Sunday, March 15, 2015

The Tag

There is a moment in my life I can recall more clearly than most others. Moreover, I remember how I felt, though I couldn’t really explain it well. It was an overwhelming feeling—not a premonition really, but one of knowing. It remains difficult to qualify.

I was living in Boston, and on the T, on the green C line train between Coolidge Corner and Washington Square. I was riding alone. It was a Saturday. In winter. I was wearing a black and white hound’s tooth swing coat with a black Peter Pan collar (I loved that coat). (I even remember my pants and shoes, though I don’t miss them as much as I do the coat.) I was having a great day. As we were pulling away from the Summit Avenue stop, all of the sudden I had a really strong feeling that I was supposed to be there at that very moment. Just then I happened to look over at an elderly couple seated across from me, and saw the older gentleman reach behind his wife to tuck in the tag of her jacket. That’s what old married couples do, I thought. They keep each other company and tuck in each other’s tags. I hope to have that one day. I felt like I was witnessing something very lovely and sweet and yet so intimate that I had to look away. When I did, I still had that knowing feeling.

When I reminisce about Boston I often think of that moment, that Saturday on the T when I felt I was living in the right place at the right time, I had the life I should. The couple was always a detail to me, like the hound’s tooth coat, the C line, the winter day. Until the other night.

I was out with a friend I’ve known casually for a few years. We met when I was l with someone else so we have kept it friendly, although there has always been chemistry between us. Lately I've been allowing myself to feel the stronger spark. We were talking and laughing—and flirting I suppose—when he reached over and pulled a dangling blonde hair off the shoulder of my sweater.

“Hold on. There you go," he said, as he dropped it to the ground.

“Oh, thank you,” I replied.

When I looked up, I saw someone look away.

Tuesday, March 10, 2015

Pass the... Journal?

I go in and out of writing phases. Years and years ago (decades in fact--yikes!) my friend Tamara and I, both prolific journal keepers who became close during graduate school but ended up on separate coasts afterward, would share and exchange journals. At first we kept one journal that one of us would write in and hold on to for a couple of weeks or months, and then we would set a date and make the pass. I can't remember whose brilliant idea it was, but it was brilliant, wasn't it? A bound collection of letters, long after the age of pen pals--and lower phone bills as a bonus? (As I mentioned, it was decades ago, before cell phones and long distance calls plans.) Eventually we decided to have two so that we could each be in possession of one; we'd write for a while and then we'd pick a date to mail and switch. Within our journal-writing years there were also times we decided we needed to live a little more, to get out of our heads and not write so much about it. Tam would put down her blue Waterman, I my black Mont Blanc, and we'd step away from our journals.

I mention this because lately I've been trying to figure out why I haven't been writing.

At all.

It's not that I don't enjoy writing anymore. When I am on the busy end of a sentence--be it a fictional one I am crafting, or intended to be a funny one in an email to a colleague or friend, or one of Amy's that she asked me to take a second look at--I am happy. I am in my element. And it's not that I'm so busy living I haven't spent any time unwinding and relaxing (Zynga is the Devil). But I am definitely distracted. And in transition. I'm getting ready to change the "about me" information at the bottom of my blog from "forty-something" to "fifty." I'm also getting ready to change careers, which I feel I need to be somewhat secretive about until I do. Sad, but true, I don't trust my administration. I don't trust that people who should be supportive of me and my personal growth would f**k me over instead, and force an earlier exit. And I know for sure I don't want this to be a place where all I do is complain about my (mostly) sh*tty job.

So while I'm in transition, I may only randomly and occasionally post. Meanwhile I just may have to get those old journals out of storage and take them with me out to the Pacific Northwest on my summer adventure so Tam and I can hang out on her deck and read them. Maybe Jen will join us.

I wonder how much we've changed.

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