now she can't be that warm with the wind in her arms
I have an irrational love for Steve Winwood’s Valerie. I’ve been shuffling through my iTunes trying to find a song that would simultaneously calm me and cheer me, and all of a sudden I stumbled on this ode to the girl that got away and I just perked up instantly. I don’t think you could find a cheesier 80s song than this. But, hey. He’s the same boy he used to be.
I am in desperate need of calm and cheer as the past couple of days have been two of the most trying in recent memory. That albatross around my neck, my beautiful, loveable, adorable, petite 2007 Honda Fit, Stella, has been nothing but trouble. I kept it in storage with the promise of my returning to Atlanta and taking her through the dusty streets and circling around 285 and Freedom Parkway and up and down Peachtree and blasting my music and running the A/C on high and just being generally content because she was the car that I always dreamed about when I dreamed about my life in a city.
Except, of course, Manhattan, where a car is about as useful as having a hemorraghing flesh wound. Originally, I intended on keeping her for a bit longer in order to not, you know, completely overextend myself on my brief visit to the city as I had bigger fish to fry in New York. Except then I did the math and realized that it would truly be better to forego the storage charges, the insurance, and the loan payments and just free myself once and for all. EXCEPT EXCEPT that getting rid of a car that has no registration and a dead battery is horrific and not something I would wish upon my worst enemy. The lowest low point of my day was sprinting to what the Fulton County Tax website proclaimed to be the closest tag office, arriving with 10 minutes to spare, and being informed that this office in particular was only open on Tuesdays and Thursdays until 3 p.m. and was mostly only for the use of senior citizens. That’s when the tears of frustration began falling, particularly since I was scheduled to depart the next morning (tomorrow) at 7 a.m.
The flight has since been rescheduled.
None of this is interesting, I know. I am sorry. This probably won’t get a single Like, and I’m okay with that. This is more for myself. I need to document my parents in all of this and how helpful, especially my mother, has been throughout it all. I cannot really express in words how much they mean to me, and how much they have done for me. Simply their presence has been more than I can really articulate without choking up a little bit. My mom drove and drove and drove me to place after place, turned around, called up people and basically helped me in ways that I can’t even formulate. Of course I’m a big girl now, I could do it all myself. But there’s just something about having your mom there to help you out that is just such an enormous, tremendous relief. I love her, and my dad, and my sister. I am just so thankful for my family and the fact that they were here for me, that I had to write it down.
I’m writing this from our hotel room in Charleston. We’ve been placed in a room that can only be described as “cave-like” as there are no windows. It’s at the Embassy Suites, which is in walking distance to the historic district, a.k.a. all the fun stuff. I think we’re going to go to the beach today.
Our party of four includes myself, my mother, my father, and my sister. My brother is still back in California. Whenever we greet random people, my parents immediately launch into how I just got back from Ireland and how I’m going to be moving to New York and I’m just so tired about the whole topic—so overwhelmed about it—that I can’t really muster anything up except a half smile. “What was Ireland like?” the stranger asks me. And I give an answer along the lines of, “Beautiful,” because I honestly couldn’t tell them what it’s like to sit in the front of the 15b bus as you make the steep turn into Rathmines, walking along the Liffey in the harshest cold wind that you can hardly open your eyes, how grateful you are for a sunny day after the inevitable week-long spate of drizzly mistry rain, walking up Grafton Street and hearing all of the various street performers attempting to bewitch you into giving them money, and so on and so forth until all you can say is, “It was great,” and that’s that.
And now New York. I’m trying to figure out plane dates at the moment, trying to figure out what would be the time to go, trying to figure out what to do with my car, trying to figure out what to do with all my stuff. It’s a trying kind of time.
… In the Georgian Terrace hotel, which is my home for the moment as I Get Things Figured Out. I’ve had a spate of luck as of late, which I suppose is the world’s way of making up for the events of the last month. The most recent evidence of this has been the upgrade from the meager standard room to a king size suite, complete with living room, kitchen, and massive bedroom, all of which is overlooking Peachtree Street and the Fox Theater. It’s the kind of welcome back that I didn’t expect. America and/or Atlanta must have missed me.
There are other changes on the horizon, although I’m not comfortable talking about them in this space at the moment. But it’s another hairpin curve that I’ve got to just hold on and go with it, hoping and praying that everything will work out for the best.
Yesterday Andrea and Nate picked me up from the airport and we had dinner at Flip, which was really great. I had a shrimp poboy burger and sweet potato tater tots with a peach sweet tea vodka cocktail. All followed up with a Krispy Kreme milkshake. I would have taken a picture if my camera was still functioning.
So now the sun has risen and I am showered and clothed. My legs are black and blue from transporting all of my remaining earthly possessions across the ocean and down from Chicago, but it’s too hot to wear anything other than a dress. I think I’m going to choose to look at them as merit badges.
For the fourth time in three years, all of my earthly possessions are splayed out in front of me, in loosely gathered mounds on the floor. Two big fat suitcases are open and I’m trying to fit myself into them, one college sweatshirt and high heel at a time. Hangers are empty, trash bags are full. It’s transition time again. I don’t really know how I feel about it. I could say all the cliches, like, “Boy, a year goes by so quickly!”, but that’s because a year does go by so quickly. I remember sitting on my bed in August and just sobbing and feeling so alone and so disheartened and wondering what the hell I had gotten myself into. And now? Well, I can’t particularly say that I’m going to be running up to the American embassy and demanding an emergency visa extension because things have run their course. But it’s weird to be starting all over again, weird to be beginning again. It’s a pattern that I’m almost used to. I don’t know when it will end.
“Hm… yes, all is in a man’s hands and he lets it all slip from cowardice, that’s an axiom. It would be interesting to know what it is men are most afraid of. Taking a new step, uttering a new word is what they fear most… But I am talking too much. It’s because I chatter that I do nothing. Or perhaps it is that I chatter that I do nothing.”—Crime and Punishment - Dostoevsky
“The best moments in reading are when you come across something - a thought, a feeling, a way of looking at things - that you’d thought special, particular to you. And here it is, set down by someone else, a person you’ve never met, maybe even someone long dead. And it’s as if a hand has come out, and taken yours.”—The History Boys
First dates are like free cake at your office. Sometimes, you really want the cake. Other times, you’re just having the cake because it’s free cake. And then there are the times it’s a cake with gross filling (like raspberry), so you decline the cake altogether.
Let’s just say the cake I’m being offered tonight looks very delicious and tempting, but I’m afraid it’ll be a disaster and go straight to my thighs.
I am not really sure what’s wrong with me. I mean, aside from the obvious. Emotional turmoil has kind of been the name of the game lately. Upheavel in the romantic realm, the career realm, changing offices, changing apartments, changing countries. I haven’t been able to sleep for the past month or so, which I’ve been blaming on the sun, or the birds outside, or my bed. I should have been blaming my psyche.
I had an idea for a story on Thursday… One that actually excited me, one that drew upon my own experiences but would be manipulated in a way that would be both heartbreaking and thought-provoking. (Obviously.) I sat down at my computer and started typing… And then started refreshing Facebook and Tumblr and Livejournal and Google Reader and basically everything that would keep me from my intended task.
Is this ADD? Is it something worse?
I visited Newgrange today with Heidi and Jennifer. For the uninitiated, and those who did not watch the video I posted prior to this, it’s one of the oldest man-made objects in the world, 500 years older than the Pyramids of Giza and 1000 years older than Stonehenge. Basically, it’s this huge mound of dirt that leads into a room with three small rooms that are covered in caveman art where the sun from the winter solstice hits precisely every. single. year. and sheds a sliver of light into the chamber. This chamber has lasted for 5000 years. Five. Thousand. Years. And the sun still, to this day, hits on the winter solstice exactly.
Humans are pretty darn clever when they put their minds to it. And there are no outside distractions.
Of course, they also all died under the age of 30 and punched holes in their skulls to get rid of evil spirits. So.