Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Some Days

Some days are not as neat and lovely as others. Today thumped a bit, and though I'm tempted by the metaphor of a square wheel, it often felt a bit more octagonal as it clunk, clunk, clunked.

But, some days have yellow and orange Ranunculus to welcome you home, and a new issue of a favorite magazine, and the reminder of unused bath salts, and really, as I look back over this short list, the realization that you're playing out a scene from a film centered around a woman's trip abroad in which she find's herself (and some half dressed man that just happens to be loitering around her vacation spot).

Work is busy and gaining speed, and good changes are happening and on the horizon still. I spend every spare moment curled into Andrew's side, thankful for any and all extra time I get to spend with him,comforted by the scent of his soap and the old, yellowed pages of the paperback he's been carrying around.

Some days start rough, show promise, muddy themselves, disappoint you, then surprise you. Some days don't offer such variety. Whatever the mix, I'm grateful for the kind that end with clean, warm sheets and a kiss.

Thursday, February 23, 2012

The Stories

"We tell ourselves stories in order to live." - Joan Didion

I didn't intend to go so long between posts, but unexpectedly things shifted this week after a daytime burglary at our apartment. I feel so many mixed emotions about what happened - about walking in on a kitchen full of shattered glass, a missing laptop, the space on my dresser where my jewelry box used to be, the feeling of violation and confusion about "home". We've been picking up the pieces, and each day I feel better - sleep really helps with that sense of well-being.

But, and thank goodness there's a but, the most important thing I share this space with was fine, and I'm fine, too. It's pretty great to have someone that makes even the worst of situations seems simple, manageable.

I worried at first that I'd begin to hate this apartment I'd once loved so much, or our little downtown neighborhood, but thankfully, something in the past few days has shifted back, and when we took a walk after work the other night and I snapped a picture of the sky, I knew my city and my home and I would be on good terms again soon. Tomorrow I'll walk a block to the library to pick up the books I requested, and tonight, as a treat after this long, long week so far, Andrew will walk a block to pick up some delicious Kung Pao from a small, smiling woman that cheerfully said "Hi, Andrew" the minute he began to speak, and before work tomorrow I will stop into the best coffee shop in town and catch up with the lovely barista who will welcome me by name and begin my lattee right away, and when I leave I will feel more than grateful for the coffee - I will feel grateful for my home.

I'm disappointed that someone made such a bad decision, and disspointed even more that they took items from me with sentimental value that they will not be able to reap much reward from and most likely toss aside. What I am not disappointed in this time is myself, and maybe that's part of this whole 30 thing, but I didn't cry or yell or curse anyone. I've made some bad decisions, too, and I'm destined to make more still, and though I console myself with the notion that at least my decisions don't hurt others, I think we all know that's not true - emotional hurt is just as strong as the physical representations - just maybe, at times, less intentional.

For now, in the midst of theses stories I tell myself in order to live, I put myself to sleep each night with this one - about a girl and a boy who were fortunate enough to know when they hadn't really lost anything at all.

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

In the Beginning, Coffee

It seemed fitting, I think, to begin with a dark morning cup. Every Sunday through Thursday, Andrew arrives home from work just after 2AM, and while he unwinds from his shift and prepares for bed, he brews a pot of coffee for me in the french press or Chemex and fills a thermal carafe, which he then sets on the side table of the couch alongside a mug. He knows which mugs are my favorites, and he always alternates between them. Some days the coffee is accompanied by a handwritten note scrawled on a scrap of paper, and sometimes a small gift he picked up in the aisles of the store the night before - the man knows how giddy small plastic farm sets make me.

This ritual, continued at 5AM when I wake up for the day, is one of the parts of life I am most grateful for; it's one of the parts of our marriage I'm most grateful for, even though it occurs as we cross paths. We don't meet while awake during these hours, but his gift to me is priceless: a little under two early morning hours of uninterrupted reading, writing, and puttering, coffee provided. Yesterday was Valentine's Day, and as my workplace filled with flower deliveries, boxes of chocolates, and tales of dinner reservations, I found myself answering the question quite often - "What did Andrew do for you?" Looking back, I think I explained that we don't really observe the holiday, or that I thought I might receive an amazing letterpress card per our usual (which I did), but what I wish I would have said is this: a cup of really incredible coffee made in the dark of the early morning by a slow, simple method that does not involve an auto-timer. We don't do much on the "one" day, but goodness knows, he's got the everyday locked.