This is it.
It's happening. When I was younger, I bided my time bitterly, waiting for life to happen to me, hoping that the tsunami that was going to sweep me away into wonderfulness would go ahead and strike soon.
My friend's father died suddenly last fall. Someone had carefully collected photographs and collaged them onto posterboard, set up on easels for the mourners to see at the funeral home. He posed with fish, he held his babies, he went to ballgames, he kissed on his wife as she beamed. His life was, of course, too short. But there was so much life in it, I thought. I wanted to remember that.
Nothing has been happening, except for, like, life, and it has been fine. Work has been busy but I really like it. Nick chugs along toward the PhD. How many more years? people still ask. Who cares? is what I want to say. Why would I wish our years away? Who knows how many we'll get.
I am looking forward to a friend wedding in June and a trip to Mexico with Nick. At some point I'll probably run a half-marathon. Mostly, I have been trying to have full days and not live my life expecting. Sometimes I realize at 11 p.m. that I'm still wearing my work clothes, a good sign I've been keeping my little fretful mind occupied.
Nick surprised me with tickets to see a comedian we both like on a "school night" last week. Oh, did you not know we are wild? It was a great show, I liked feeling warm and packed in and laughing even though I've spent the last four months sealed into indoor spaces. I threw my head back cackling so forcefully that my neck was telling me about it the next morning. And I managed to drop my ponytail into the pint glass of beer of the man standing behind me.
The show energized Nick but depleted me. So it was like we had just had sex, but opposite! Ha. He wanted to go to a bar or go on a night bike ride and I wanted to take my heels off, watch "Bob's Burgers", and slip into sleep right as the BBC World Service trumpets start their midnight fanfare on my bedside radio.
I conceded a neighborhood walk, but Nick is always bargaining. "With ice cream?" Oh my god, fine, with ice cream. We bought waffle cones at the store near our house and filled them up with cookies 'n cream ice cream. I don't remember ice cream ever tasting like this. It was just from a regular store-brand carton but it was like cake batter yet otherworldly smooth. Then there are the cookie bits. Dairy is hard on my stomach and I usually avoid it, but the discomfort never came that night. God wanted me to enjoy that ice cream, I would probably deduce, were I deranged.
We walked in the middle of the residential streets, holding hands and slurping at our cones like a pair of sibling runaways. When headlight beams touched us, we scattered to the sidewalk like mice. I was still in bed by the time the trumpets played. I always overestimate how much time I will "need" to sit around anticipating bedtime, refreshing my feeds, half-watching television...