Some days you just have a mood, you know? Like anxiety, or restlessness…anger. Some days you have a black heart, and some days it’s grey, and some days you go to the grocery store and buy milk and toilet paper, everything white and clean.
Last night I was yelled at by a cab driver. He said my card was denied, that there was no money, and called me a liar, when I said I was certain that it was just a mistake. He refused to run it again, said that running a different card would waste even more of his time than I’d already wasted, yelled at me “What are you do?! Why you call a taxi if you have no money?!”
I stayed calm, repeating “What do you want me to do.” He screamed at me, threatened to call the police.
“Belligerent,” I believe, is the word.
Finally he ran another card, which of course worked. I slammed the door on my way out, and he rolled down his window to say “Attitude! You do not need to have an attitude.”
I staggered to the porch, fell into a plastic chair, and sobbed. What else could I do? How can people be so irrational, so needlessly cruel and harsh?
(Some days I am still little sarah, and it is a Big, Bad world).
But then…then there was my Stephanie P. friend, who rushed over, with hugs. Kind words and the promise of a brighter tomorrow. She had never seen me cry before, but I am not embarrased, and anyways, that’s what friends are for.
Today I made salad with bean sprouts, bloomed simply and magically in Sister Natalie’s kitchen. I like sprouts. I like eating a salad for lunch, and the way the sunlight comes in through my kitchen window. I love the little gifts and tokens of affection that my loved ones give to me, something green, and new. Like a bit of hope.
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A child said, What is the grass? fetching it to me with full hands; How could I answer the child?. . . .I do not know what it is any more than he. I guess it must be the flag of my disposition, out of hopeful green stuff woven. Or I guess it is the handkerchief of the Lord, A scented gift and remembrancer designedly dropped, Bearing the owner's name someway in the corners, that we may see and remark, and say Whose? Or I guess the grass is itself a child. . . .the produced babe of the vegetation. Or I guess it is a uniform hieroglyphic, And it means, Sprouting alike in broad zones and narrow zones, Growing among black folks as among white, Kanuck, Tuckahoe, Congressman, Cuff, I give them the same, I receive them the same. And now it seems to me the beautiful uncut hair of graves. --Walt Whitman, Song of Myself
My Mary and Emily friends recently started a blog called (5) Five Things, wherein one or the other of them writes about 5 things that happened to her on a particular day. I dig it. I like the idea of a specific theme, and consistent collaboration. I like how you get to see little peeks of their relationship through subtle cross-references.
It’s inspired me to write a little Five Things of my own, to see what a simple list will reveal. Interestingly, Emily said that littlesarahBigWorld was one of her sources of blog-speration. One good turn deserves another, Em. Hope you approve.
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This is What Loneliness Looks Like – 5 Things for Sunday, October 2nd, 2011
1) Where is my mind?
I splattered my face with hot wax today. Unintentionally, but still. I was trying to blow out a candle that I’d accidentally left burning while I went for a long run, turning its opaque, taupe-colored wax into thick, translucent brown liquid, like maple syrup. The flame wouldn’t go out easily, and without thinking I blew as hard as I could.
2) Where is my mac?
That wasn’t the first thing, though. The first thing was that I woke up, ate a cookie that I’d told myself last night I would NOT EAT FOR BREAKFAST, then watched an hour and a half of Weeds, while eating cereal and drinking tea, trying to pump myself up to write a blog post. But when the time came, I just felt shitty and worthless from so much TV and extremely pissed off that I lent Kevin my Mac to take to Spain and there is no iPhoto (no iAnything, really) on his PC. Plus the big desktop screen encourages TV watching.
3) Where is my man?
Tried to skype Kevin, but he wasn’t around, so instead I sent him a series of increasingly hysterical SMS texts. I may have told him that I hated him. Okay, fucking hated him. For abandoning me.
4) Waaay out, on the water, see them swimming?
We did skype, eventually. Twice. The first time I sobbed and averted my swollen eyes, saying things like “I just want everything to be in one place, I just want all my things together in one place!” And, “That Sarah doesn’t exist anymore, there’s no point in having accomplishments for a person who doesn’t exist anymore.”
Then I took a nap, woke up anxious, ate some peanut M & Ms out of a chicken feeder that I had promised myself I would NOT EAT AND WOULD SAVE FOR GUESTS…before trying again. This time we made silly, scrunched-up rodent faces and I said things like “You have to be more fun! I can’t be the fun one all the time! I can’t always be the one that makes it fun to go to the grocery store–you have to be fun at the grocery store, too!”
Dinner at Moms’. I taught Rosie to play War and read her bedtime stories. One was about the life and death of a tree named Steve, as told in a letter from a father to his children, passing through various stages of their growing family in relation to Steve, the tree. And on one page was a picture of the whole family, the children playing under the tree, and the parents “looking on” (as they say), arms around each other. I had to fight back the tears and read with a throat closing tight, because I miss Kevin. Because I want us to be a family.
An unproductive talk with Mom, and I cried most of the ride home. Almost got hit by a car, even though I had my flashy lights going on my bike. And now I’m home, in bed, alone. With pen and paper for company.
I lost toutes mes affaires yesterday. My school book and workbook. All of the beautiful notes that I’ve been meticulously copying and re-writing (the subjunctive, en and y, future anterior, etc.). All of my writing assignments, marked and corrected. All the little texts we’ve read in class. Everything. Tout.
And friends, I was disheartened, to say the least. I went out to preview the sales (les soldes, which start tomorrow) and at some point realized that I still had my purse, and my jacket, and my lunch sack, but not my binder with all my school stuff. I went back to all of the shops where I’d stopped–Carrefour, the patisserie, H&M–but they’d seen rien. Nothing.
And then of course I had a class starting RIGHT THEN, to which I was late, and without anything to write on save my pocket notebook, and on the verge of tears, thinking “What’s the point? Why even bother taking notes now, when they’ll be so horribly incomplete?” And thinking, “Why does this happen to me–why do I always have to be the fuck-up, and do things out of order, and make a big mess of everything?” And feeling guilty, since I lost invaluable intellectual property while out oggling material goods.
But I didn’t cry, friends. Almost, but no. I went home, took a short nap, went out for a run. Ate dinner with the family. I mean, it could be so much worse (I consoled myself). I still have my passport, my wallet. My camera. I had been wondering whether or not to take all that school stuff back with me, anyways, if it would be even worth it. So that’s a decision that’s been made for me.
It’s easy, I think, to be happy when things are going well. Easier to have a sunny outlook when the sun is shining. And this was a definite threat to my happiness, my stability, even my worldview (I’m moody and dramatic, what can I say?). But it didn’t get the best of me. I got over it, like I knew I would. And that, friends, is a new thing for me–knowing that the worst will pass.
And later: Café des Langues.
Drinking cider and speaking French. And Spanish. And English.
Letting it go. Enjoying myself.
At some point you have to stop caring.
My jeans have crusted-on brownish-orange patches, on the upper-left thigh, but not so thick. A little translucent, and this will not be resolved so soon.
Yesterday I spilled breastmilk–not my own–onto the sleeve of my gray hoodie and had no choice but to walk around, every hour a bit more sour-smelling, until 9:30, when I arrived home.
I had walked all day in the cold, expecting the moment when I’d reach home and be able to drown myself in a hot, hot bath.
But Mom was running her own bath, and what can I do? It’s her house.
And, anyways, I have no “home.” Don’t you remember, Sarah?
The amazing thing about walking…is that if you just keep putting one foot in front of the other, eventually you’ll get where you’re going.
I guess really that’s just the thing about walking–what it is, how it works. Its essence.
But when you’re drunk and angry with a long way to go, it seems pretty incredible.
Dreamed early this morning that I tried talking to bring up what we were going to do about _____ at band practice, and I made my points, just like I’ve rehearsed, but to no avail. I got angrier and angrier, until I blew–quit the band and ran, just like that (real) day walking home with Kevin, the feeling of my legs growing more and more tired, heavy, but not wanting to stop.
In the dream, I was running past the palace and cathedral on the west side of Madrid, people everywhere, a sunny winter’s day. My friends chased after me, and when I fell to the ground, my face on the grass, exhausted, Chi brought his head down near mine and whispered kind words, kissing me gently.
I woke up confused.