everybody got along! Let me show you via photos, shall I?
Fact: Vacuum cleaners are silly expensive.
Problem: You are broke.
Other Problem: You are not broke enough that you don’t have floors. On the contrary you have floors, and they need to be cleaned periodically.
The Compounding Problem: You and your roommate embark upon a project, securing feather boas to hats. This includes cutting up the feather boas. On the one rug covered floor in your apartment.
The Compounding Problem’s Problem: Your family is coming over for Thanksgiving and no amount of rolling around in anguish on the rug will pick up the damn feathers. The Swiffer recoils from your feverish feather pick up attempts as well.
Desperate times will bring desperate measures: