There was a point, five days before Christmas, where I was lying on a mat on my living room floor. I was trying to do pilates, but tears kept rolling into my ears, and nothing the relentlessly cheerful video instructor was saying was anything I wanted to do. “I don’t wanna,” I moaned over and over, in between wretched sobs. “I don’t wannaaaahhh.”
Since January, in preparation for the move, we've been going through our stuff and donating or tossing the items we no longer want or need. "You know what would be fun?" I thought. "It would be fun to keep track of what we're getting rid of!"
Black Friday was anything but; we drowned in sunshine and shirtsleeves as we unwound tightly coiled backcountry lanes miles and miles from the nearest box store. Light dappling through old oaks took on a disco strobe effect as we flew under their canopies. I leaned out the window and let the wind tease strays from my carefully clipped back hair.
The beau just described our relationship as "friends with benefits, plus commitment," and I was like yeah, that's pretty spot-on.
It got me thinking, though. I occasionally wonder sometimes if we're missing something. That thing where people can't get enough of each other; go crazy over each other. I know that happens in real life. It does. I've seen it. It's never happened to me, though. The most I've ever experienced is a mild crush. Is that because I simply never met the "right" person for me?
I haven't been writing very much over the past few months, and STOPWAITNOCOMEBACK I'm not here to apologize for it. No. What I'm doing here is just thinking aloud. Er, typing silently. It's silent for you, at least. Because I can certainly hear the clickity clack of the keyboard. Punctuated by the beau's farts.
Hey, you. You there. I know you sense that I've written here about sports, and I know that you don't really care. I can already see your eyes glazing over, your jaw going slack. I can already see a thread of drool slowly unspooling from the corner of your mouth. You might want to wipe that thing, actually, before it reaches your... uh... too late. By the way, is that a new shirt? Damn. That's a really nice color on you.
Lately I've been forcing myself outside at night, no matter how much more work I have left to do. I grab my iPod and jam my feet into my shoes and I'm out the door. Reluctantly, yes, but the point is: I'm out.
So the other evening I was out there wandering around, gazing intently at the trees or the sidewalk in order to avoid making eye contact with people.1 I was thinking about absolutely nothing. It's during these moments of compulsory inactivity, of course, that your brain silently goes to work unraveling the threads of your life's fabric. And so suddenly I was hit with a realization: I'm not working towards anything right now.
Right now, I have no goals or dreams.
Visiting my family in Michigan always leaves me feeling a little bit like I’ve slipped the fragile bounds of reality and wound up in an alternate universe entirely.
For instance, one day while I was there I found myself tussling with logs. Like, the wood kind of logs. That come from trees. I don't know about you, but here in California, I never have any kind of interaction with trees that strays outside the boundaries of looking at them. Sure, we have regular old normal trees in the Golden State, which will certainly come as a surprise to those who think California is one giant tropical beach caressed gently by the shade of palm fronds and overrun by the supertanned gay Hollywood liberal Jewish media elite. And if a tree were to fall down here, where I live, well, I would simply wait for the proper authorities to come and haul it away.
But in Michigan, when a tree gets sad and falls down? Well, ma'am, the proper authority is you. You can't just leave it there splayed across your folks' property, you have to go around helping your dad pick up all the branches and twigs that broke off and then sawing up the tree into logs and stacking them. To use as firewood, or something. Or possibly contests involving brute strength. Or maybe you can set up a lawn chair nearby and just hang out. Have a drink. Hi, logs. Hi. What's going on with you? Feelin' a bit sappy lately, eh?
Ha ha! Ha! Ahh.