My journal is open in my knit blanket covered lap. It is just another evening, all the things that may make this a Monday, but who knows anymore. My body is resting from the increasing time I spend behind the bar, pouring drinks, talking, running – fast on my feet and quick with my hands. With my pen, I am suddenly there. I look around the room, waiting for someone to eyeball summon me. This girl is telling a story. I don’t care to hear it, but I listen anyway like it is my job – to just listen. Other stories are swirling around like a mirage of conversation and small talk. Is it office politics or a Tinder date? It all meshes together after they drink enough whiskey, or after I do. Tomorrow is for shopping at Ikea but tonight is for eating pizza. A woman tells me to which I can only reply with unquestioning laughter. Two grad students chatter away about going to Iceland over spring break -because that is the new “it” destination. They clink their copper mule mugs together, to Iceland, to their youth. I pause to turn the page and I am back in my living room. I realize I am writing the same word, first in perfect cursive then in really neat print, audience. I am telling the story now and I am suddenly very aware of my audience.
I am running around the house trying to prepare for another holiday gathering. Presents need to be wrapped bought, and my house is in its normal state of cluttered chaos. Why do they need to dump the toy bins to play with one little thing? Cece has attached herself to my leg and Jackson weaseled a bike in from outside and was running over my foot, again. The girls were just waking up and their faces were glued to some device. I was letting Josh sleep in since he was fresh off two double shifts. I stood there, looking down at my ratty sweat pants tucked into my slipper boots and stopped in the now familiar command: breathe
“Hell of a winter we are having, eh?” An imagined passerby calls out to me smiling at the two toddlers playing around in the back yard. I tell myself they are some how missing the piles of dog poop were buried under the snow then thawed back out. Another thing on my to do list. I sigh as I am oddly reminded of the three-inch layer of dust on my windowsill. Jackson and Cece are battling each other with sticks as the dog darts out of the way. They are probably too young to be playing with those sticks. Oh wait, I stopped giving a shit what people thought especially in the judgment free zone that is my back yard. The trees are shaking in the loneliness that comes about when all your leaves have fallen. The breeze causes a ripple shiver in my shoulder. My watch dings. Breathe. I inhale, my gaze softening on the babies giggling around the yard. I exhale these insignificant moments of my day that I
will most likely forget tomorrow. I just breathe.
The Nineties Paged
Does anyone else feel nostalgic for the CD? And not the actual medium itself. All of mine skipped ; probably because I had the portable CD hookup in my car so every time I hit a bump it would advance to the next song or create an instant remix. But I used to actually listen to my CDs. From beginning to end. Now I buy single songs here and there or listen to some mix that was created especially for me because I like some other song. I have “Dark Side of the Moon” on my phone. If I listen to the album it will shuffle by default. Has anyone else ever listened to “Dark Side of the Moon” on shuffle? It’s just not the same. And what about “Jagged Little Pill”? Can you even find the hidden track by downloading the album, or is the only way to find that little secret gem to wait twelve minutes after the CD is over? I rediscovered the beauty of listening to whole albums the way I used to when I would buy a brand new CD. I guess I am even in a hurry to get through my music so much that I don’t hear everything and am really missing out. If the CD is a metaphor for my modern life, then I need to slow down and experience a whole album the way the artist intended. No shuffle, no single download.