IN THE STREET ONE DAY I SAW YOU AMONG THE CROWD;
It’s like the brief moments our paths crossed are being rotoscoped in my head:
I am walking with Dia. I have on a blue and white polka dot dress and my hair is more tame than usual. She is wearing a green dress and a beige bag, and sandals. The day is hot and the sun is going down. In a crowd of thousands, he suddenly appears before me, waiting in line to order a hot dog with sauerkraut on it.
"No, no, no, no, no, oh my God." My inner dialogue comes out.
Please Lord, not here, not now, not twice in one agonizing August.
But it was true. There he was— tight red t-shirt,face still freckled from vacation, hair silvering just behind his ears. Dia strode right up to him, and I cursed at her in Spanish.
”I hate you right now.” ,I murmured sweetly in Spanish.
"I don’t speak that gibberish."
"I know. I’ll tell you what I said in the car. "
"HEY!" he said, enthusiastically, as he turned around. "It’s good to see you!" A smile flashed up on his face, like a solar flare. I trembled inside.
I cannot remember our exact words, but I remember how our body language was. He was completely surprised to see us, especially Dia. They literally haven’t seen each other in years.
I remember drinking in every minute detail as we talked— his eyes,the joy lines that are forming grooves on his forehead , the rounded tip of his nose, the freckles dusting his cheeks and the back of his neck, the way his arms strained against that Coke-label-red shirt….
And I also remember the nervous tics he had as I stood next to him. I looked him in the eye and he looked down at his shoes. We departed, him more hastily than I.
"He wasn’t happy to see me." I lamented to her later.
"Oh, he was just surprised, Di. I’m sure he just wasn’t prepared, like you weren’t prepared three weeks ago."
I wish I had the courage to just have asked him if he and his friends ( for he was there with people from his Hall) wanted to join us for dinner. I realized later that would have been a terrible idea, for I spent my last just getting in the door.
Still, I looked for him in the crowd again and again, but I couldn’t find him. We were at Mayer Hawthorne’s latest concert here in Michigan. He must have been closer to the stage. I danced to the music and took Dia home promptly after. It was the prudent thing to do, for we had to sneak back in to the festival.
They wanted to see my ID and I couldn’t produce it because I left my wallet in the car.
I was put into a daze that I’m only just now emerging from, four days later.
Twice in one month, by complete coincidence?
I nearly didn’t go over there to say ‘hello’. If Dia wasn’t there, I would not have. I would have turned around on my heel and pretended I didn’t see him. Not because I don’t want to see him…. but because I do, so desperately.
I am an adult, but he is the only man that I have ever met that makes me tremble like a teenage girl.
@1 year ago with 1 note
#personal #adulthood struggles #singleness #opposite sex #friends #Michigan #Arts Beats and Eats #Mayer Hawthorne #love #emotions
I got my car back yesterday, finally.
It still needs a wheel alignment and that makes it noisy at highway speeds, but overall, I am very happy to have it back.
I’m running the department this week since my coworker’s still on vacation. How do I feel about it? It kind of sucks, but it’s about the same amount of “way more busy than I anticipated when taking this job” that I have with her there. The phone has stopped ringing off the hook in the middle of the night, too, so that has helped.
Speaking of “in the middle of the night”, I received a call from Dante at 12:30 in the morning. I remember waking up, chucking the phone at the wall, and going back to sleep.
I am up very early right now, contemplating a quick workout and some Bible reading. Hopefully today will be a good day.
Plans for the next few weeks:
@1 year ago
#personal #work #adulthood #singleness #opposite sex
- preaching with family and friends
- practising soccer, skateboarding, dance and pilates
- finding the right apartment for the right price
- setting up internet income
- Mayer Hawthorne at Arts, Beats and Eats
- practising Spanish, Hindi, Maths, physics, piano, guitar
- losing 25 pounds
- buying new clothes
Yesterday was very odd.
After two nights of almost no sleep, I slept away Wednesday morning. I woke up with a start in the middle of the afternoon with a runny nose and a headache. I took a quick shower, ate a light breakfast and left the house after finding the internet wasn’t working properly.
I went to Barnes and Noble to get work done, but I found I still couldn’t focus on anything. After an hour of Facebook and fidgeting, I bought a large tea and tried to make plans for the night. Not one of my single friends were free today, and hanging out with married people… well, it’s more complicated. With married people, I hardly ever like both halves of a couple. I either like the wife or the husband. Hanging out with someone else’s husband is not appropriate. Hanging out with a wife usually ends up with her telling me about having to ask her husband. I understand why other single people don’t bother with it.
By three o’clock, I knew that this would be another night where I’d be drinking alone.
As I walking back to my car, a man in a souped-up sedan stopped his car and rolled down his window.
"Excuse me, ma’am."
"Yes?" The tone of his voice made me think he was going to ask me for directions. Instead, he offered me this sweet appeal:
"If I gave you my number, would you call me, please?" He said this with a soft voice and with soft eyes. He had olive skin, a shaved head and a nice smile. "I saw you walking a couple of blocks away." , he added bashfully.
"Oh, you are so sweet!" I said to him. Suddenly I found myself on the verge of tears. "But…but I can’t. I’m sorry."
"It’s okay, ma’am." he said, a bit taken aback by the sadness in my voice. "Have a good day."
I felt sad because he accosted me while I was thinking about how shy and awkward I felt with men. It reminded me of a conversation Abigail and I had before I had left the office.
"I’ve got it." she said suddenly, while we were taking a break.
"Why you feel so shy with men, even that Sal guy that you told me about."
"Well, what you do think?"
"You don’t think you’re beautiful, do you?"
I was a bit struck by this. I don’t discuss it, but that’s basically how I feel. I don’t think I’m hideous…just unremarkable. I never discuss how I look at my appearance through a disaffected lens, but apparently every one else can see it too.
"Well, no, not really." I said this in a passive voice that infuriated me. I paused, trying to collect myself. "I try not to focus on what I look like. I try to look at the person I am within, and whether or not I’m proud of that.” I felt a sense of disgust with how trite the words sounded. Abigail didn’t seem to be buying it either.
I decided to drive around. I didn’t have any destination in mind. I just wanted to get some more air, and perhaps leave my sadness behind on the road.
After driving around Belle Isle and enjoying all of the greenery, I saw an old house with three signs that said “ROOMS FOR RENT”. They were not the kind of plastic signs one gets from the hardware store, either. They were handmade and seemed to be a permanent fixture of the house. One of the signs were fixed to the tree in the yard. I felt intruiged.
The owner of the tumbling mansion was a brown-skinned welterweight with about a month’s stubble, a runny nose and a permanent limp. A lit cigarette dangled out of his mouth. He opened the door and had me take a seat in the cluttered living room.
"I’ve been here 27 years." he said, his voice scratchy from Newports and age. "I rent month-to-month.I’ve got four vacancies. I’ll charge you 325 for the room."
"Can I see the room?"
"Yes. Follow me." He shuffled up the narrow stairs. He noticed that I was watching him limp. "I had hip surgery a short while ago."
"I’m sorry to hear that."
The house is just like many of the houses in the West Village— sprawling, worn-out, sagging with age, but beautiful in its tumbling squalor. Both upstairs bathrooms were missing plaster in the ceiling but were bright with sunshine. The hallway was dark,and the kitchen in the middle of it was bare.
"That sink don’t work. Eventually I’ll fix it." he murmured. "Here’s the room."
He opened the bright red door. Behind it was an airy bedroom with worn furniture— a loveseat, a chaise, a twin-size bed, a dressor. The floor was wooden and had not been sanded in many moons. The bed still had the previous tenant’s linens. There was a steam heat furnance in the left hand corner. The closet was large and cobwebby, with built in dressors, a shelf and a bare light bulb. All the room needed a was a typewriter and an ashtray, and it was a Bohemian’s dream. I’ve already imagined myself there.
"When are you looking to move?" he asked.
Yesterday, I thought to myself. “Within the next six weeks. I’m just looking around right now. Who else lives here, besides you?”
"Three women and an old man downstairs."
"Can I have your phone number?"
He wrote down his name, address and telephone number in warbling but neat handwriting.
"Do you require a deposit?"
"No deposit. Rent’s due on the 1st."
"I’ll call you soon." I promised.
I love that monastic little room in that shopworn house. The only thing that would get me is the secondhand smoke. It seems like the perfect little place to hide out and write a novel until my train comes in.
I drove around a bit more and was accosted by a man looking for bus fare to get back home while in line at White Castle.
"I live in Clarkston." he explained. "My granddad’s in the hospital down here with cancer. I came to see him."
"I can take you to Clarkston." I said, matter-of-factly. The lady running the drive-through seemed aghast. "Don’t do that." she whispered to me. He seemed reluctant to get into my car. I showed him my ID and told him that I am a gypsy cab driver (I am) but that I’d take him for free. I had him show me his papers so I knew he wasn’t a serial killer.
"I live north of here anyway. I’d hate to see you stranded." I was at the New Center-Highland Park border. It’s extremely tough down there.
He didn’t get in, but ended up taking the stash of pennies I had.
"Be careful out here." he said, surprised at my willingness to take in a hitchhiker. But crazier things have happened to me than taking in hitch hikers. I’ve tasted homelessness, lack of transportation and have hitchhiked in this wild town myself. I’ve lived in cheap motels, tumbling houses, with mice and roaches and biting flies. I’ve slept in cars. Poverty and trouble and risk is what I do. This is how I live. I carry an axe underneath my driver’s seat.
I’m not afraid of anything anymore.
I bought a bottle of wine and a shot of jagermeister on the way in. Iris bought pizza when I came home. So that’s how I spent the night—pizza, jager and punk rock music. The other guests at the party were missing, but that’s how it is
@1 year ago
#Brand New #Drive Like Jehu #Gary Clark Jr. #adulthood struggles #forever alone #hobos #men #music #personal #rooms #singleness #the move: part two #work #jager
sometimes a lot of the time. This time last week I thought I was going to be on the road with my bosses on my way down to Atlanta. Instead I drank and now I am waiting for tomorrow. I hope that tomorrow is less solitary.
estoy lista para seguir adelante
1. I’ve been working on a lot of projects lately. These include learning Hindi, cosmology, running, difficult pilates moves, life insurance, psychology, nutrition, sustainable living and being more open with people. This has made it easier to not think about him.
2. It’s been almost two months since I last saw Sal Paradise face-to-face. He’s been updating his Facebook page a lot this month, and so I’ve seen a lot of him in the virtual world. It’s not quite soccer season yet, so our paths have yet to cross again. I’ve been just fine with that. His mum and grandma moved away from my Hall and serve with his older brother now. I miss seeing and talking to them, but I do not miss feeling the shadow of Sal in the room whenever I’m at the meeting. This month is the first month in a long time (if ever) I feel settled in my heart about singleness. Although I’m still open to a relationship, this is the first time in my life I do not mind not being in one.
3. I’ve got four or five trips scheduled within in the next three months. There’s the trip I’m supposed to take with my bosses to Atlanta late April. In May, they may take Abigail and I down to North Carolina with them as well. I’d like to visit Chicago and Toronto via Amtrak before the summer is over. Brianna and I are supposed to drive to New York for three or four days in May. And, if the “I sell insurance” thing goes super well, I want to take a cross-country roadtrip that circles both coasts. I have not a scrap of ennui or angst left. The spaces inside usually reserved for these things are filled up with anticipation instead.
4. Exercising has been my joy. I go lift weights 5 days a week, and I will start running every day as well. I want to be ready for a marathon that takes place here in October. I do a lot of pilates now, and I’m still dancing (I cannot bear not one more night on the elliptical). Diet has been hit-or-miss, but it’s still getting better. I’ve been sleeping enough for the first time in ages. I feel great.
5. I’ve been enjoying spending my days off out in field service with the friends too. We’re inviting people to commerate Jesus’ death with us 5 April, so I’ve been out preaching more often. Tonight the meeting was about time-management and learning how to “make sure of the more important things” (Philippians 1:10) in our lives. Considering how packed my days and nights are, I needed that talk so desperately. Tonight they announced also that they’re forming a new Mandarin Chinese congregation, and they’d like volunteers to learn the language. I might do it, if I don’t end up at Spanish first. I find spring rejuvenating spiritually. We contemplate what Jesus’ death meant for mankind, go out and meet people who are also thinking about Jesus, and realign ourselves spiritually for the year. As you can see, I’ve got a very full plate. Why? Because I’m learning the fine balancing act of “moving on”.
@1 year ago
#personal #adulthood struggles #singleness #work #travel #projects #God #ministry #Jehovah #Jesus