I am swimming under work/event madness and even when I have free time, I have discovered that I suck at writing within it. In the last week, I have started a zillion posts, and decided that they are all hopelessly lame and need serious editing. I will come back to them.
This has been my pattern my whole life.
Well before I knew a "blog" could ever exist, I'd sit down and write these short little...things. Sometimes I fancied they were the beginnings of a book, or at least a short story. But they never went anywhere because if they weren't actually, a book or a short story, then what were they? Who would read them? So I'd stop.
I have dozens and dozens of these "beginnings" tucked away in notebooks and boxes and closets.
Man, I would have been one prolific blogger as a kid.
Anyway, I just grabbed a few, for fun. These three were tucked inside the same notebook, so roughly from the same period in my life.
(Note that "* * * * " delineate entirely different pieces.)
* * * *
The family lived in the Connecticut farmhouse for 17 years. In a suburban corner of a diverse and developing city, the farmhouse stood yellow and broken. Never once did everything work -- the house was cracked and peeling from the first day the family -- my family -- moved in, but it was never in want of love. That's how things went for us, always -- there was love in abundance at the heart, but the packaging couldn't hold up.
They left without the cat. The day my family removed from Connecticut to start again in New Hampshire, the cat refused to get in the car. No one had the strength to convince him otherwise. I was an adult by then, and my fiance and I had to return to the empty house to find the animal, take him to our small apartment, and keep him until our first visit at my parents' new home.
I had said goodbye a day or two before. I'd walked through the nearly empty house, bleary-eyed and despondent, and it was dramatic, and I'd prepared for it. I didn't know I'd have to come back.
* * * * *
I could go on living as I do now. I'd look forward to Friends on Thursdays and the Sopranos on Sundays. There'd be the occasional party, or happy hour, and there'd be the occasional familial visit. Sometimes there would be trips to the office and to New York City. I'd keep trying to keep the house clean, and some days Iit would be, and eventually even there will be furniture in all the right places. I can always paint a room a different color. And when the parties are hosted and the friends see the house they will admire my hard work and it will have been a good weekend. Plus there are vacations over week-long periods and when I don't travel on them it's earned time off. There is always the better-paying job possibility, and the next house. I should learn to plant things. I'd have a beautiful garden. My dinner parties would improve. Someday the holidays would be entirely splendid -- and is that not a good goal?
* * * * *
I will not be here every day. I'm going to move to San Francisco.
I've been coming to this bookstore cafe on and off for about seven years. I was 19 and in college when I first realized its charms, however commercial.
And, naturally, I've befriended some of the employees who are still here, and many who are not.
I learned to rely on this place as my library, study hall, and paper-writing playground. For a while I was even a little in love with a long-time cafe employee, but it never materialized and during a period when I wasn't coming much, he quit and moved away. Jason, on the other hand, has been here five years, and it's always good to see him. I had many first dates here, some of which were lovely, and some of which were not, but none of which altered my feeling for the place. It was always mine.
If there is such a thing, Dave and I started our courtship here. Once engaged, we discussed details of our wedding here, and once married, we sat reading here close together on many Sunday afternoons. When we decided we couldn't work things out and I spent every day for weeks crying, he took me here on my birthday, and somehow it helped.
The house I grew up in was not five miles from here. My grade schools, too. College was a bit further, and my first apartment and house further still. But here has always been close. I know now that, when my parents moved away a couple years ago, and the old house was gutted and rebuilt from the inside out as though our history there had never existed, this will instead be the place I'll miss most.
I wonder if it'll miss me.
* * * * *