Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Mr. Boy

There was a new cashier at EmCaf today. A boy. Which was already a bit off-putting since all the cashiers are always hardworking Latina women. And the only men there are making the sandwiches (ironic, right?) But today there was a boy there. I mean, he looked about my age, but he had the air of a boy. 

His blue and white, vertical striped shirt made a brash appearance in my color perception which has, since I got to Emerson, been reduced to look-at-me-I'm-being-ironic brown and no-actually-don't-look-at-me-I-was-trying-to-make-a-point salmon. A dreary palette of convolution. But this guy was all stripes. Stripes that were collared on the top and tucked in at the bottom. You're thinking pompous or prissy or some other p-word, yeah? I would've too, until I noticed that slouch. Right before the collar part, the vertical lines gave way to the arch of his upper back. It was an arch that was slightly more than that which was necessary to look at the cash register and fumble around with the buttons. And he was really fumbling. "Cup of New England clam chowder and half a turkey-cheddar" shot right out of my mouth just as quick as my college ID (with my "money" on it) came sliding onto the counter. He was still trying to find the button that would start a new order. (I blame those incredibly efficient Latina women for spoiling me.) 

Despite his obvious confusion, and the line forming behind me, he still seemed to be grinning. Not evilly. Not mockingly. Not creepily. Not stupidly. But just a slight twist up on the corners. His cuffs didn't dangle or choke his wrists - they comfortably followed his hands - one cuff dancing about the screen and one laying with his palm on the counter, highlighting the hand that supported his stance. After the few minutes it took him to sort out my order, he looked up at me briefly and began to verbally and kindly, with a thick Boston accent, guide me to the counter where I could pick up my sandwich...  I must've been to EmCaf to get a sandwich about 200 times in my life. (I actually did some math for that one.) I knew where to pick up my sandwich. Everyone there did. The only people who eat there are Emerson students. Not even the faculty - they're probably too posh for it. So are many of the students, but they don't really have a choice. If you, a student, care at all about what goes into your body, you will at some point eat at EmCaf. Anyway, this clearly hadn't occurred to him yet. I stopped him, as politely as I could muster at that moment, with a nod and a "Yeeaahh..." As he looked up to address me I noticed his head was more circular than most. And his hair, a dark brown and short, might have been somewhat slicked and side-parted - I can't exactly remember. 

He smiled right at me. A winning smile. A smile that lasted while he spoke.

     "So you've been here a couple times, then?"

I smiled right back. A big smile. One that got bigger as I looked at him.

     "Yeah, a lot of times." (Or something stupid like that.)

The blue and white stripes, the collar and the tuck, the comfortable cuffs, the I-didn't-listen-to-my-mother-when-she-told-me-to-sit-up-straight slouch... and that smile... all suddenly made such an impression on me. He was a live Norman Rockwell painting. I was suddenly a 50's gal. I was charmed.

In a moment all the pretension and bureaucracy and social jackassery that I've been buying into for the past four months lifted. This guy looked like he hadn't a care in the world. No number of pushy, snobby, hungry college kids could take the bright out of his stripes.

What a presence, Mr. Boy. Thanks for the moments. (And for taking my order.)

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

A Happy Entry

Well, David, after you read my blog you said that, though you loved it, you wished there were more entries about happy times in my life. So, while my freshly nuked mac n' cheese is cooling down, I'll write a little diddy about today - which was happy.

Happy is really an understatement. It was the second best day I've had since I got here (the first is awarded to the birth of my ingeleh of a niece, Maya.) I went to hang out with Gaby - you know, the one who finds poop almost as funny as you do? - and her boyfriend, James, and their new roommate. The new roomy is a freshman transfer student from Pennsylvania named Kirstin [KEER-ston... Not Kristin. I made that mistake]. She's fucking awesome. She reminds me of Melissa McCarthy. Like, a lot. Kirsten is prettier, though. Anywho, after hanging out at their apartment for an hour or so, we all went to the dining hall to get some dinner. It was outrageously packed. (Lesson learned: the dining hall is basically closed from 6:00-6:30 on account of a severe lack of seating.) James and Gaby went to get their food and Kirsten and I scouted for a place to sit. We spread out and finally some people left and I grabbed the table. Kirsten invited a friend of hers named so-and-so from something-something (I'll remember her name eventually.) She is also fucking awesome. She doesn't remind me of anyone, though. So it was the five of us eating and talking and laughing... for about two and a half hours. It was amazing. As we left, so-and-so said "I'm so happy there's people like me here." I was walking behind everyone as we meandered through the people towards the exit, so I had time to smile to myself and really appreciate the sentiment. A moment to realize how much I empathized with her. The way things had been going before Gaby (and her world) showed up made me think there wasn't anyone out there for me (besides those that I had already found who I couldn't be with.) But no, it's just my fucking roommates that get me down. I just spent the past five hours with a bunch of people who seem to find the same things in me that you do. I've found some people who laugh at the same stupid shit, who care about the same things, who view the world in a familiar way. I do believe I've found some people like me. I've just had such a wonderful day, David. It made me very happy.

Chelsea! That's her name. Fuck.

Monday, November 26, 2012


One of my biggest fears is that I’ll forget about you. That your touch, taste, sound, smell and true (un-pixelated, un-Skype-filtered) look will fade from my memory. That I’ll forget more of our past and how things were and how we felt than I already have. Three years is a lot of stuff to remember. If I believed in God, I would thank him for giving you such a wonderful memory and an acute attention for detail. (But since I don’t, I guess I’ll just thank your ill mother and absent father, as much as I hate their guts.) Three years is such an awful lot to remember. Not only does my internal memory disk not hold that much, but it corrupts some files that I do have. I just can’t trust it. But you, my wonderful external hard drive, you keep things for me. Thank you.

                I wish I could download my files of you onto you, so they wouldn't go bad. Which they are, every day. It scares me so much, because I want to hold on to you. Everything that you were and are – everything – I need it with me. I need it so I can retrieve it when we’re together again, so I can know where to pick up. So I can remember how far you've come. Thus I torture myself into seeing you as often as I can. To looking through your photos. To remembering you whenever I have time. True, a lot of this happens involuntarily, but I feel it’s partially because my subconscious is trying to back up the JPEGS and MP3’s that are somewhat quickly degrading in quality. And also, of course, because you make me happy. Though, it’s kind of funny, because when I’m sobbing over how much I miss you and am pleading to “the universe” to let you hear me, I’m saying “He makes me so happy.” But you really do. What hurts is not having you here. Not being with you. Not being able to call you my own. Not knowing if you’ll ever come back for me. And if you don’t, you’ll take our memories with you. Because without you… we will disappear. And I just can’t bear the thought of that.