Sunday, December 14, 2008

From now on for a while

You're going to have to assume that some of what I write is fiction. I had a convo with a fellow Tweeter, and she said, I like seeing what music you're listening to. (I often tweet the lyrics if I'm listening to Pandora whilst cataloging. It keeps me sane.) I said, I started doing it b/c of Pistachio (another Tweeter) who often tweets lyrics, phrases from books, one word. I said it's useful because sometimes it's the lyric of a song I'm listening to right then and sometimes it's a way to say something indirectly. That's not fair! she cried at me. Oh, but it is. I am a creator of stories, and sometimes my stories actually happened, and sometimes they are very real but very made up.

I offer you a story about a party, and a girl. The names have been changed to protect the innocent.

Sarah Louise wasn't sure she wanted to go. She had been to this party twice before (it was a yearly event.) Once she went with a man she was dating, and once she drove a man home, someone she was severely crushing on. He waited around to ask her if she'd give him a ride. She saw this as hopeful. She has since given up on this man, because he could remind her of that Lee Ann Womack song, "I'm always your last call." Thankfully, he disappeared, about three years ago.

Another man, who looked just like him, showed up last August. He knew her friend Emily who had moved to Queens. This man could have been that man's twin. He'd been around a couple of times, always said hello, polite and all. But Sarah Louise wasn't sure. She'd been hurt before, and she'd read "He's just not that into you." She'd HATED reading it, not so sure that it allowed for shy men. But this twin, who happened to be at the party Sarah Louise didn't want to go to, tipped his hat and that was it. Clearly he had no problems talking to women, as he stood there talking to the woman with the bob cut for hours.

Sarah Louise flounced onto the couch where Kathy was waiting. (Sarah Louise was also waiting, she had to use the john, which was occupied. They were about to go visit some other houses in the party circuit.) "He's soooo not that into me!" And with Kathy's response, "Move on, etc." Sarah Louise realized who Kathy was. Kathy is Miranda. Lawyers are logical. It is not logical to hold feelings for someone who clearly snubs you. But Sarah Louise is a storyteller, a Carrie, and she goes back for more, until the story is completely run out. (Which by the way, often ends badly.) Sarah Louise is no fool. She knows this.

Someone got engaged yesterday. Grin. It added to the party atmosphere, all those pregnant ladies, one foster baby, and a shiny new ring with proud fiancé.

We all have our own stories. In playwriting class in college, Sarah Louise learned that each character has their motive. And in a good play, their motive will be visible in every move they make, every word that comes out of their mouth.

So...what motivates a Carrie is different from what motivates a Miranda. No one is going to say, yes, Sarah Louise, jump after a sinking ship, fawn over the man who stands around talking to another woman. But a Carrie might say, watch it. As in, keep up the detective work, until it runs out.

And other people would say, that is SICK. Your brain is making connections because you see the story you want to see, so pieces fit in, everything fits the pattern because you've set the pattern.

And Sarah Louise doesn't know what to do. Except to take one step, the next step, and the next one.

I have accepted fear as a part of life--specifically the fear of change. I have gone ahead despite the pounding in the heart that says: turn back. --Erica Jong.

When I grow tired of my students, as I always do--
staring at their faces till my sockets burn,
I remember one girl told me
how she followed a boyfriend home--
found him in tears--
He rocked on the bed
screamed at her to Get away
So she turned off his light
and closed the door,
and sat on his floor till morning.

When I think of this girl speaking
in her gentle voice with its rough edges
I think how teaching is like crouching sleepless
in a darkened room refusing to get up
knowing nothing will come of this,
--or only a story, maybe.

(Anon., found in Small Victories, by Samuel G. Freedman.)

This part is true: Yesterday, Max and I were both set to leave the house at 8:30. We both work every Saturday. When I was looking for my earrings and heard the front door slam at 8:28, I thought, meanly, "show off." I soon was out there, scraping my car. We exchanged a hi and a bye. As soon as he sped off, I decided I was done scraping too, and I sped off. It was maddening, he was taking MY route. He is a much better, more responsible driver than I, so we went the speed limit going past the cemetery. At the top of the hill, we got the red light. And since he was the car in front of me, well, what else could I do but look? I could see his ear. The ear that I loved, over a year ago. I guess I never understood that part about "I will always love you a little." But I understood it yesterday, looking at his ear in his side mirror. And it is wonderful to have loved that ear, and to know that he is not my guy anymore.

After he turned off and it was just me and the road, I ran a couple reds. Partially because I was running late, but I'm sure there was an unspoken emotion in there too.

Hmmm. I thought I had more, but they are all amorphous thoughts that refuse to put themselves into words. This will probably be the last post where I talk about Max as a former beau. I think he is now relegated to that guy I dated once that lives on the first floor.

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