Tuesday, August 31, 2010

now our lives are changing fast

Hm. It occurs to me that perhaps it is a bit misleading to go over a month without a post, and then to let out a little unhappy post. It is certainly not the whole story.

LS pointed out in the comments that she thought I was silent because I was happy. Well, yes and no. Truth be told, I was just picking myself up off the floor every night for the past month. Work-wise, the hours were long and I was mostly fighting off exhaustion for the better part of the month. And there was another truth I had to face- San Francisco is not where I live anymore.

I stayed there, for a month, to do a rotation. That much is true. And it is also true that on certain grey mornings, when I was feeling a little unsettled, I would take a turn around the broseph's neighborhood, and a familiar sense of calm would come over me. No other city has this hold on me, that is a fact. But it's not home anymore. It's not mine.

Which is okay. I went to San Francisco for a month to find answers, and instead, I discovered a multitude of questions. You figure out what you want, and then you get it, but then there is always the next thing, the next decision, the next point, and the whole process begins again, of trying to sort it all out. And application season is upon me now, a time that is fraught with uncertainty anyhow.

Throw on top of that a previously amazingly drama-free XY that suddenly became the dude who did not eat my coffee cake (!?!). I hesitate to write that it was all a hiccup, a big misunderstanding that resolved itself. For while that is, in one sense, true, that's the surface. There are aftershocks. I am on unsteady footing.

But I know with great certainty where the solid ground is. I know how to get there. I know how to be alone. It's my area of expertise. The interesting thing is that I am choosing to be a little wobbly. I am choosing to see this through, even if the easier option is to eliminate the complication. I am walking a tightrope; my self-possession has flared and I am taking care of myself, but I am not giving into it so entirely that I am sequestering myself from the dude who did not eat my coffee cake (this title really may stick).

It's a challenge, to say the least. This is not my natural state. I'm at my most thermodynamically stable when it's just me, a ball of yarn, a bag of flour. No complications. No alarms, no surprises. But I'm forcing myself out of my comfort zone a little. For a little while.

Sunday, August 29, 2010

could have done better, but I don't mind

I was chopping up a bell pepper and he moved a chair into the kitchen, because the conversation couldn’t wait. I had seen it coming, but strangely, couldn’t simply sit and talk to him. Instead, I swirled some eggs and milk together, added salt and pepper, and put a skillet on the stove. As I dabbed a little butter on it, I said, “Do you mind if I cook while we talk?”

It wasn’t so strange, in retrospect. No one can hurt me in the kitchen. It’s my domain. When I am there, I am indestructible, and I knew this, as the butter melted on the pan. I’ve never scrambled eggs properly before, but today, as we delved through miscommunications and misunderstandings, the eggs turned out perfectly. I threw some mozzarella and the chopped peppers into the skillet as he sat there, flustered.

He noted that I didn’t seem as upset as he did, as I popped a hulled strawberry into my mouth. I was upset, as a matter of fact, but being upset is different from being hurt. It’s hard to explain, hard to believe that something as simple as a warm coffee cake cooling on the wire rack is enough to give one the sense of invincibility. I don’t pretend to understand it.

But no wonder he didn’t eat a bite. And yet, if the kitchen is my turf, if I am omnipotent there, then something else is also true- if you don’t eat my coffee cake, oh, well then we are most certainly through.