Tuesday, October 18, 2016


For the last week or so I've been grieving. One of my best friends left the world and took with her a cookie cuttered section of my heart. My cat Thelma died unexpectedly of kidney disease, something I had no idea she had until the last day of her life. She lived her entire life, health problem free with only one kidney. In true cat fashion, she hid any and all discomfort she ever had from me and every vet she ever saw. Feline, thy name is stoic. It has been exactly a week since I had to say goodbye and I still await her ashes to be delivered to me to punctuate the sentence. Thelma is gone

 I have taken this loss right to the center of my soul, my days unspooling and me, undone and completely bereft by nighttime. I've walked around with boulders at the bottom of my stomach and until today, dreaded any social interaction with anyone because it takes too much energy to glue my psyche together long enough to behave like I'm not made of limp, creased, damp cardboard. I knew when I brought that little cat home almost seven years ago that I was signing up for losing her. We start our lives in contract with death as a fine print agreement. And every interaction we choose from the moment we are able is checking the box over and over again: In consideration of the mutual covenants set forth herein, both parties agree to lose one another to death. I simply, humanly thought I'd have time to prepare my goodbyes. I have not one basis for this assumption and I won't make that mistake again.

I've gotten through the worst of it with the undying support of my sister who was with me in the room when I said goodbye and has not left my side since. I feel sorry for any and everyone who doesn't have a Lorraine in their lives. You should get one. I've also gotten by with the distraction of work and action films, with Radiohead and booze and ice cream and my remaining cat, Greta. With the reassurance of my trusted vet who listened to me cry over the phone and said that I made the only choice I could and with the long, human chain of friends and acquaintances who have been through all of this before and come out on the other side with just the parts of their beloved pets that are worth preserving...the love. It's part of the sales pitch that gets you to sign the contract to begin with and it is worth every single tear.

This morning I felt certain that Thelma the cat visited me. I felt the pressure of her paws land on the bed and skirt around the pillows and head to the windowsill at my head. I felt it and have chosen to believe that she stopped by to say hi and I feel better today, I am still sad, I can't deny it. But the boulders feel whittled down to large stones and I think of Thelma with more smiles than tears. I thought about what to share in here about her, for the knowledge of all the deeply unfortunate souls who never got to meet her. But I don't suppose it would mean much to learn that every night she would follow me into the bedroom and meow impatiently for me to lie down and wouldn't settle down until I did because she was impatient to plant her large little body on top of my stomach or my chest. Or that of all the bellies on all the kitties in the world, Thelma's was the fluffiest and if you ever got to pet her there, you passed the good egg test. She wouldn't let just anyone do it.

Those little things about my little friend mean the world to me and will for the rest of my life. But I guess what I want to get across here, for future me, for future contracts, in case of the likely possibility that my brain will age like shredded wheat is that I once had a cat named Thelma and she was my friend and I miss her a lot.

Thelma Marie (2008-10/11/2016)

Monday, September 12, 2016

New Things With Old Eyes: A Getting Old Tableau

Ever feel like you closed your eyes when you were 20 in 1996 and then you opened them in 2016 and you were feeling so very deeply all 40 of your years? Did your knees pop a clickety-clack melody as you literally creaked out of bed, thinking one really long thought about how the years have tenderized you, covered you in salt, and left you to marinate like a rare steak left out on the counter too long? Did you think about getting married for the nine hundredth time this week and do that thing where you scroll through disingenuous profile after profile of your dating app swiping away any desire to do much more than head home and eat popcorn and watch a fictionalized version of romance until you fell asleep? Did you ride the subway to work while feeling the sweat evaporate from your skin into the clogged air around you and struggle through squinted eyes to remember what it was about NYC you loved so much again? No? Anyone?

It's a Monday again here in aftersolonggirl-land. I got a lot accomplished this morning. Workwise, I've stuffed the afternoon into a large burlap sack and tied it around my ankle, dragging it behind me everywhere.

Normally I find myself out of the country during this time of year but this year I've had to push my badly needed vacation plans to the end of the month. In two weeks I'll be three or four Guinness deep, pondering different shades of green and what to call them all. I'm hoping Ireland is as it has been in my imagination ever since I first contemplated going there, when I was 15 and obsessed with the Dublin of The Commitments. (Unrelated: is it bad that I can't spell the word commitment correctly on the first try, ever? Is there something Freudian there? You tell me.) At the moment I'm contemplating what to pack and, like every chore that requires me to make choices about what to wear, I want someone else to decide perfectly what all I should bring. I'm easily distracted when a task like this is set before me and so I have been searching Instagram for #dublin to see what people are wearing in their photos. I apply very scientific methods to everything, even things that really don't need them.

I am really ready to be away though. It's been a minute since I've stretched time with a lot of distance. And for the past few months, I've wrapped my brain in the compression bandage of stress and I'm ready to release it now. I do have some residual anxiety about leaving my sickly cats home and having a catsitter tend to them, but honestly, I've made every precaution I possibly can and I have to learn to let go. I'm also ready to not spend any more mental or emotional energy on worry. I simply want to sleep late, and drink too much and see new things with my old eyes. I need the next two weeks to fly.

Yesterday I did get out of the city, a goal to be observed whenever possible on September 11. Lambden and Lorraine and myself went to the Jersey shore to say goodbye to summertime by dipping ourselves in the ocean and frozen custard. The waves were chopping and sectioning off the lines of bronze bodies who dared go in but it was the perfect temperature. In the hour just before getting in, I was bitten by 4.5 million demon flies and submerging in the water felt like a sizzle of comfort. I stupidly lost my sunglasses to a bullying wave and I feel terrible that I've polluted the ocean in such a stupid way. I hope the tide left them behind and someone who needed them was able to find them. I also had that brief few minutes of being convinced I was going to drown when I got separated from Nancy and was dragged a bit under by a series of aggressive swells. I was simultaneously tumbled backward and forward, swallowed a pony keg's worth of salty sea water, got a leg cramp and couldn't stop laughing. It was wild ride, I tell you. We followed our lovely afternoon at the beach eating seafood and laughing, staring at the endless sky and taking full advantage of having made the journey of 15 years together, mostly intact. To understand how good it felt, you would have had to have been there 15 years ago. Some of you were, so you get it. We passed a flag at half mast yesterday and I had to be reminded why it was at half mast. Here we all are, another year further away.

So, I'm in a holding pattern for two weeks. Things have stabilized for me and I'm cranking through the motions. Or I'm creaking through them. I'm stiffening up by degrees today. I'm sure getting blendered by the sea yesterday didn't help but, as though on cue, I feel physically older. Do I look different?

Tuesday, August 2, 2016

32 (w/ a side of oven fresh perspective)

I've taken to reading old journal entries like I'm sorting through items of an estate sale. There are things that shine like new with indeterminable value and things that have seen better days and could use some polishing. I'm kicking up the dust and it is settling quietly on my brain and I'm remembering, remembering, remembering. Today's year is 32.

From my journal dated 8/5/2008:

today is my birthday. i'm 32. i can't really say i'm not doing something i thought i'd be doing by now. my life is pretty happy. and every second i'm given i'm grateful for. 32 might be a very positive year for me. i mean, the ladies here at the office brought me a hershey's chocolate fudge cake. so, that's a good sign.

A couple of things about this:

I only actually thought I was happy on that birthday. The truth is, I was in an unhappy, mentally denigrating relationship (more on that later), I had left NYC to live in a place I didn't actually feel I belonged. I actually ended up being totally right about 32 being positive in the end, but man was it a torture. I got my heart broken but I also ended up getting in the best shape of my life and I traveled pretty much everywhere that year. 32 was a huge year of growth for me and if I was outlined in pencil sketches when I was 15, traced over in permanent marker when I was 25, then I was colored in with oil paints when I was 32.

Also, I remember that cake. The women I worked with at the law school gave that cake to me and I think I may have eaten two huge pieces of it.

More from the journal entry:

last friday he took me to huntington to the cinema arts center to see "brideshead revisited" and to eat indian food. he had never had indian food before and i could tell he was impressed. he was bored out of his skull by the movie but he remained a sport about it all. which rightfully he should since i've had to sit through roughly 29 hours of baseball this year.

If I were to write a book about that relationship, I'd call it: Delusions and Denial. I remember that movie night really well, largely because it was the moment when I realized I might be with the completely wrong person for me and then I'd spent the entire evening wishing I was alone. He was not, as I said "a sport about it all"; he acted put out at every turn that evening and when we talked about each other over dinner, he didn't know pretty basic facts about me. It was that conversation that slashed through the rest of the evening and was really the beginning of the end, though I was in deep, deep, dumbass denial. A lot of people experience this type of thing when they are young and impressionable. Not I. I do everything late in life...and I mean everything. (Expect a wedding invite at some point this decade). I'm happy this happened when it did because, knowing myself at 22, I likely would have fragmented and drifted off into space. Also, he wasn't a genuine food lover. The Moroccan dinner I mention would have been way more enjoyable if he hadn't been there. I have forced my memory to snapshot that dinner with one very tall, ex-shaped hole in the middle. It's better that way, trust me.

That same night:

we also made a stop at the huntington book revue which is probably the best bookstore i've ever been to. i bought a copy of the "golden notebook" to add to my ever growing collection. this time i was able to limit myself to one book though i kept picking up and putting down others.

I still love the Book Revue something fierce, though I haven't yet read that copy of the Golden Notebook. I did try a few years ago but my heart wasn't in it. I should find it and pick it up again.

The end of the journal entry:

this weekend is radiohead. i think you could say i'm pretty excited about that.

That was just after In Rainbows came out, I believe. It was at an outdoor festival, back when I used to do that kind of thing. Now that I'm older and looking back, I'm mature enough to understand that just because Radiohead usually releases a new album and tours around one's birthday, doesn't necessarily mean one's soul is inexorably linked to the band, their golden creative output, and their unrelenting genius by the sheer fact of being born. After all, just cause you feel it, doesn't mean it's there. Except that last week I saw the one of the top two concerts of my life and it just happened to be Radiohead. And it was a week before my birthday so......

To sum up:

When I was 32, my heart broke, then grew back with a light scar across the middle. I learned how deeply I enjoy being alone, particularly when compared to being with someone who should know me, but doesn't. That year, I renewed my passport, got on planes and saw a thousand pathways unfurl before me. Maybe it happened a bit later for me than most people, but just remember that I'm (almost) 40. I don't care about that.

Monday, August 1, 2016

July Goodbye (to my thirties)

Welp, this week has arrived. It took 40 years, but it is here. On Friday, I turn 40. From this point forward, I'll be older than my imagination could ever seem to conjure before now. In fact, up until a few years ago, I could only ever be bothered to envision myself in my 30s. This is likely due to the fact that when you are young, you can't wait to grow older and when you are old, you wish for time to stop. I never thought of 40 as old but apparently my subconscious does because I've been feeling the anxiety in pinpricks all over my psyche lately in light but persistent jabs. I mean sure, I could chalk it up to the garbage fire of the state of the world lately. However, if I'm ever going to have a midlife crisis, this would be the ideal time. Then again, the people in my family live well into their 90s so maybe I'm still five years off from my true midlife.

As is pretty typical for a woman reaching this milestone, I'm taking inventory; ticking off accomplishments, perceived or otherwise with chewed up pencil is a laborious process. In addition to looking forward to a time in my life when I cease to actually give more than half a fuck about what people think or say about me (releasing that ball and chain was the greatest thing I ever did), I'm looking back on the decade that was and damnit if I don't really like what I see.

I didn't pass any typical milestones in my 30s...didn't get married or have kids (are these things typical anymore?) and I didn't buy a house or become the head of anything in my career. I am less worried about any of those things (though the career stagnation/backwards current is a constant source of frustration for me lately and I'd still like to be married one day). What I did do is travel the world and collect experience after experience that I consistently have to remind myself belong to me, that I didn't read about them in someone else's memoir. I finally realized that I have no more time to lament all the bullshit I don't have but want or don't want but have. Again, a revelation that changes life as we know it..you can actually decide to be happy. Sometimes.

I'm compiling a highlight reel. And I'm going to be sharing a few bits of it all week. Here's scene one:

On my 30th birthday, my sister threw me a surprise birthday party at Botanica Bar on East Houston. It was 2006 and the biggest song that summer was Gnarls Barkley's "Crazy." I drank a lot of Chimay (a new discovery of mine after being marooned too long on Whateverischeapest Island) and I have photos of myself in a green skirt and white shirt, my hair long and curly and I don't appear to be even thinking about leaping over a milestone. The photos from that night are peppered with smiles and sweaty faces (August birthdays) and old friends and new friends and boyfriends who are no longer around and husbands of friends who are around but not around us. I was working in Jamaica, Queens and living in Astoria and I was in love with every man I saw and feeling so optimistic. In a style very uncharacteristic of me, I wrote only the following in my journal that week:

i had a great birthday. so there's that. oh and there is always sushi. and dignity. always dignity.

But I remember. It was, in fact, one of the most memorable nights of my life and it augured well for my new decade. I look back at photos like this one...

Note the Chimay glass

...with two of my oldest friends and I think about how that was just yesterday only it was ten years ago. I can still feel the air in there. I can still remember what we talked about and how it felt and how lucky I was and still am. I like this memory because it is a salve to those aforementioned pin pricks. It's a massage. Or a message. A message from the dewey skinned old me: you are ok.

More tomorrow!

Tuesday, July 19, 2016

Amtrak Ambling

ETA: I just now realized this is my FIVE YEAR anniversary of this blog! Holy crap! I'm so glad I'm still as aimless and rambling as always. If you read this or anything on here, I love you. I really do. Back to my regularly scheduled nonsense....

I took an Amtrak train to Albany last week and had the usual stream of consciousness vortex of thoughts as I sat and waited for my train. Most people call this thinking. But I have always had the impression that if I let it, my brain would just pull me under like a pernicious riptide and I’d be dragged away gasping, far from the sun drenched shore by degrees. So, I decided to write them down and share it here, hoping to come up with something worth reading. I’m not sure that I’ve done that. I’m only sure that I want to be able to take long train rides everyday because the movement of the train stills the vortex. Temporarily.

I left work that day smiling. Knowing I wouldn’t have to return to a place where I am not myself for hours at a time was relieving in the way taking a bra off at the end of the day is freedom in action and I felt loose and relaxed. I didn’t even mind that no one would return my eye contact on the subway, what with the Pokemon they were all hunting on their phones; I got to observe, unobserved. By the time I got to Penn Station, it was full blown rush hour and I coasted on a wave of worker drones, headed east or south or north to 3 bedroom ranch houses and smaller versions of themselves, to spouses or girlfriends/boyfriends and other things that seem to elude me. There were bewildered tourists with backpacks and high heeled ladies with charm bracelets and young masters of the universe shooting toward the sprawl in a strange serpentine rhythm through underground Penn Station.

I rarely take train rides longer than an hour. The last long train ride I took was in Belgium, traveling from Bruges to Ghent and from Ghent to Amsterdam. I had been hungover with a vengeance then and my brain was just looking for sleep. But my heart managed to do what it always does when a new landscape rolls out in front of me; it emitted a pinprick of hope that I'd find my own personal Jesse Wallace to take a European stroll with for hours. Christ. Films have ruined my life. I guess I enjoy train rides because they make me think of possibility, that great American fable. So, I was going to enjoy this one too (though the non-European-ness of the setting muted the Before Sunrise daydream).

Anyway, I arrived early for my train and got a seat in the waiting room. It struck me that the Amtrak wing of Penn Station is the only thing that retains its 60s mod-ish design. I don’t know how old exactly that room is but sitting there, waiting inspired a melancholy in me. I don’t know what it is about me and nostalgia for things and times I have never experienced. I feel irrational when I experience a longing for something I just missed out on but I can’t help it. Seated a few seats away was a young couple, two women who were so clearly new to each other… they seemed nervous to be together. They spoke to each other with self-consciousness, eager to learn whatever new information about each other they could. It made me lonely.

Maybe I had the 1960s on my brain because of the room but I started thinking of Mad Men. It isn’t unusual for me to think of it since I consider the show, without hyperbole, to be one of the greatest things I’ve ever seen. I thought about the episode when they address the demolition of the old Penn Station in favor of what we have today. It is my understanding that it used to be a beautiful space, on par with what Grand Central Station is now. In the episode, the character Paul Kinsey, rebellious, nearly fucks up the account. In the end, (spoiler alert), Don Draper is forced to fire the new Penn Station company from their list of clients due to lack of vision by his British overlords. I always wonder what midtown would look like now had we kept the beauty and ditched the grit.

I also started thinking about the actor who played Paul Kinsey, a man I knew in college. My college wasn’t very big and he had that mysterious Renaissance man personality to go with his looks so everyone kinda knew him. I, like virtually everyone else I knew, had a huge crush on him and we were friends towards my senior year there. He’d likely be bored to know that he's served as the archetype in many of my own stories. I’ve discovered over the years that his impression on me likely had very little to do with him; though we were friends who hung out some times, I can’t say I knew him very well. Still, I follow his career and his Twitter account and my sudden thought of him led me to just that. I discovered that he had recently proposed to his girlfriend. Good for him! I’m happy when people I used to know have happy middles (I don’t know endings yet). I also got melancholy because people move on and on and away from how I remember them and sometimes I just want things to stay as they are. The urgency of my age makes me lonely. There might be a theme here.

It wasn't long before the train was boarding and it was beautifully air conditioned and empty of hustling crowds, my first indication that I was bound for places away from the city. As I chose my seat, I remembered the last time I took an Amtrak up north to visit these same friends. On my way home from that trip, I arrived at the station to find my train, all trains headed anywhere had been cancelled due to a horrific derailment that resulted in fatalities. Going back to my thoughts about train travel, I always stupidly assumed it was the "safer" way to travel. I think for a few weeks after that incident, I read everything I could on train derailments and their frequency, mostly because that's how I face my fears...I read about them. As my thoughts veered toward catastrophe, the train blessedly pulled into the station and I released myself from the tangle of my neurons and into the hot July night air and the care of one of my oldest, dearest friends.

And there you have three hours worth of rambling, ambling thoughts. If anything, it allowed me to shut off the din of a Tuesday afternoon, one of the most ennui inspiring times of the week. So, there's always that.

Saturday, July 9, 2016

Unsigned underwear

I saw The Cure recently at Madison Square Garden and it was easily one of the top 10 shows I've been fortunate enough to attend. It was my third time seeing them, the last time being literally 20 years ago on their 1996 tour. The Cure is what I like to think of as an "old friend band"... no matter how much time passes, or how many new bands or songs or albums come in between us, we just pick right back up where we left off. This most recent show was no exception.

It probably didn't hurt that the concert was at a venue where I spent a decent percentage of my teenage years and my 20s. I still remember when there used to be a bookstore right at the entrance of MSG and the time before there was a "Paramount Theater" on the second level. I have vivid memories of waiting for a Nine Inch Nails show there, decked out in the goth gear I was sporting in those days and browsing books in that store while waiting for my concert buddies. There was an older gentleman in a three piece suit who approached me then and said "I'm not being weird, but I love your look." And he just walked away and it wasn't weird. Unexpected, but not weird.
I always felt like the luckiest person alive when I was on my way to a show. I still do feel like the luckiest person alive when I'm doing that...lucky that my musical heroes are still alive and kicking and doing their thing. When I think of the afterlife, I imagine it as an outdoor concert at dusk on a perfect weather day.

The band was in top form. Robert Smith's voice hasn't changed in 30 years and I had a list of songs I wanted to hear that was 10 deep and he played all but one. The one I didn't hear was "Untitled" from Disintegration but I can't blame the band. That song is long and not the most popular from that stellar album. I love so hard that I have The Cure to make me feel like I felt a long time ago. I'm running out of things that can do that. Whenever I'm alone with you....etc. etc.

Speaking of feeling like a long time ago, it had been a few years since I saw a show at MSG. Some things remain unchanged, others are unrecognizable. I think the last time I was there was to see Arcade Fire in 2010 on my birthday and a lot has changed in six short years. Gone is the bookstore (btw, that's a good way to describe NYC in general these days: gone is the bookstore), though I suspect it left a long ass time ago. It has been replaced by some generic tourist trap called "The Pennsy" which is just a really stupid name. Gone is the film of dirt that used to cover the inside lobby of MSG...it is actually pretty clean and modern looking now. The concessions were always overpriced but they have now reached ridica levels. People still try to scam their way into seats that aren't theirs and it is pretty pathetic when they do and the seats aren't even that good. Like, if you are going to go through the trouble of lying about shit, at least make it worth everyone's while, not some perplexing lie about how you hold tickets for a pair of crappy seats. It makes me sad for you. It reminds me of this one girl I went to high school with who turned out to be a bit of a total liar. She came to school one day and told us how she had seen Stevie B perform the night before and claimed that he signed her underwear yet, when pressed, could not produce said underwear. And it just made me feel so sad for her because again, if you commit to lying, go all out. Mick Jagger signed my underwear or Bruce Springsteen did. Damn at the very least, Stevie B kissed me. Just not some freestyle singer signing your skivvies. That requires tangible proof.  You are going to have to prove you have ticket stubs for the seats you are in. Think your lies through, people. Or you know, just don't lie at all.

I was seated next to a young man who, at first, I assumed was The Cure's biggest superfan. I was wrong however and I strongly suspect he was just high on meth or its more subtle equivalent. We arrived in the middle of the opener's set, a band called the Twilight Sad (best. gothy. band. name. ever.) and they were good. The guy next to me seemed to be fiercely in to them because he was beating the shit out of his thigh in rhythm to every song they played. You really have to love something in order to beat the shit out of yourself to express it. The enthusiasm he was emitting was nothing compared to what was to come. When they finally took the stage, the band played Pictures of You and my seat neighbor fell into a paroxysm. With every new song he screamed "HOLY FUCKING SHIT" or an equivalent exaggerated exclamation. Don't get me wrong, I'm a fervent concert goer and I don't ever stand stock still or just stare at the stage with the impassive observational stare of a scientist, the band my test subject. I go to live shows to feel something and I feel it. But there is a fine line between being moved by the music and being...well, high on something. Homeboy was way over the line. My assertion was vindicated when, about 35 minutes into the three hour set, he was fast asleep in his chair like a post-tantrum toddler.

A couple arrived super late to the show and sat in the row in front of me and proceeded to check their phones every 20 seconds for the following apps: Facebook, Snapchat, Twitter, Their Own Selfie Collection. I definitely take photos at concerts. It is usually a maximum of two and it is always of the band. I don't want a photo of myself sitting in a chair at MSG DURING the show. That's just stupid. But these two...they were recording entire songs because they are clearly video archivists who will most certainly watch the video they took all the time as it takes up space on their phone; it was worth the sacrifice of missing the live performance in front of their faces. Again, my fellow concert goers just inspired a melancholy in me. Or maybe it was the music?

Aaaaanyway, I'll leave this entry with the two photos I took in between songs.

Also, Simon Gallup signed my underwear.

Friday, June 10, 2016

Dear Blog

Dearest Blog,

I've neglected you. There is no better or kinder way of putting it. You + Me = On the outs. But it is not me, it is definitely you. It's ok though. It really is, because sometimes it has to be you. It can't always be me.

I've come here many times over the past few weeks and I plop piles of words in different entries, as though you were a suburban lawn but nothing seems right or cool enough or, I don't know what enough. I know what you'll ask. You'll ask what the hell else have I been doing. Well, blog, that is the upside to our breaking up for a bit. I have started writing more and more and more of the things I should always have been writing and it feels like work and you know I am nothing if not a worker. I would put the feeling of accomplishment right up there with friendship and infatuation and yuca con chicaron. It is that good.

Unfortunately, you have fallen by the wayside there. I'm aware we never get close anymore lately and I'm sorry. I know you offer me the ability to communicate with the outside world, and it is always a pleasure, when I'm standing inside my three dimensional life and facing the beautiful collection of atoms and cells that makes a face, and they reference you in conversation and I know that they have been reading you and thinking of you (and by extension, me). But as my birthday imperceptibly inches toward me like a summertime slug, I feel my time expiring and I've got to work.

But I'll make an exception today because I miss you.

So what shall I regale you with today? I am working on a series of poems about homonyms, I'm going to fucking finish the same goddamned short story I've been writing for eight months and I've booked a weekend at a writer's retreat in August to finish my bitchingly difficult novel. That's what I've been spending some time doing. Not enough time, of course...let's not be foolish here. But I'm at the top of the hill at the moment and I'm just about to tumble down. Any second now...any second. I wanted to spare you having to throw yourself down with me like Buttercup to my Wesley.

I did want to share something I thought about, for the gajillionth time this morning as I walked to work:

I discovered something about myself recently. I am the type of person who will eat something she doesn't like out of sheer politeness. To wit: awhile ago I met some work colleagues at a bakery before we headed to a conference. My intention was to get a coffee and that's all; I'm not really a "sweets" person. I do like sugar but what I prefer is generally on the bland side of sweetness. My favorite dessert of all time is a vanilla soft serve cone with chocolate sprinkles. I'm dessert simple. But the people I was with had sweet teeth and insisted on buying me something to enjoy. So I just said "I'll have whatever you are having." Well, it turns out they were having cannolis and cheesecake flavored tarts. And it also turns out that, in all the endless permutations of dessert items, cannolis and cheescake are my least favorites. No, I'm understating it. I actively dislike both of those things. But what does one do when two dessert items are placed in front of one, the direct result of my inability to commit to a choice of something else? One eats it. Or I do. And then I internalize my bad feeling about not being able to choose what I want when pressed and not being honest about not liking something out of politeness and not being forthright enough to say no thank you. Do you understand what that's like, blog? I know what you are going to say. Minor, in the even slightly bigger scheme of things. And you are right, blog. It is a minor thing. However, since that morning, I've been having a long think about what else I do out of politeness and whether or not that makes me a weak person. And that's why I don't like cannolis or cheesecake: they give me identity crises.

O blog, what will we do with ourselves. It is summer. The sky is blue and I can breathe in and out with ease. I have money in my pocket (my dresses have pockets!) and books to read and I live in New York City! Did you ever think we'd make it back, blog? Because I had my doubts. But how can you doubt something so totally unpredictable as your life? More importantly, when will I learn that lesson?

I should go, dear blog. It is nearly lunchtime and the tree leaves, just visible over the lip of the library window, are waving me outside, asking me to stroll for a bit. I'll be back. I just don't know when. Maybe tomorrow, maybe at the end of summer. Remember what I just said about doubt and prediction? Jesus, you have no short term memory.

Take care of yourself. Go treat yourself to a movie and a cocktail. Maybe send a winky emoji at that guy you've been cyberstalking? Take care of you.

I'll probably talk to you tomorrow.

K, thx bai.