Yesterday I sat at Starbucks so long the baristas offered me free sustenance. "We made a mistake, but you look like you could use this," said the young man singled out to approach me. He set a passion tea on my table and backed away slowly, like the wrong move might make me cry, off with his head. I wondered how I must look, pale skin, glazed wonder in my eyes. The laptop zombies, they drive me crazy. Mainly when when I can't find a place to sit because of them. But yesterday, I was one.
Maybe I will go back to school and be an English professor, I said to myself the other day. It was raining in L.A. but it was almost 80 here, making mockery of all my dreams. I was sitting in my backyard and reading a book about just that, about an English professor, about doctorates and discussions of love. That did it to me, that always does. I want bao and green tea ice cream, I'll say to Mr. V, and Mr. V knows I've been reading Lisa See.
So maybe I will do this instead, I said to the universe. She just smiled back. Go ahead and try, she said. I won't stop you.
But the truth we knew was this. I am not an English professor, or a magazine editor, or a 911 operator or any of the other occupations I entertain on warm spring days. I'm not a blogger either, something I realized when reading this post by you know who, my favorite blogger, who realizes she is not a writer of books, not now anyway. I am not a blogger, it is not my calling, it was a relief to recognize it.
Which does not mean I am going to quit blogging. But I had neglected my work, momentarily. Stopped editing, stopped writing, and so this week I've gone back to it, like I hope I always will. I am telling stories. I am struck by Ayla, who is seven. My mind recites the only times table it ever memorized: Seven, fourteen, twenty-one. I feel overwhelmed some days, driving from the grocery store, sitting at Starbucks and frightening the baristas, with happiness. There were times in my twenties when I was so unhappy, so restless, such a stranger in my life. 7, 14, 21, Ayla marches on and so do I, but I am so lucky, my sun-dappled life a thing of dreams, I am doing what I want, what I feel I am meant to do and some days I feel I'm getting younger. The days pass maybe not in straight lines but in circles, or moons, regressing, fulfilling, full bloom. My soul grows lighter.
The story moves on.