My afternoon meal today was a straight-up callback-to-smellementary-school (remember the first time you smelled BO in 3rd or 4th grade? I do. How about farts? No? Nothing? I don’t mean your own!) cafeteria lunch. The entree was slimy noodles, liquified tomato paste, and faux-ground round, and you had to peel back plastic and nuke sufficiently to get to it. I feel proud and slightly self-conscious, but mostly proud. I ate it by myself in an empty room without looking up…just like old times!
An all-ages treat!
photo courtesy of Flickr and foundphotoslj
I realized this inconclusive characteristic about myself today. Whenever someone makes eye contact with me in a hallway coming the other way, I routinely grin but I try to hold the smile and then fade it slowly (on my own time because I’m considerate) after we’ve passed each other.
Otherwise you get the compulsory flash-smile that suddenly shifts into the default grimace-frown, which reeks of fake boobiness (people being fake boobies, not real fake breasts. On second thought, real fake breasts sounds weird but you know what I mean). Also holding the smile makes you feel weirdly better about yourself and your honorable intentions with the world that day.
I also realized I immediately look at the ground after making eye contact with people as if to reacquaint myself with my position in the world. The way peasants would look down in the presence of royalty! I’m a real toegazer. And I don’t even paint my toenails so it’s not for aesthetic reasons. My toes are functional but they’re not supermodels.
I’m going to try to look up instead from now on…at the sky! And wink at some stars or clouds. For your information, we have some inside jokes, the sky and I. I think the ground and I have even more though, but here’s to deepening friendships with inanimate objects. In my new attempts at social climbing, the sky will be the limit (literally)! I’m afraid people might think I’m rolling my eyes though. Ah well, one must make sacrifices for self-esteem!
My sister is here for one night AND one night only (on loan from the other side of the world)! She has a long list of demands, and requires me to play the part of the earnest chauffeur all around and around we go. Hopefully, on the way, there will be some catch-up time. Between Barnes & Borders and Java the Hut, perhaps we can squeeze in a few cheek kisses and head pats. Best Buy is so unromantic for familial reunions. Oh, you need another plastic seat cover? Let me wrap it up in my current life journeys.
This is pure delight (there are seven other parts to watch if you need more):
And forgive me because I might not say it everyday but love you and miss you, Alice.
I think I’m figuring out the importance of connections. I think the reason I miss Alice so much is not because we were so very very close, but because she was one of those people who made you happy just knowing that she was out there in the world. The little messages I got from her bespoke a connection and impact far deeper than even she might have realized. She represented so much good and contentment for me, and it’s hard to even acknowledge that that little light is no longer burning.
(Why doesn’t she get to do all the things the rest of us get to do? Even down to the miniscule effort of tying a shoe?)
But going to Massachusetts this past weekend showed me how much she meant to so many people, and in a way, it was truly comforting and peaceful. Because in that way, I learned how parts of Alice are still very much alive.
It’s strange how just one little conversation with another human being can be enough sometimes to convince you that everything will be ok. And not even someone you know particularly well. I conversed with the IT guy today who came to replace Ol’ Faithful (he actually called the compo that, which begs the question…does he read my inane story-rambles?! As Cathy would say, Ack!!! Maybe we just operate on similar wavelengths. Ladyfingers crossed) and I asked him about his weekend. And it was really swell to listen to hear him talk about it. It was genuinely so nice because he went ahead and told me all about it. It made me happy.
I need to do that more often.
In silly news, I saw a man in full pajamas at a rest stop yesterday driving the I-95 north-to-south corridor, and I realized he must be doing something right. We all could learn from him!
Behold the stylish cut and everyday comfort of los pijamas! This is not actually the Pajama Man, for the record.
photo courtesy of Flickr and kballard
I have made a nice little corner for Alice in my head. There’s a big floppy soft couch there, where she can hang out and relax. There are also some snacks, books, and games, in case she needs some extra entertainment, in addition to all the hijinks that happen here on a regular basis. And she is also free to leave to explore nearby forests and mountains if she so chooses. I’m glad for the company though. It makes me happy.
Music also helps (a bit much, but I needed to do it. Alice is shaking her head and smiling at me.):
I went to Alice’s memorial service at her aunt’s house over the weekend. All the stories shared and people that I met, especially her family, made me realize Alice was surrounded by so much love and warmth, and no wonder she was so generous with it herself. And that is something.
Also, because Alice didn’t like me because I was a sad lump all the time…
Here is my U.S.-based (thirtysomething-year-old) male cousin’s verbatim email review (apropos of nothing btw) of my Sig Otro (that is to say, the oh-novio):
“One more thing, I like your Boy Friend. He is cute, active and gets along with others very well. Please do convey my hellos to him (couldn’t quite get his name when he introduced himself to me).”
As Nadia aptly put it, “It’s like how you might describe a hamster
that you’re trying to give away.”
I love indian people sentiments translated into English.