emma b. says

Sunday, April 20, 2008

Portland, month six and change

I notice that I don't sit at the head of my table. I sit to the right of the head, which is where I sat as a girl at my parent's table, the table I am writing at. It's the one piece of furniture that I really wanted from my parent's house, even though they have long sat at another table, this one - from my father's days at Sears, is special. I am grateful to have it.

I have given several dinner parties where I sit at the head of the table, and I do admit to feeling partially willfull about taking the head. This is my house, and it is my rightful place, and yet, I feel like I am usurper, though I am undeniably pleased when I take that place and serve from my kitchen.

Somehow, in my every day life, I cede the head of the table to the absent honorary, I prefer to work with my back to the picture window, facing the kitchen. I am easily distracted by the goings-on out the window and the swift changes in the weather this late-ish, early-ish in Spring. I don't mind the slow unfurling of the leaves on the japanese maple, but I am anxious over the unameable bulbs that are slow to do whatever they are impelled to do, I fret over the length of the grass.

Six months or half a year, six to one or a half dozen the other way. It's still an undeniable slice of time. I keep thinking of my tennis partner who told me that within six months of moving from Philadelphia to San Francisco he'd met his partner, and now they have three awesome dogs and live in Marin. Those words, I think I'd held as some sort of mantra, as if it would be that sudden, as if I were that type. I spent the weekend talking to my sister-in-law's dog. I have hardly spoken to anyone else. Pleasantries with my neighbors. The coffee jocks at Stumptown. The Korean lady at my brother's bodega.

Don't get me wrong, it's not a bad thing. And I haven't been lonely, in that I haven't yearned for more (ahem, lack of sex - apparently what I need is a mute houseboy (the skate rat has the flu of death)) and maybe it's a function of being alone for a long time, that these periods of intense solitude are something I cherish, I believe I won't have them forever, but that might be the romantic in me piping up.

I have been sharing the kitchen sink with a spider. She's (Charlotte, always Charlotte) been there for several days. I am careful not to rinse her down with the rest of the refuse. I have become a dutiful recycler. I figure so long as she mind's her business and I mind mine, there is no reason why we can't share the sink.

So, Portland.

A week ago the weather gave us a sweet taste of summer. I went to the market and bought roses, the same roses that are wilting (why can't I find what I wan't to listen to) on my parent's dining room table. I went driving.

A week ago I was out, everybody was out. Reading my book on a blanket in my back yard, human and leafy thing alike, stretching out, reaching tendrils, furtive and pale white, there underneath the sun, sunglasses at seven thirty, skirts. That first breathtaking taste of night without a coat. Just a taste as it turns out. Given the hail, given the dismal skies and the thunder on the horrizon.

A week later, I am a shut in. Runs between storms. Suited up in heels for interviews. Talks up a storm, comes home for naps. Zealously guarding dwindling funds. Two weeks without work, idle time truly is the devil's time. Trips to the DMV, yes, I failed the test and can't seem to locate the title of my car. This whole project is fueled by the seemingly endless fumes of hope that my motor is propelled forward on, color me fucking purplexed. Seriously. I am hanging on by a pinky to those lovely vapor trails cast by airplanes, and yet I cannot help but be convinced of the stupid rightness of it all.

Shit works out, it just does.


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