The way we whir

The cicadas are emerging. I saw my first one inching along the sidewalk a couple nights ago, and went, “AUGH, what the-” until I remembered how ugly and miserable cicadas look when they’re crawling out of the ground after 17 years. I was in D.C. for the last period of cicada madness. I remember these things: I was living in Silver Spring with Mark. Deanna came to visit and pronounced cicada as “cicadeeya”. A morning show host ate a bit of cicada during a live radio broadcast. I spent a lot of time driving around in a Toyota Corrolla with Kirsten, Laura, Tasia and Emily listening to “The First Cut is the Deepest” because it was on the radio all the damn time. Here is a post from May 2004.

Harvard/cars/yards

Boston = the cruller in the T station; the chocolate chip cannoli that you somehow knew to order; street vendor blood roses; the bridge with that graffiti about that Smoot guy; the headstones (with poems — the one about how you don’t need to please anyone when you’re dead); I can paint from memory; you can find new shiny sneakers; these are my new pink pimped-out sunglasses; so far gone in an Irish pub with two pints of Guinness; we have no intention but just to wander; concentrated history in a glass.

Boston!

I’m currently in Boston, meeting Kevin’s family, feeling like The New Girl and learning about everyone. We spent the day walking around the city, eating french fries and crullers, trekking from Harvard to downtown and all around. Be back on Tuesday night.

Starting out

I once wrote about moving to Chicago, for ShinyGun magazine. The motto of the site is “you never quite lose that feeling of starting out.” Sometimes I do lose that feeling. I can find people to talk to in a party full of strangers. I can make snappy and correct decisions at work. I can come home and cook something from rice, vegetables and tofu. Other days… other days I wonder how I’ll afford peanut butter sandwiches this week, think about ditching Chicago for another adventure that’ll probably involve an air mattress, and hope nothing goes so wrong that it can’t be fixed.

Looking forward to…

Pigtails and headscarves; biking in stretchy skirts; Saturday morning farmer’s markets; beer on Kevin’s back porch; cheap tacos and sitting by the lake; long walks on velvety starry nights; driving with the windows down and the music up; running through sprinklers; rummage sales; bad movies; barbecues with lots of barbecue sauce; fountains in the parks; big shade trees; ladybugs; summer country songs; learning to make big jars of iced coffee concentrate; old women watering their lawns and smoking cigarettes at the same time; watching couples drift happily home from the wine bar down the street; little kids on Big Wheels; grape and cheese picnics on cool thick grass; making Kevin buy another pack of clove cigarettes that we can split; books with rambling sentences; helping Eliina wind skeins of yarn; watching Henry play on the dog beach; mixing Slurpee flavors; the sound of roller skates on the sidewalk; feeling like I could wait forever or go forever and be perfectly happy.

Early lending

I love lending out books, recommending books, having books recommended to me. Holding a book someone else has given or lent me, I feel like I’m holding a thick slice of fresh-baked bread slathered in butter, something basic and divine at the same time. I’ve been really lucky. I don’t think I’ve ever disliked a recommended or gifted book. Henri and Nicole improbably hooked me into a sci-fi romance series. Samantha has me swooning over The Hour of the Star. Kevin twists my brain up with thoughts from Kurt Vonnegut. I try to be a good lender, but this is the thing: I’m most excited into a flurry of lending when I first meet someone. I want them to know everything about me. I want us to be bibilophilic soulmates. Because, you know, when we have a beer and talk for an hour it’s like we’re old-time pals. So I reach into my library and head straight for the Brooding/Mellow section. (My Brooding/Mellow section is huge.) And I fiercely recommend Everything is Illuminated or The Boy Detective Fails, and I don’t get them back right away. Weeks go by. The acquaintance and I become better and better friends. And I realize that I’ve lent them the entirely wrong book. It’s too brooding. It’s too mellow. It’s not quite funny enough. What was I thinking? So now my copy of Everything is Illuminated is marooned in another person’s apartment, about as useless as a human appendix, and I can’t say, “I’m sorry. I misjudged you. Give me my book back.”