25 November 2004

Sneezle Weasel

That would be me. I woke up like clockwork at 6:42, waiting for my cell phone alarm to go off....which of course it did, though it shouldn't have, since I'm home and theoretically turned it off yesterday. Or not. But it's funny, how quickly my body adjusts to the idea of this as waking time. So now it's eight and I'm better than halfway into my mug of tea (tea! what a blissful thing! who thought of tea?) and kicking around the internet while blowing my runny little sinus-infested nose. If the weather would stop changing, or if I didn't have three cats and a houseful of fur that I'm packing into boxes and swirling around, this might not be so much of a problem.

I confess I still have what could aptly be described as "a shitload" of papers to grade from the midterm. But right now I'm still in overdrive mode. Mostly drive. I'm living up at Robin's during the week (how weird is that? ) so I don't have to commute hell and away from New Jersey. These first three days it was a backpack full of clothes and my journal, but Robin suggested bringing the futon and taking over his camera room. I was -- humbled. Floored, to say the least, though on reflection I shouldn't have been. Robin has always had an endless well of compassion coupled with an unerring ability to do the logical thing. The funny thing: my boyfriend is completely okay with this. It's not ideal, but you do what needs to be done. And my wiping out on 287 at six in the morning is, frankly, not what needs to be done. What needs to be done is a massive amount of painting in Eva's house (for me! for us! for my boyfriend and me.....and she even asked me what colours I liked, which was sweet and kind and thoughtful as I am remembering people know how to be....it constantly amazes me, the kindness of people) and then the migration continues, ever northward. I'm already fifteen boxes of books into it.

I should probably be making piecrust. But that can wait another few minutes.

Another interesting development is the very likelihood that I will soon be the owner of my first new car. Not dad's, my own. Even as recently as last month, I didn't think that would ever happen. On the other hand, why spend $5000 of dad's money (to be repaid, obviously) on something that will fall apart in three years, wherein my boyfriend and I will have to do this all over again, and who knows where we'll be then? It might be better, but it might be a hell of a lot worse. And a thousand dollars a year on gas--I didn't even know I spent that much, let alone that I would save that much with this hybrid.

And above all, it's cute. It's a Honda, and even though it's that strange new shade of opalescent light Honda blue, I really like it. It suits me. I felt at home. And, okay, when I went out to pat it on the flank and say goodbye, I got a surge from it--not a battery surge, or a static electricity suge......one of those surges. An "I want to be yours" surge. A surge that said to me that this car feels the same way I do.

I'm just afraid of the commitment, of falling over on my nose and taking someone else with me this time; once again having to ask my father to bail me out because he was right, I overextended. I would hate that. On the other hand, as I observed to Doug the other day, I have completely no fear like this of moving in with my boyfriend. That, at least, makes total sense to me. Well, okay, I'm terrified, let's not be ridiculous here. I'm terrified that I'll curl up like a defensive little hedgehog and stick all my quills out at him until he leaves me alone in my cage--but on the level both just above that and just below that--like a river whose warm currents swirl around a cold eddy--I am completely sure from the soles of my feet that this is the next step for us to take. True, neither of us ever dreamed that we'd be living together before marriage; it's just not the Catholic-parent thing. But this is the way our life has worked out, and--like living at Robin's--this is the best way to proceed from here. It's like the plot of a novel: it has one true path, and if you stare at it long enough, all the other ones slowly melt away until this is the only way left to you, until all other possible paths become absurdly impossible to imagine, as if this had been the road all along, this wide boulevard. Not saying, you understand, that gazing at it makes it so--I'm not quite stubborn enough (or naive enough) to believe that--but simply that after a while it becomes obvious.

The way John Keeble used to say he knew when a page of fiction or a poem was right--it used to hum purple up off the page at him. Very unlike John, on one level, but again, at another, completely John.

My boyfriend's asleep in my bed, torqued and twisted incredibly into the flannel sheets he bought me last winter. That was the most amazing thing to me, when I woke this morning in the grey light: that he should be here, real and solid and warm, after all I've been through, after all the moments dreaming of this moment, that it should become real. that were I to nudge open the door and peer inside, it would be real still. And most unbelievable of all, that it will remain real for many years to come.

05 November 2004


That was the sound my head made as I was leaving work Wednesday. To wit:

Hi Sara,
I wanted to let you know that on Monday morning one of the people I had hired didn't show up (I found an email from her that morning saying she had reconsidered). She lives a few blocks away from the Irvington office -- that'll teach me to be guided by how far or close someone lives when making difficult hiring decisions. If you are still interested in the job, please let me know. I thought you'd be terrific at the job, but worried, as I think you know, about your long commute until you got settled into your new house.
I look forward to hearing from you-

Columbia University Press

I mean, really! So I emailed her the equivalent of "is a bear Catholic" and went screaming down 413 to teach my class. Haven't really stopped spinning since. The beautiful thing is that after all the stress of the past two days, I called Eva and she's about as tickled as can be that we want to move into the house, and the roofer would have been finished today if it hadn't been so windy. So he's coming by tomorrow, and after that Eva (and presumably Diane) will sit down with us around her kitchen table and hash out the details of this thing, and then we will be able to move.

After all.

Isn't it weird? Isn't it positively lovely, how weird the universe is?