“We’re all fucked up because in English the phrase ‘to make someone happy’ suggests that’s possible.” Rachel Zucker, The Pedestrians
“Our need for security versus our need for adventure, surprise. I think of it more as a paradox to manage than a problem to solve.” Ester Perel, TED talk
“Don’t touch me! Don’t question me! Don’t speak to me! Stay with me!” Samuel Beckett, Waiting for Godot
I wander off from the spectacle to browse the pile of clothing in the clothes swap. The song wafting out from the meadow where the aerial rigging sways buoys my interest. The blonde girl-child deftly hoisting herself up the rope in time to the music. . . “Blue lips, blue veins, blue, the color of our planet from far, far away.” I stop in my tracks like a bird watcher off the beaten path, rewarded with a stolen glimpse of magnificence. Later, I spy the teen hanging back near the fence and summon up the courage to ask her her song. “Blue lips, by Regina Spektor”, she says, beguiling.
Fast forward. Rigging is coming down though the sun is still up. The girl-child’s mother appears and tells me that I know her child, though she has grown up out of my sight and transformed into the radiant being present today. I was brave in leaping across the divide to converse with what I thought was a stranger. It’s a testament of the power of music to dissolve boundaries, and compel us to approach a deity who ends up being a member of our tribe. “Blue, the most human, color….”
Seven things to know about me (you probably know most of them already):
1. I come home after my day and have to, how do I put it, stitch myself back together?
2. When in the throes of #1 I am not usually amenable to company
3. I sometimes feel envious of others’ successes, not taking into consideration the incredible effort and sacrifices made
4. I resemble someone who has been deprived of life’s luxuries, so I act quickly to amend the situation
5. It sometimes feels like writing this list is the thing I anticipate the most, like Sisyphus and his rock
6. The only way to truly shift the whole damn thing once and for all would be to move somewhere like Iceland or Australia
7. Even then, it would probably catch up with me eventually, I mean, once the novelty wore off
A difference. You rarely drink alone, whereas I always drink alone. A similarity. We both feel destined for something transcendent.
Her friend’s disappearance was not yet a matter of concern. Even as the shortening days announced the changing season. She had the car after all, that her friend had lent her, optimistically assuring her it would run for her thru summer. And now that that maxim had proved correct, the lended-to-friend was finding odd items in the trunk and crevices of the car that proved useful in various contingencies, and non-emergencies. An umbrella for shade at baseball games, for instance. A bungee. A canteen. A gospel CD. And the secret, silent ingenuity of these items reminded her of her friend and her continued disappearance.
This morning, at my desk, it is just a shade chilly, so that a light sweater is fetched. The silver keypad emits a crispness that rubs off onto my fingertips. A teacup nearby is a receptacle for brown liquid which slurped readily warms the throat and gullet. But outside on the porch, it is blazingly hot, inviting one to relax and bask in the sun’s rays, like a dazed vacationer.
My sister is getting married. My family is the last to arrive; it almost feels like our arrival is an afterthought. She is walking down the aisle and we are baulking at taking our seats so she has to break character and bark at us, sit down! I sit in a pew next to my cousin whom I feel an infinite affinity with. My dad rushes out into a field and climbs a tree to fetch an apple. Then he starts gasping and falling off a limb. My sister runs over to him wearing blue jeans which shocks me. Someone accessing the main breaker is warned: Watch out – it’s live!
Estragon: We always find something, eh, Didi, to give us the impression we exist? Vladimir: Yes, yes, we’re magicians. Waiting for Godot, Samuel Beckett
I am a tourist in a big city. I assume its Manhattan since that’s my sole association with a big city. My husband and I are estranged, then we come together. He lets me put my weight on him. We are walking in a mode in which I don’t touch the ground, heavenly! I ask him if it’s okay, him bearing my weight like this, and he says yes. It feels like a return to childhood. Then, a bit later, there is a baby. Perfect and new. It isn’t my baby, but it’s close enough to feel like mine. My mother-in-law is there. She asks, what’s going on? by which I know she’s asking about our marital status but I talk about the baby, how fun it is to walk around the city with a baby. I know I’ve sidestepped her question but I can’t help it. The baby is everyone’s focus naturally.
“Missing me one place search another. . . I stop somewhere waiting for you.”