Tag Archives: loneliness

Packing Up the Lonely Place

21 Sep

The blue jays are having a debate outside my window. Scattered in trees all across the courtyard so each of them has to shout at the other. Mirror image screeches from different branches volley back and forth. Tennis match. Badminton. Volleyball. Scream scream screech scream.
My apartment smells like cardboard boxes. I wish I could have slow drip coffee instead of espresso. I wish I could lie here and someone would bring it to me.

This Place is Bugged

8 May

bugShaking out a crumpled black silk linen sweater that was half-committed to a laundry pile, I felt a piece of lint or substantial fuzz land upon the top of my foot. Looking down I saw nothing, but definitely felt the presence of a small morsel of weight, maybe a few grams, so I used my other foot to persuade the object to leave me and join the other bits of fuzz on my carpet.

But then there was an argument, and removed object scurried back toward foot. And  object was identified as insect! And scream was emitted from deepest diaphragm through throat and mouth.

A secondary whinnying whine emanated as I bent to contemplate the shape of a crawly thing unlike anything I’d ever seen. Some sort of prehistoric relic, pale white, probably because it usually lives in the dark, wriggling in an apparent negotiation with my kinder, more benevolent self. No, sir, no, sorry, you are strange and have a much larger head than your pointy remainder of posterior, and you seem to be articulated and shelled, but you are not here. You are not to be here!

“What are you, anyway? You’re some terrifying creature! Get me out of Texas!”

Poor thing, if it had an auditory nerve, it was traumatized. And, sure, it was convenient to blame Texas for its insect life when in fact that sweater has been crumpled since I returned from New York some time ago. Clearly it’s this partially adopted homeland that is the source of all multi-legged trauma. An escape from here means… roaches… like the one that enjoyed spending time on the shower wall while I was in New York. Or worse, like the giant one that was in my living room two weeks ago, which my dear neighbor and bold friend had to destroy on my behalf after I squealed in her direction via text message.

Uncrumpled sweater now on my person, I walked out the front door, past a newly discovered wasp nest, and wondered at my new status as crazy bug lady. I’ll have to contact maintenance about the wasp nest, of course. It will be my fourth insect-related complaint to the main office of my apartment complex. Because I am a hopeless and helpless female, alone in this world, and I absolutely refuse to contend with flying things that sting.

Alone in this world. Not really. Because my dear friend did leap to my rescue when I just sent one or two syllables her way. And there was the time the girl from the front desk of the apartment complex actually came upstairs with a clutch of paper towels to remove a wasp from my living room. To prove that I am not a parasite myself, I brought her some chocolate sea salt cookies as a thank you later that afternoon.

I did manage to remove another wasp one afternoon, via a dishtowel which I tossed onto the patio and left there on the concrete until the winged devil could leave by his own volition.

Just what is the message that I need to receive here? I’m strong enough to contend with creatures that for all intents and purposes are “more scared of you than you are of them”? Should I be proud that I no longer cower in fear and wait for my boyfriend to come deal with a spider that I’ve trapped under a glass under my desk? Is this a good thing? Or further proof that I really am gonna have to handle everything from here on out?

I guess I’ll contact maintenance in the morning. They may deem me inadequate in pest control, but they didn’t see the dinosaur bug that once haunted the sweater I am now wearing. That’s a battle won by me, and me alone.

Seasonal Shift

24 Sep

Success in love breeds chocolate consumption in others. Or so it seems in my small apartment. Today I learned about friends at opposite ends of the planet suddenly tumbling into love. So happy, so wonderfully happy. And I’m fine, I’m really, really fine. I see couples grocery shopping together and I still cringe, so clearly, I am not ready to be anybody’s anyone just yet. But still, there must be some part of my conscious that’s craving a little more sweetness, a little more savoring of cocoa on the palate. Because I never eat sugar and now I am like a Belgian wolf or something. Something wild and vaguely rabid that’s used to a vast supply of chocolate within close proximity.

Tonight after my wine tasting class, I bought wine, chocolate, and flowers for myself along with salad greens and my usual collection of meager sustenance provisions. I also bought those damn marcona almonds, which the deli boy and I decided were dangerous. He’d just slapped my parcel of peppered organic turkey on the counter and asked, “Anything else?” to my turned head.

I wound back around, “No, no, just those damn almonds behind me.”

“They’re truly addictive — that’s why I don’t even buy them.”

I locked eyes with him and held my Belgian wolf gaze, clucking my tongue like I never done did in dry old Salt Lake City. “I’m going for it,” nodding my head ‘no’ like I was powerless against almond forces. “Aiiyyyyy’m going for it.”

Passion. For food. Look, I am not overweight, and I’ve lost weight since I moved to Texas (hey, single, new in town with only a few friends, no restaurant meals — lose weight!). But let me tell you a secret. I love taste. Not wild tastes, not molecular gastronomy tastes, but just good tastes. Noticeable tastes. Savory tastes. Tastes that make you stop and pay attention. Even if it’s macaroni and cheese, I want it to declare itself so with pride.

In my wine class tonight, I promised myself I’ll one day get the palate and the olfactory senses required to discern baking spices and specific fruits “with a bit of dust on them”. But first I just want to learn how to define what it is that I like about wine. I’m tired of describing wines in vague terms to shop clerks and restaurant servers. I want to have just a few key phrases about what I like.

This evening as we made our way through a flight of whites and reds, the pretty girl sitting next to me reciprocated my attempts to befriend her by asking me if I had a favorite so far. Just the first one, I said, and even though I worried that it was only because it was the first one, I knew that I really liked it. “I should like the one we just had, too, because I usually like complexity. I say I like complexity because I think I want people to like that about me, too.”

She laughed.

The class went on and the last wine (which isn’t always a big ol’ finale or anything, it’s not like the teacher tries to sell the big, expensive wine at the end, he’s a nice guy) was my absolute favorite. And as we learned more about it, I dreaded the truth which was ultimately revealed. Yes, it was very expensive. Everything I like, everything I like in life, is expensive. Because I like complexity, I like distillation, I like things to be refined, and beautiful, and perfect.

Don’t worry, a new friend gave me a self-help book about how complex taste in partners can indicate a reluctance to commit. I’m on the case. But I’m keeping my food preferences, dammit.

Once I was safely home with my savory snacks, I confessed to a friend via text message that I’ve advanced to some sort of phase where I consume excessive amounts of chocolate. It’s not hormonal, I told her. “It’s just… well, I guess I’m just single.”

She countered with a glorious human universal. She too, she who has an infant and a doting partner who never lets her feel single, was craving chocolate that very moment. “It’s the seasonal shift,” she said.

Ohhhhh! It’s not me! It’s not loneliness banging down the walls of my carefully protected new self concept. It’s the cooling of summer’s heels. What a relief it is to realize I am not alone, I am just a part of the human race.

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