Wednesday, June 21, 2017


Word of the Day : June 21, 2017


noun | doo-EN-day

: the power to attract through personal magnetism and charm

Oh hey. It's been a minute over here. Just about two months to be inexact. I'm able to say with certainty that I don't remember much of the month of May...I kind of hacked my way through 31 days with a dull machete. What I'm less certain of is whether I wanted to kill my darlings or just declutter them. In looking at the physical state of my bedroom, the unflappable barometer of my state of mind in years past, I see that I definitely did not declutter them. And that I could use a soul cleanse. And a vacuum.

May brought me some good things without me having to try very hard: a new group of creative friends, the chance to meet Matthew Weiner, hearing Father John Misty back dip his way through his oeuvre, watching Glenn Close get ready for her close up. And it also brought me some health problems and seemingly endless visits to specialists I didn't even know existed. Most of those issues either resolved themselves or my brain decided to sign a peace accord with them. The end result is that now, when my heart skips a beat or two, I can pretend I'm crushing on someone as opposed to wondering if I told my loved ones where to find my life insurance paperwork.

And then I blinked and it was June and I've done little but work. I've been eating cherries for two weeks and I had a coquito from a street cart and still didn't realize the time of year. I woke up feeling like I should be paying more attention. So that's what imma do.

Later this week, the wind blows me back via Chicago for a library conference. I have been going through my usual preparations: musing over the crying shame of travel toothpaste pricing, trying on every article of clothing I own in the process of packing while trying to look professional and non-sweaty enough to do business with, checking and rechecking and rechecking the departure time of my flight from JFK like it was the lap bar on a roller coaster in ascent, girding my brain in preparation to be outgoing and social and other things that are anathema to my personality. It's been exhausting. And I haven't left yet!

Part of my preparations involve creating new business cards for myself. These conferences present every opportunity for amassing a collection of tiny squares of glossy cardstock bearing name, rank and serial number of fellow professionals. There's so many people to see. So many people you can check up on and add to your collection. And so I feel pressed to do my part, when in reality I would just like to write the word DUENDE on a card and have it be activated by the receiver upon reading, leaving them with the impression that I was magnetic and charming while I just stand there and eat an hors d'ouerve. Instead, I spent a good two of the wee hours of the morning choosing a background and grappling with a font and a title for myself that included the roughly 1.5 million things I do for a living and for labors of love. I still await their two day delivery because it wouldn't be me if I didn't do menial tasks in a manic (internally, of course) frenzy. Considering the responsibility they carry as tiny for your consideration tokens from a stranger meant to remind you of your brief time together, it merits some thought, I suppose. Just ask Patrick Bateman.

And speaking of tokens of time together, on my way into Manhattan for a movie yesterday, I rode the long train tracks from Elmhurst to midtown in relative silence and seated across a man who made eye contact with me exactly once. At the end of 30 minutes or so, it was his stop and before exiting the train he stood in front of me, not saying a word but gave me his card. On it was the name of a construction business with the name and number crossed out and his name "Joseph" and his phone number written with a thick sharpie over it. I don't know if Joseph didn't have a card of his own or if he just wanted to give me his number and had nothing else to write on but, and I'm positive this says more about me than anything I could tell you in person, the only reaction I had was that he should have used a red sharpie and he should have gone with Helvetica.

And just because this song is in my head now, here it is for your head, now.