Monday, August 20, 2012

Today slipped away from me. I'm not sure why. I take that back. I know why.

I woke up with the sun and even took a picture to prove those melon and blueberry soaked strokes that bled juicy streaks on cottony white clouds were real. The slipping happened still — probably, somewhere between oohing, ahhing, accidentally falling asleep again and waking up a couple of hours later. 

When I don't rise early everything slows down. Everything goes one or two or three hours later than it should. Which is fine, sometimes. Maybe on a Sunday? It's not fine when there's writing to do. So much writing to do. And when things get pushed back, my mind bottle-necks. Everything that's supposed to happen clogs in the world's narrowest vessel that exists somewhere between my eyeballs and the back of my brain. I get grouchy. I'm annoyed for no good reason and find countless ways to place guilt on anyone who brushes past. Luckily, T doesn't take that kind of shit.

Today I woke up and the sun rose. I blinked and the sun set. I went what felt like a million places (okay, realistically: the grocery store, a second grocery store and over to West London). I walked eight miles! I watched B finish a tiny yellow scarf for Osey the Monkey. I read. I took notes. I read some more. But nothing happened that was supposed to happen. 

Nothing, except, well, dinner.

The interview didn't get transcribed. The article didn't get written. The blog post is still simmering (not successfully), and I continued to put off calling the Federal Loan office. But someone who normally has no requests for dinner asked for a tart. And that, I'm pleased to report, got made. With pleasure.

The beginnings of a savory balsamic fig tart, with homemade pesto, goats cheese, asparagus and (not pictured) — parma ham + red onions

Everyone lately has been mentioning the passing of time. 

"How quickly this year's gone by." 

"August is nearly over!"

"I'm 23, for God's sakes," said my friend M. "What the hell am I doing?"

Hopefully, I hope, having fun. 

23 feels like ages ago and it's less than two years from me. Everything is speeding up. Except the things I'd like to have happen. My hair is speckled with gray now. It's not a bad thing. At 25, it's an ironically glamorous thing.  I now know what my aunts and uncles feel like when they see their younger neices and nephews at only Christmases. "Did you get taller?" They joke. Saying that feels better than feeling older. I'm beginning to realize what my dad says when he reminds me to enjoy this time.

How does it go so quickly? When did I start to notice? 

On days like today, when I resent a need for rest over work, for rest over words, I can't help but get dramatic. The sun rises and sets with and without me. 

Everything about today slipped away. Except the figs. And the goats cheese. And the pesto. And the pastry. Thank goodness, at least, for that.

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

"Have you ever had your makeup done? At first I didn't like her hands on my eyes. The brushes tickled. But I got used to it."

I couldn't see her. My back was towards her, but I could tell by the sound of her voice that she was tan and got pedicures. I could smell her from where I sat. She smelled good. Like shea butter lotion and coconut hair product. She was the type who said "fabulous" like fabulous. I pretended to read my book. Her friend made the obligatory sounds of someone who was pretending to care.

"And look," she said.

I imagined she was pointing to a picture on her iPhone. Or some device.

"The way the eye shadow reacts to light changes the color of your eyes. For the first time in my life, mine were blue."

"Unbelievable," said her friend. Mockingly?

I listened out for the empty, dramatic pause.

There it was.

"I know," said Fabulous. "Right?"

Nothing Fabulous and her friend spoke about was of particular interest. There was no reason to take offense. Except the fact that I was here, at this cafe, under this fig tree first. Reading my book in silence. Then they sat down to smoke and chat about Bobbi Brown makeovers.

I am no one to badmouth Bobbi Brown and her makeovers. I know firsthand the wonders she works. Her longwear gel eyeliner changed my life. Well, not really, but since buying my first jar years ago, my eye makeup has never looked better, even post-sleep. But this didn't detract from the fact that Fabulous & Co. were cramping on my afternoon.

Really, the events under the fig tree were a matter of volume and nothing more. I've met women like Fabulous. I haven't just heard them while I pretend to read Didion. They want to be heard. They want to be heard talking about eye makeup. I'm still trying to figure out why.