Yesterday, friends and I went to the lake where we're not supposed to swim, hiked around the edge to the cliffs where we're not supposed to jump off, swam around, floated on our noodles. More new students arrive every day. I had a long lakeside conversation with one of the new folks about why Spring Breakers is so good and The Bling Ring is not, and I was proud of myself for being so articulate. Then I thought, This person is meeting me and I am a fourth-year, and this is the impression I am putting forth. Should I be more couth? Should I pretend that I don't watch trashy TV, that I am not the person at the party who eats all the chips? Should I only speak in verse? Should I not talk about my cat? Obviously, I should always talk about my cat, but also, it's sinking in a little more every day that this is it. Some day, I'm going to remember the days that are happening right now. When B and I were in Kansas City, we spent an evening watching old home movies and looking at old pictures, mostly of his birthdays and Christmases. The clothes/technology looked old to me, as they usually do in old home movies. Then B's brother came over the next day with his very new and tiny child, and as we were taking pictures and making funny faces (okay, that one was mostly me) I started thinking that these exact moments were the kind of thing this tiny human would look at photos of, twenty years later. The clothes I was wearing would look old, and the iPhones so outdated. When I see photos of myself as a kid, I feel so detached from that time, that body, that whole sense of a person. This is just it. Which is such a complex emotion I really can't portray it.
Boyfriend and I are back from a speed-tasting trip to Kansas City, MO, where we ate barbecue and drank incredible cocktails. While driving, we did a vertical tasting of Kanye albums. Twice, we had the best ice cream I've ever had. We hunted down fancy cocktail ingredients so we could make them at home. We ate the world's best fried chicken in Memphis, TN. We (okay: me) internally-heart-scampered through the contemporary wing at the Nelson-Atkins Museum. We drank crazy good coffee. We drove through Arkansas. We had a 10-course meal at this restaurant. We ate foie gras with pickled cherries. We sat in the Cauldron for a Sporting Kansas City match. I drove so much a piece of my car fell off yesterday. In all this driving and eating and drinking, I think I picked up a book once. I'm telling myself it's still only midway through July! and I have time to settle back into reading and writing. When I finally checked my email after the last long drive back to Alabama, I found out that my book is not getting published by an awesome publisher due to time and $, but they loved it and want to put part of it in their online journal. So, okay. It always stinks to get another no, but also, this was a wonderful email because this person out there in the world read my book and enjoyed it. Someday, other people will do the same thing. So in the meantime I'll sit on the couch with the cat and my laptop and a homemade Martinez and my new Cindy Sherman The Complete Untitled Film Stills and words that scatter and shrink.
After the race, there was a crawfish boil, and then boyfriend and I ate lunch and Dippin Dots and I got an new orchid. I beat my old 5K time by about 3 minutes, and I think I could have been running faster. Sprinted to the finish and boyfriend took a really unsharable picture of me looking like I was going to vomit. I think these magic new shoes are working.
Another one of my ridiculously talented friends has something ridiculously amazing going on: [youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=bn1t-9L64gk]
Not only does she have a sweet radio voice, she's the kind of person who makes strangers spill their guts. She writes carefully and wholeheartedly, and her photos are just beautiful (sometimes, there isn't any way to say it other than beautiful). If you, like me, want to be involved with interesting, beautiful, careful, wholehearted things, you can follow her progress on her Tumblr, or donate through Kickstarter. I don't go around endorsing things I don't believe in, so hi: I think you should know about this.
It's my second 5K ever, and I got these new shoes, and I'm making a playlist. If I beat my first 5K time, I'll be happy. I'm just proud of myself for being able to run at all, since I spent much of my life begging out of mile runs in gym, joining the field team instead of the track team in high school, getting winded and asthmatic after 5 minutes of jogging. These shoes are SO MUCH BRIGHTER in person. When the sun hits them, they're so bright I can't even look at them.
I'm starting my new job, emailing and organizing and asking questions. Putting labels on every kind of email. Starting to see a shape for the year to come, the arc from event to event. Tomorrow, I'll start cleaning up my physical space, too, throwing things out to make this move easier. Somehow all I've managed to do so far is acquire new things (couch, end tables, shoe rack). There are only 3 weeks left in my airy pink house, so the least I could do is keep them clean.
My house apparently has a wasp problem, in addition to the ladybugs. I much prefer the ladybugs. Every day, I find another wasp or two in my kitchen, hovering around the overhead light. This is pretty uncool because I am a big fan of my kitchen, seeing as how it contains my food. I don't have a fear of bees or wasps, but it's pretty hard not to be afraid when they're living in your house, and they keep throwing themselves against the ceiling because they don't understand ceilings, and they fly from door to window to door to window trying to find an escape route and I just want to eat dinner.
Rain, almost every day. I never have to water the garden anymore. It needs weeding, and most of the tomato plants have died. I'm trying desperately to save the basil. Either the submissions in my queue are really excellent right now, or I'm just in some kind of forgiving mood. Feels like every other submission is getting slushed (this is a good thing).
After all my homesickness, I am back in the Garden State. Missing cat and boyfriend and garden and friends, sad about the Tuscaloosa and Aurora shootings, glad to be sitting at the kitchen table where I grew up. Predictably, I arrived home to an empty house, but still. Home. A safe place in a country where everywhere else is starting to feel unsafe. I went to a Jewish day school during the Second Intifada, heard every day about who killed who, how many buses blew up in Jerusalem, how many people, how many children, blame in every direction, and these past couple of days feel almost like the same kind of flurry. Tomorrow is my mother's 60th birthday party. She didn't put her name on either of the cakes, because she can't eat them. Typical.