Opossums and Saying Yes

The night went like this.

Met up with Di and Alex and had cupcakes.

Made the phone call.

Headed to Maes with Di. Had whiskey cokes and depressed ourselves.

Misha showed up and we started drinking whiskey presses. Tennery showed up, and then Di went home.

Misha, Tennery and I had a lovely girl talk. Misha left and Tennery and I got all existential. Then Misha came back and I went to pee.

Upstairs I ran into a guy who comes into the cafe every morning– gauge earrings and tattoos.

“You’re the guy that tips really well!”

“I know how it is. I work for tips as well.”

Then ran into Phil, who was playing pool. I’ve never really talked to him before, but I tell him that he has the most wonderful smile on his face every time I have ever seen him. He says thank you, and smiles. Ask him to verify Pat’s story about their encounter with bear cubs in California. He does. Then I head back downstairs.

Misha, Ten and Tyler are now sitting at the table. And I join them and we talk about copy rights, and comic books. And then naturally on to tattoos.

And then we have a lot more drinks, and somehow everyone changes places at the table. And then I run out of money.

Phil comes down and joins us, find out he’s just back in town for the summer– he’s living in New York, New York now. He’s a librarian in Harlem– doing research requests for prisoners.

Then Stuart joins our table- it’s now Misha, Stuart, Phil and I. It’s a nice combo, and we have some sort of conversation for the next hour or so until the bar closes. One of my high school super crushes is at the bar and keeps looking at me all night, and I’m not sure how to react so I just keep looking past him. As a normal adult would do.

Then Phil heads out, and Misha, Stuart and I set out in search of food. Okay, I guess it’s just me who is in search of food. Always in search of food. When I realized Pita Pit is closed, I almost let out a cry of terror. I run the streets in vain looking for food, anywhere besides where I know my 3 am meal is coming from. Finally I resign myself to it and walk into Jimmy Johns.

Meeting back up with Misha and Stuart, Misha’s new boy Alex walks up. He is, of course, one of my old highschool classmates. He’s got the hiccups, and he’s very upset about it. I tell him to look at me, focus, and have a bite of my sandwich. It’s a magic sandwich and it cures all things. And he takes a bite, stands back and holds his breath, and he’s legitimately cured. I tell him that he now has to give all credit to me for all things he succeeds in in life, and he agrees.

“It’s like when you think you’re going to have hiccups forever, and then all the sudden they are GONE!” he keeps saying. It is drunken and repetitive but increasingly hilarious.

He recognizes me all the sudden, “We went to highschool together!”

“I know. I was so quiet.”

“I was too.”

We bond over our quiet-ness, and the benefits of alcohol in an introverted person’s life.

“I have a lot to say now!” He says. And he does. I’m not sure what, but I’d like to find out. He makes us all promise to hang out again next week. Which we might. And we are all bringing booze and books.

Before I outed him my coworker loaned me a book of poetry, signed by the author who’s one of our favorite spoken word poets.

He told me he cried over one of them.

We are going to trade the book back and forth every other day, each reading a poem, and then trading it back to the other.

Like him a lot. He is a good guy.

And he likes poetry!

I need to run everyday for the rest of my life.

Preferably under the sun or stars.

And my other girl friend Trina just texted me, Debbo and I were just talking about her.

I swear, sometimes I think humanity is closer to each other than we even realize. There’s got to be some invisible vibes going between us all. Why tonight? Why would every girl I know text me, call me? When we all go weeks without contact?

It’s confirmed. It’s an estrogen night all the way.

Just a list of the weekend’s festivities to make sense of it all.

Ben graduated Saturday morning. Grandma and I cracked open the beers around 11 am.

Met up with Kyle around 3. Was half asleep with the beer and the sun. Had coffee and lost ourselves in our mutually narcissistic musings.

Then we went to Maes and got beer.

And Guinness.

And whiskey water.

And then I called for a ride home.

Right before I left, he stood in front of me and said, “We are the male and female version of the same thing.”

I said, “I know. That’s why we should never trust each other.”

Okay, I didn’t say that. But we were definitely both thinking it.

Haha.

The next morning I worked.

Then went to the twin’s highschool graduation.

And then I came home.

And did a few things that you do.

And then I went and hung out with Stuart.

And we watched this awesome, tripped out amazing movie and I can now say that movies have the potential to be works of fucking great art just as much as any book can.

The next day I went to work.

And then the next day I went to work.

And then today I went to work.

And we are officially up to date.

So now I will stay up to date.

And I will get it all in.

Making sure I never miss a beat of living it or contemplating it.

Doing a little less contemplating right now, though.

Realized it’s getting in my way.

I trust my gut.

And I trust my principles.

And I trust my emotions to some extent.

But right now, I think I have had enough emotions and principles to be able to have a very firm gut. That is going to lead me exactly where it is I should go.

And I’m not as terrified as I was in theory.

Only a little exhausted.

But it’s my Friday night. On this Wednesday evening.

After work I sat down and ate dinner at the cafe, while talking to Debolina.

Debolina had to go, and in that moment I overheard my coworker talking about a failed date from last night.

I ran up to the counter, “You went on a date? It didn’t go well? Remember my friend from the poetry slam? Ask her out?”

And he responds, quick as lightning and strong as thunder, with a beautiful smile in accompaniment:

“I’m gay.”

I took a double take, and then stutter:

“Oh– we thought— I see– Gottcha– I’m sorry!”

He laughs.

“I’m not sorry you’re gay! Being gay is awesome. Have you tried this quiche? It’s great. How long have you been out? What color socks do you wear? I can never match my socks.” I talk myself into a corner and he just smiles.

The whole cafe has heard us at this point, and all of my coworkers happened to be sitting at tables right by the counter as well, just hanging out.

I have out-ed this beautiful man in front of half of the town and all of his coworkers on this sunny Wednesday evening in May.

Turns out it’s his half year anniversary of being out.

I walk back and talk to him privately:

“I’m sorry for assuming you were straight. And for putting you in a position where you had to announce it to the world.”

“No, you’re fine! You can tell the world!”

Was so cute. I think I love him.

Have realized recently that I treat men and women that I meet differently.

Am generally more interested in men than I am in women when I meet them.

Probably having to do with the fact that I am pretty straight.

But decided today that I want to make more of an effort to make girl friends.

And then the girls just landed upon me.

Sitting eating my quiche after work, Misha walks in. She’s been trying to call me for the past hour, to ask me out for drinks tonight.

I say, with a mouthful of veggie feta quiche, “Of course! Let’s do it!”

So am headed out with her tonight at 9.

Ten from work is also coming. She asked me to hang out earlier this week. So it all works out.

And then check my phone, Di has texted me and wants a night out as well.

What’s up with Wednesday nights, people?

Am supposed to have a phone conversation with a friend tonight, but he is not free until 9. Which is when I am going out.

So, I think the universe is telling me to focus on the ladies for the night?

I don’t know. Was thinking about becoming closer to this guy and sacrificing my ban on relationships, but then it all culminates tonight, when I am having platonic drinks with a bunch of girls from work.

The universe is a thing to be listened to.

The universe is here to be listened to.

And the universe is also a thing to have conversations with.

Going to have a conversation with the universe tonight.

With lots of girls and a boy at the other end of a phone line.

Coffee with Di.

Climbed rock wall and drank tea with Miles.

Drank a “Blue Blazer” at Four Olives with Chris- they lit my scotch on fire.

Settled into Mae’s with Diana later.

Saw two Erics. The first one offered me a job in St. Paul Minnesota. Starting tomorrow if I want it.

The second one sat with Diana and me. Second Eric is from Minneapolis, Minnesota. He wears a lot of plaid.

Something about Erics and Minnesota tonight. What does it mean?

Also met an Italian from Connecticut and a quiet Californian. We talked about the type of things you talk about with your closest friends only. And then we parted ways.

What a night.

It’s not stopping. I keep moving.

I just keep saying yes, and I just keep learning how to live life.

I just can’t forget how to be alone.

I cannot forget how to love being alone.

Tomorrow is all mine for alone.

Just climbed a rock wall and hit the bell at the top with my friend Miles who has jumped out of 60+ airplanes and free climbed across this continent and the one below.

The secret to life and climbing: don’t look down.

Don’t look down.

Running insights:

1: Intrigue in the doing, indifference in the results.

2: Read fast, or will never finish.

3: Dialogue. Learn to write it, read it, be it.

4: Deep End. No one’s but your own. No way but alone.

Just said goodbye to my friend from Kazakhstan.

And two guys from Taiwan and India.

Getting drinks with my coworker right now before she heads off to the Dominican Republic for the summer. Working both jobs today as well.

It’s so weird to see everyone leave!

Feels really similar to the end of my study abroad year. Except I’m staying on the same continent for now, it’s everyone else who is leaving.

Sad, but exciting to get to stay in touch.

People keep moving, and the world keeps turning.

We all grow stronger with the change, and we all learn to love a little bit better with the movement.

It’s not stopping. I keep moving.

I just keep saying yes, and I just keep learning how to live life.

I just can’t forget how to be alone.

I cannot forget how to love being alone.

Tomorrow is all mine for alone.

So right after work I ran to grab dinner with my friend Waleed, who is flying across the world back to Saudi Arabia in a few days, and this might be the last time I ever see him.

Somehow I feel like it won’t be, I can usually feel these things, but it was still really sad.

And I wondered, what the fuck am I doing with my life.

I have been parading around this attitude of indifference and nonchalance. Independence above all and detached attachment.

And then as I was giving him a hug goodbye, I got this empty feeling in the pit of my stomach.

This feeling that something is very wrong with this life that I love. This life of come and go, hello and goodbye.

And I’m still feeling it to a certain extent an hour later.

Going to go for a run and see if that cheers me up.

International is what I love.

New people and places are what I love.

Sticking around too long or hearing the same voices again and again terrifies me.

But then again, when you actually connect with someone, it seems such a waste to have such a vast earth.

Why we can’t always be neighbors.

But in this weird way, I feel that we are.

Waleed will still be here with me no matter what.

And all the other people that come and go out of my life.

And all the lives I have came into and left.

It’s brutal, but it’s life.

And accepting life is beauty at it’s height.

Came home with food and undone errands done. Then made green tea with honey, coffee with cinnamon and pasta with organic sauce. Then drank an entire gallon of cranberry juice. Home alone I unplugged the internet and threw my phone in a corner on silent in a dramatic and empowering gesture. Wrote in my notebook “Unplugged” and underlined it. The read Steppenwolf by Hesse. Developed a headache as I continued to jot down important quotes out of necessity. Changed literature and wrote down the key to life in two different places: Key- presence, thought, art. Then moved to the sofa and read my travel book. The author was currently in India, chanting om at an ashram. I began to chant om aloud to myself, feeling the vibrations of the universe in my throat, and was immediately lulled to sleep. During my half lucid dreaming of intellectually stimulating and transformative fever spirit dreams my brother arrives home declaring “OUT” as he shooed me upstairs like I was a wild animal. I gather my books, food, drinks, thoughts and keys to life off the kitchen table, and make about 17 half conscious trips to my room to transplant my wonderfully unconscious day to my room, hidden away so he and his girlfriend can have a pleasant meal together without a scroungy, feverish philosopher queen sleeping on the living room couch.

This is how I want to work to make my life. Continually more and more.

An active public life in which I continue to push myself into all the situations that intrigue and terrify me. And prove to myself that’s what makes life worth living, and that’s what it takes to be free. Continually.

But then when I am home, I take the time to regroup. When I have pushed myself enough that I barely recognize myself anymore, that’s when I can safely sit down and take it all in. I know I’m not hiding anymore, I’m thinking. Thinking so that everything I have done and been and seen and met can be fully integrated into my being.

That’s when I find myself.

That’s when I can take the time to drink tea, listen to blind pilot radio and write about what I think.

And make red beans and rice.

It’s a fine line, but I am beginning to learn it. I always knew I had to get lost to find life, especially my own life, but I didn’t fully realize until recently that I needed to listen to myself over all other ideals.

I have what I want to do in my head, but I listen to what my being is saying. And most of the time, I want to dive into exactly what my being is avoiding. Because it is usually what I love. And the only way I can truly learn to love myself.

Always do when I am terrified, but know the difference between terror and exhaustion. I know when my mind is ready for inspiration, and when it is over saturated. And now I am beginning to pay attention to this. More and more.

Right now there is just a lot on my mind. And these thoughts have been compartmentalized so much that I only think of them in the moment. Then my thoughts change with the moment.

Solo time helps me with continuity. With connection. With caution as well as commotion.

All the things taking place in my life do not have to come to a halt for me to consider them, as I practiced in the past. The world can continue to roll while I take the time to slow down whenever I will.

I just need to recognize how to balance the me in the everything.

And I am going to keep learning how to do that.

While recognizing that the me is nothing without everything.

But I got the style.

The interest and the discomfort. The world is far too big to spend time following anything but where your interest and discomfort simultaneously lead you.

I would like to take this moment to thank my parents for being the beautiful, loving, and always supportive people that they are. Though they may not always agree with my choices, they are always there to back me up. And that is so valuable. I take it for granted how powerful this is in my life. Knowing that I will be supported regardless, with a vague sense of direction given to me, but the vast majority of my life to be decided for and by myself.

Thank you, Mom and Pop for being the free thinking people that you are. And thank you for teaching me how to be one as well.

I will never be able to show you how much I appreciate you. But as my life changes and grows, know that I will never forget that it all starts with the empowering life view you offered me as a child, which you still inspire in me to this day.

Went for a night jog in the crisp spring air. Startled to see my spirit animal in the middle of the road, lumbering for the sidewalk. Then proceeding to waddle straight down the endless sidewalk, off into the darkness.

I watched her in silence, in all her furry glory. She was huge and vicious looking, and she did not give a shit about anyone or anything else besides where she was headed.

I do not know what to take from my spirit animal, only that I know she is mine. And I have much to learn from her.

Something about absolute beauty in nontraditional charm.

Went to Kansas City, Missouri last night to visit a new friend.

We ate Indian food and then proceeded to have more than a few whiskey and waters.

He is my twin.

He is literally my twin.

We hung out last week for the first time, with no prior knowledge of each other. We each traveled an hour to meet up with one another, all off a hi and bye at a coffee shop.

And then we realized when we sat down to talk that day in Lawrence, that we agree on almost everything.

It was surreal to say the least, and each of us left that day feeling like the other one was just mimicking the other’s perspective.

But then we hung out in Kansas City last night, and it was confirmed that we really are just hitting it off. And we are both a bit disgusted with the ease of the interactions. We honestly finish each others’ sentences.

We were both a bit worried we’d have nothing to talk about this time since we covered existence in all its entirety last time. But we still have infinite amounts of things to say. And kept creating new ideas for each other, and kept realizing how similar we are and diving into areas of thought you normally only go to on your own.

Everything that I like and dislike about myself, he’s got the exact same shit going on.

So surreal.

Anyway, it was a pretty good night.

Now I have a twin out there in the universe.

Always wanted this moment to happen, and now that it has I’m not even sure how I feel about it.

I’m moderately intrigued.

I refuse to feel guilty about wanting to be single.

I don’t want anything serious with anyone right now, and probably won’t for a long while.

I have spent most of my life feeling like I needed a relationship, and now that I don’t feel like that anymore, I am taking this chance to fully ingrain that perspective into my being.

Just watched a spider climb a wall. Was the most beautiful thing I’ve seen all day. And I saw a lot of beautiful things today.

One of the regulars came in with her mom today who was visiting from D.C., and as I said hi, I realized she couldn’t hear me. And Callie translated for me, with fluent sign language, spelling my name out in the air for her mother.

It was so beautiful.

I loved it.

I have not come across many deaf people in my life. Or people who speak sign language.

But I really want to learn now. : )

Jay came in today speaking Russian to me. He’s American, but has Russian background like me. (Yes, I am claiming Russian heritage now. German Russian? Come on. We’re pretty fucking Russian.)

I still remember words from the Russian my dad taught me growing up, but the thing I remember best is Dasvidanya: “Goodbye.”

So I just kept telling him goodbye as he tried to order his drink. Belligerently “Dasvidanya! Dasvidanya! Dasvidanya!”

And everyone in line thought we were having an argument in Russian. It was very misleadingly cultured of us. And then everyone around us claimed Russian heritage in unison as well, and begun saying Dasvidanya.

Jay’s teaching me a word a day. Today it was stoy-doh. Pretty sure it means tired? Check me on it, Pop. : )

Also wore my dad’s old foreign language sweatshirt from the 80s today. And everyone ate it up. So retro.

Saw an old high school classmate today, she’s headed to Switzerland to play volleyball professionally. Or Spain. Really excited for her. She is absolutely adorable and totally deserves it.

Everyone deserved all the beauty in the world today, and everyone was dishing it out like they had just won the lottery.

Three of us girls were behind the counter this morning, and this woman walks up. Rambles on about coffee, gushing over everything about the cafe and then about her life. Then she saunters away, and I turn to Ella and Amy: “I think I love her.”

And they nod in agreement.

And the line of people waiting for coffee nod in agreement as well.

And then proceed to attempt to outdo her in compliments and smiles.

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