I woke up to rain against my window and dim, overcast light filtering through curtains the color of saffron that make everything seem sunnier, regardless of the weather.The showers let up long enough for me to run my second practice 5k of the week, the weight-loss benefits of which are now being canceled out as I sit in bed, fully clothed, eating the last of the peanut-butter M&Ms I bought last night before I saw Watchmen. Let's not kid ourselves: Three miles is no match for my capacity for consumption.
Between my opposing states of hare and tortoise (slug. sloth. dead thing.) I went up the street to meet a friend for coffee. Close to a year ago — when my last serious relationship was ending and hers was falling apart as well — she stumbled on my old journal and started reading. Religiously. One day, she outed herself in a comment, signing off as "Totally Addicted." We finally met at the end of last summer, a muggy Sunday morning in late September. Orange juice I could have drank by the gallon, a single fly buzzing around our table, me blinking back disbelief that I was face to face with someone who found my life compelling enough to follow — with no background but what I chose to offer her as a complete stranger. I adore her. I loved her from that first comment she left but even more after we parted ways. It's hard to tell how much we have in common because I wound up talking almost the entire time we were at brunch. She didn't seem to mind. I get the feeling she's been through just as much or more than me in life, but she conveys her strength in a way that's completely foreign to me. Privately, quietly. She wouldn't tolerate emotional voyeurism — and I seem to relish it.
Part of me is sick to death of my own narcissism, but part of me I've never found myself to be terribly interesting; life happens, and I write it down because I don't know any other way. I've been my stories are fascinating enough that I've started to believe it. It seems silly to have this repository of tales from my life and not do something with it; why wouldn't I write a book at some point? I'm easily influenced by others' enthusiasm. Not necessarily a bad thing. But maybe that's part of my trouble with love: The other person seems into it, so I figure it's for the best that I follow suit. Not always, but is that all it is sometimes? Is that what it is now? The last time I fell for someone without feeling cajoled, it ended (a few times; yes, the same person) in heartbreak. How do normal people fall in love? What is normal? Would I want it if I knew how to get it? Is this real life?
Hello, stream of consciousness.
I came home from coffee and, for the first time all week, was able to stop myself from switching on the Fall Out Boy and dancing around my room. I've been in bed, listening to slow, soft music and trying to write, for the past two hours. The little green scarf I envision myself wearing by the Seine is keeping my neck warm in this cold disaster of an apartment. Three days' worth of outfits I thought better of are still on the floor or, in the case of this morning's, on my bed. Ripped envelopes from discarded mail are collecting dust on my night table; everywhere in my apartment, there are spoon-stuck cereal bowls and juice-pulped glasses in purgatory between breakfast and dishwasher. Sometimes I seem better to myself until I realize I'm very good at keeping up appearances. Or maybe I am better and need to work at acknowledging that sadness and doubt can be part of my life without overtaking me. I don't cry myself to sleep anymore. That's a start.
We're only just as happy as everyone else seems to think we are.