Feeling a bit like Blanche Dubois at the moment. Typing away on this sweaty laptop. M’s are being used. I feel in a hundred thousand different little ways. I have spent a lot of the day watching more Oprah self-help videos. Clips of potent, rah-rah self-awareness. I can’t get a perfect clarity, a perfect resolve, but I can get something out of it.
I refuse to second-guess what happened. I refuse to dwell. I refuse to live in those moments or to mischaracterize them. They were an important three hours regardless of how anyone else spent them. I rolled the dice and moved my piece further down the board. I couldn’t have possibly done any better. There are no stones been set. There are no decisions made, no hearts broken, yet. But they will be. Life will happen, is happening, right now. His purpose in this play is so secondary to this monologue I have in my throat, the song this good woman is singing, singing so hard she can’t even sit still. Imagine me, feeling in real time, being willing, being open, feeling the outline of her heart, surviving the plating of that heart, the sipping of a macchiato over it, smiling because a smile wanted to play on my lips, no calculation taking place. Willing to let myself imagine the good that could come of it. Good because he calls me back, writes me back, asks me out again, thanks me for my effort and hies away. Good because he doesn’t and the next searching soul I come across I won’t cause such a burr, because I have a precedent for bravery, because the stone will be one tumble closer to the gem. I am so grateful that I went through with it, even for the wirrah-wirrah that is a nimbus around my head, because I know the feeling that not trying to connect offers me. It is not a holy aloneness, more often than not. It is a yearning, a water torture, a sad whisper you turn your head to hear and then second-guess, wonder if you made up.
I didn’t make it up.
My father, on this Father’s Day, seems the way I most remember him from childhood. Genuine, watching a ball game, happy just for us to be there, eating hamburgers, telling us about some quail stamp he found on Ebay, a steal, naturally. Having semi-retired, he seems less an exhausted shadow forever asleep during our visits, a Father Time whose daughter is desperate to waken him, and now he lives in his own body. He isn’t so sold to the company that paid him that he isn’t allowed that.
Sunday night reverie and genius. I have a wonderful father. I have inordinate luck even to live in a house with no AC. I am grateful to have opened up a new front on the war on perfectionism. I have a wonderful mother. I have wonderful sisters. I have the taste of watermelon crossed the threshold of my lips.