I hope my voice didn’t go up as high as I think it did when I said his name.
He turned around, put down his briefcase and smiled at me.
“Hey!” we both exclaimed.
I put one knee into the chair in front of me, leaned in and embraced him. It was a dream to touch him, even for those brief moments. My face was buried in his right shoulder. I could smell the cologne on his neck.
We pulled away and I asked him, “How was your trip?”
"It was… incredible." he said, dreamily. He still had his passport with him.
Since then, he’s been in shock. I generally don’t hug men unless they are very old or I consider them family. It’s this “thing” I have about it. Last Tuesday was the first time I’ve touched him.
Yesterday and today were the first two days we’ve actually talked since.
Today, I wore my new glasses for the first time from an online store called Warby Parker.
I sauntered up to him.
"Hey." He looked at me for a minute and then said a bit quietly, "I like your glasses. They’re cool. Are those new?"
"Yep. These are the trial pair. I’m buying the real ones next week."
"Well, I like them. I like the style, I mean."
We talked about our families for a while before we parted ways.
I’m not sure what’s going on with him. Since he’s come back, he’s been awkward, but earnest. I haven’t pushed him. How can I? I’m still getting used to him being in town. Iris told me yesterday, “Oh God, he’s doing that weird ‘I’m-attracted-to-you-but-I-don’t-know-what-to-do’ again. Do you want me to talk to him?”
Honestly, no. I kind of like it. I find his awkwardness endearing. Sal is 6’1, muscular and movie-star handsome. You would expect boorish or arrogant behavior, but he has none of that in him. I rather enjoy his restlessness with me; it makes me feel less awkward. It reminds me he’s just as human as I am, and helps to temper how enamored I am of him.
Lack of motivation. A talent is irrelevant if a person is not motivated to use it. Motivation may be external (for example, social approval) or internal (satisfaction from a job well-done, for instance). External sources tend to be transient, while internal sources tend to produce more…
Last night, I had an existential crisis (as you may have seen in my last entry) and couldn’t sleep at all. I had ended up scrubbing the kitchen floor on my hands and knees last night, constantly asking myself, “Who am I? What am I doing with my life?” It was about three in the morning.
Am I better now that I’ve had some sleep and had a productive day? Somewhat. But the question still lingers in the back of my mind. I’m taking this week and I’m gonna answer it.
The desire for renewal is gnawing at me. I feel like I’m stuck in the same place, with the same dreams, and with the same people. I have had a life that is extraordinary in all of the wrong ways.
People in my age group are travelling, volunteering, studying abroad and finding mates. Why has my life been spent dreaming instead of doing? I feel like I’m like adrift in a sea of my own dreams. I feel so inexperienced, so naïve, so ignorant and so out of touch with my peers.
I’ve been exercising like mad lately to deal with my current mental anguish. For every mile I run, a piece of my angst peels off, and I come home feeling reborn. I wish I could get involved in something so much better than what I’ve got going on right now.
I woke up yesterday and got on the horn with Brianna about work.
"I intended to be at your place about 9, but I have to wait for my mother to come home. Kids are unsupervised otherwise."
"Not sure. But I will see you soon."
She sighed, exasperated. “Okay. See you.”
I managed to slip away from home about 9:45, so I wasn’t completely behind schedule. I knocked on her door. "It’s Di!" "Come in!"
I found her dancing with one of her games. I tried it for a moment, but my inhibitions held me back. I admire her lack of them; it allows her to do anything she wants. Me, on the other hand, my courage waxes and wanes as often as the moon.
She and I did calisthenics together though. It was good to have a partner to stretch with, and someone to cheer me on. Most of my workouts, like so much of the rest of my life, are solitary.
She and I watched a basketball game while drafting order forms. I read the news this morning .I must have looked distressed, because Brianna asked me three or four times if I were all right.
"Yeah." I lied. "I’m fine." In reality, I was not. I woke up to the news of the current catastrophe in Japan, and it struck me hard. It made think about the self-centered tang of modern life; everybody thinks that their own life is so wrought with problems. As I watched that tsunami sweep houses, cars, trees and people completely off the face of this Earth this morning, it put all of my miniscule problems into perspective.
After all of this, we talked business, went out to lunch and arrived at a vast restaurant supply store.
This places was massive and carried every foodstuff you could imagine. There were chef jackets, ladels, high chairs, pizza boxes, gigantic pots and pans and an array of any other kitchen tool you could think of. It was heaven. After hemming and hawing in amazement, we left, dazzled.
I left Brianna’s house about 6 to go see a movie at the film theater downtown. The movie was about a man who suffered a beating so severe, it damaged his brain. Once his government-funded therapy ran out, he started building a model town and playing with dolls. He found dolls that reminded him of people he knew in real life, and found his therapy through art. The film was moving, and funny, and sad, and beautifully human. I was glad that I went, but something hit me as I took my seat in the sumptuous theater:
Everybody else was coupled up. Old, young, gay and straight, there were couples everywhere. I could hear them shift in their seats, whisper to each other, brush hair out of their partners’ eyes. The couple who were sitting behind me were new; I could tell from the lame jokes the man (who had a sexy voice) was telling the lady (very, very slim with brown hair) and the giddy way she laughed at them. I left immediately after the credits rolled.
I drove back uptown and went to Ferndale—a town full of indie boys, artists and gays—and went to a place that served Creole food. Everyone here was coupled up too. I shyly took a seat at a table near the bar.
The waitress—with dark brown hair, a slim build and numberous tattoos—came with the menu.
"Are you waiting for someone?" "No, I’m by myself." "Don’t sound so sad about it!"
But I felt completely out of place. Usually, travelling alone doesn’t bother me, but tonight it did. I have lots of acquaintances, but very few close friends. When Brianna is busy, I struggle with whom to call to join me at the bar. There was a hockey game playing, but sports is all Greek to me. I hurried to finish my meal and left after chatting briefly with the waittress.
I walked around until I found an open mic night. A young man was playing the acoustic guitar to a nearly empty house. I listened to him play three or four songs, and then stood up.
"Hey guitar guy. What’s your name?"
"My name’s Nick. What’s your name?"
"Diane. I enjoyed your rendition of Elvis. And you have a sexy speaking voice. You should go with that."
"I’ve got to go now, but not because you suck or anything. I’ve just gotta leave."
He laughed. “Okay. Well, it was nice meeting you. See you around!”
He was just my type— musical, tall, deep voice, wiry but muscular. He had blondish-brown hair. I almost asked for his number, but thought better of it. I always falter in the middle of these things. I walked back to my car and came home. My mom was the only one still awake. We watched the newscast together until I fell asleep on my dad’s side of the bed.
On the way home, I was thinking about how alone in the world I felt. Ahead of me, I saw a car I immediately recognized. It was The Blond! His Jeep has something wrong with it, because I could hear the engine knocking. I sped up so we were driving side-by-side (no easy feat, because he speeds) and waved. He smiled and waved back.
The Blond and I run into each other often because we live on the same corrider; his house is less than four miles from mine. I found myself wishing that wherever he went last night, we had went together. He shows up at moments like this— when I feel an ache for a relationship. I’m still debating about whether it’s just coincidence or if the Almighty is trying to tell me something.
I just woke up from a very sad dream. Sal Paradise and I were sitting in a crowd of people and I had mustered up the courage to ask him out, properly this time. He had thought about it and said, “I’ll get back to you. I’m debating between you and one other girl.” The other girl was a skinny blonde with a wide smile. He ended up going out with her instead of me. It was crushing, and was only made worse because they ended up at a bar I was working at.
I woke up, morose. I looked at the clock. It was 3 in the morning. It’s about 5 am now, and I doubt I’m going to drop back off to sleep again.
People celebrate single life a lot. They try to get to it if they’re teenagers; they try to get back to it when they’re middle-aged. I say it’s overrated. At the end of the day, I’m coming home to my parents and my siblings. Even if they’re asleep, that’s still better than coming home to an empty house… just.
Sept 11th (NY) Jan 11th (Haiti) and March 11th (Japan). - Luke 21:10-11 Then jesus said to his disciples: "Nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. There will be great earthquakes', famines and pestilences in various places, and fearful events and great signs from heaven. 'Jesus says for behold I come quickly,' [so ask yourself are you ready?]
I have been working out like mad—almost every day. It helps alleviate stress, restless and boredom.
I haven’t worked in 3 weeks. The temp agency hasn’t found anything lasting for me yet. I’m thinking of quitting while the getting’s still good. I’ve had almost a year at sitting behind a desk all day, and I can’t understand people who sign up for 40 years of this.
Brianna and I have started a catering business. Over the last 2 weeks, we’ve spent every day alternating between our two homes and working out business plans. We were spending a lot of time together before, but that’s nothing compared to now. It’s wonderful, but I’m sure our other friends feel a bit crowded out.
This month without Sal Paradise (this is the alias for The Italian from now on) has been both blindingly fast and agonizingly slow. His father got very ill, so I called and sent a card signed in Italian. His mother— a lovely little Sicilian lady with blond hair— hugged me twice and told me I was “sweet” in that thick, melodious voice of hers. He comes back Tuesday. I can’t wait.
For whatever resason, my father’s insurance no longer covers me, and I had to pay for my eye exam this morning out of pocket. Moving to Canada doesn’t seem like a bad idea right now, even with all of the snow.
one of these days the sky’s gonna break and everything will escape and i’ll know one of these days the mountains are gonna fall into the sea and they’ll know that you and i were made for this i was made to taste your kiss we were made to never fall away
Tonight, when I configured my email to open in Outlook, my inbox filled with email correspondence from 6 years ago. The newsletters, personal letters, old diary entries and spam are all unfamiliar to me now— a snapshot of the landscape of a troubled past. The names of the people I was writing to are all unfamiliar as well.
Tonight, while re-reading some of that email, I saw how self-centered, angry and depressed I used to be. It’s little wonder that the few people that I still know from that time period seldom talk to me now.
I don’t think about that period of my life often (12-to-17 years of age). Other people speak fondly of an active, happy adolescence. I have no idea what they are talking about. Adolescence, for me, was stormy and difficult— full of arguments, emotional turmoil, hospitals, my parents’ poverty and infatuations that literally crushed me. I don’t have 5 pictures of myself from that period, nor did I save any of my work. I pretend like adolescence didn’t happen to me because it’s too embarrassing, especially when I see what I used to care about in the cold, harsh light that comes with maturity.
He told me last Tuesday that he was going away on what is now tonight.
I imagine he’s flying over Texas now, anxiety gnawing at his insides. His sexy, blue-eyed friend is sitting next to him, reassuring him in that “we-are-buddies-but-not-too-intimate” way that straight men talk to each other. I bet that he ordered the window seat and he’s staring out at the clouds right now, earbud in one ear and thoughts elsewhere.
Or maybe he’s feeling ecstatic, and feels like I do—that being at home a bit too long is, well, frankly, suffocating, and sometimes the wild blue yonder offers some fresh air.
Either way, I’ve spent all of my evening trying to imagine his tomorrow—of travel hangover, of homesickness, of culture shock, but mostly (and this is what I love about him most) his wide, hazel eyes taking in the alien scene with wonder and exhilaration. I wish it were me in his place, or that I were there with him.
Instead, I am stuck here in Detroit, sitting in my underwear at my parents’ dining room table listening to The Cure.
Maybe I’ll go away too. I’ve talked of Portland, but Brianna gave me a brilliant idea: going somewhere where you can see not just the stars, but as she put it, “the heavens.”
"It’ll relax you, inspire you, open up your mind, take your mind off of his absence."
After all of the longing and suffering I’ve had all day about him, maybe some cosmic daydreaming is not a bad idea.