Saturday, July 05, 2003
here's to you, jason
Like I said in my last, all too brusque, email, thank you for your writing. I'm a Marine stationed in Iraq. I won't go into details about my life out here, but as a guy who grew up on LI, Iraq, as a country, sucks. The heat, the dust, the worrying about getting shot...it all sucks (except the people, the people who don't shoot at you are great). Now imagine how it would be to be living through a hot, sucky day only to come across a vivid account of
three people in new york playing imaginary baseball in the rain. Your account took me out of Iraq and into the rain, to witness children laughing, mud flying from rainsoaked sneakers and multicolored ponchos moving against a background of wet green trees. It was relief. It was escape. It was a reminder of why I am out here and what I have to look forward to when I get back. Thanks again.
i don't get a lot of emails. and i'm always thrilled when i do, but this one especially touched me, so i wanted to share it with you guys. jason, man, i'm so very, very glad that one of my little snippets of life could bring a little bit of east coast sunshine to your desert life. bon courage out there. keep me updated of your life, and stay safe. you stay safe and i'll keep writing, how's that?
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Thursday, July 03, 2003
everyday's an endless stream of cigarettes and magazines ...
back to rhode island.
back to sunlit bedrooms.
back to couches i've known since i wasn't much taller than the cushions.
back to white tiled bathrooms.
back to musty sweet basements full of tools and chairs.
back to dad's english old-fashioned roses.
back to mom's rhodedendrons.
back to dad's ferns. and mom's daffodils.
back to barbeques, with sausages and sirloin and potatoes.
back to a garage refridgerator full of beers my dad knows i like.
back to staring out the front door at the park.
back to long drives in rhonda the honda.
back to late night runs to shell for more cigarettes.
back to sitting at the kitchen table, chain-smoking and catching up with mom.
back to clean laundry.
back to not new york.
back to my inheiritance, that little yellow house.
back to getting a little weepy when we drive up, because -
back to the first place in twenty years that we've laid down our hats and said "that's it! we're not moving!"
back to hope street.
back to providence.
back to home.
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Wednesday, July 02, 2003
girl ... you'll be a woman, soon.
i've noticed an emerging trend in the cabaret that is my life. something new, some fascinating new pattern, has fluttered to my shoulder and settled. back in college, this is how my social calendar usually read:
come home from class. fall asleep. at 11:30 pm, have someone knock at your door. friend enters. friend suggests off-the-cuff entertainment idea, like going to irish pub down the street, or driving around and drinking beer, or watching a movie.
this is how things WENT in college, see. there was no forethought. there was no e-vites to things, no standing traditions, no monthly fetes. it was just chaos, your social life. it fell into your lap, pawed at you to come along on some sort of last-minute adventure, and when you woke up the next day with a thudding head you had a hard time remembering where you'd been.
but that's changing.
if you (or you, or you) were to call me right now and ask me out to coffee at some point soon, i'd have to tell you, "sorry, i'm actually booked through to next saturday." and i wouldn't be saying it because i'm, say, part of new york's cadre of well-dressed social elite. i don't have a whitney opening and then a chloe sevigny party to attend. but nonetheless, this is how the conversation would go:
you: when can you meet, in the near future? how about tonight?
me: ooh, tonight's no good. going to see legally blonde with some girls and a handful of more courageous males.
me: going to rhode island for sun and sand and barbeque, til sunday!
me: possibly girly-night with steph and shivery, drinking sangria, doing our toenails and smoking cigaretttes.
me: either getting pizza at The Gate with the brooklyn tribe, or at a stupid chi-chi party for my magazine.
you: *getting frustrated* wednesday?
me: wednesday is dinner and beers at the bohemian with vix and pennilicious.
you: i'm afraid to ask about thursday?
me: oh! that might be pizza night. but if pizza night ends up being tuesday, then i'll probably be free thursday.
me: only, i'd need to stay home and rest and clean house and catch up on bills that night. how about friday then?
you: friday was the only night next week that i have plans.
me: right. sorry.
when did this happen, kids? this is not an exercise to prove how many friends i have. au contraire - these are plans with all the same people. nor is it proof that my friends are more friendly than most. the point of this is - when did i start making social plans a week in advance? when did it occur to me that i really could use a palm pilot because it's getting kind of confusing trying to remember exactly when and where i'm meeting with whom. nor is it a matter of being filthy stinking rich - all of next week has to be done on less that $50, methinks.
it's that ... i'm growing up! i remember my mother doing this stuff, y'all. i remember listening to her conversations as i played at her feet, or waited for permission to go outside. perfumed, liltingly musical conversations she had with her ubiquitous circle of woman friends, conversations like oh, well, i know janettommichaelcarolsydney are coming over to my place thursday, and then the oliveiras are having a cocktail party on friday, but let's do saturday brunch!
and now, as i traverse wires of communication with my various clusters of friends - email, IM, telephones, texting - i realize i'm doing it to. i no longer rely on stumbling out of bed and finding someone to play with. in this big city, with our harried lives, we have all started doing this without really realizing what's happening. college kids don't have social calendars. adults do.
we're all turning into.... adults.
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Monday, June 30, 2003
it's what happens when you set impossibly high standards.
here's how i was planning on finding out my lsat scores: at home tonight, with seastreet cooking dinner and a bottle of wine to either celebrate or commiserate with.
here's how i actually found out my lsat score: rudely interrupted while writing an email, my outlook program automatically opened the email, bursting onto the quiet morning landscape with it's brevity and impersonal jab of a mediocre score. a mediocre score. a percentile in the seventies. the requisite 1, followed by two other numbers that felt like two tiny times new roman stab wounds. mediocre.
i'm not going to tell you my score, really, because different scores have different meanings for different people. suffice it to say that i did alright by some, and not enough for me. not enough for where i want to go to school. desperately want to go to school. 10 points shy of the impossibly high standard i set for myself. feeling like i let everyone down who was convinced i would do well, who told me over beers and over the telephone and on IM that i would ace it. so much faith, and the result, three mediocre little numbers! followed by realizing how ridiculous that sentiment is. followed by realizing the person i most let down was myself - my blind half-full faith that lulls me into carelessly believing i always get what i want. seeing those three letters on my harsh computer screen, feeling ready to burst into tears at what i foolishly have interpreted as my own failing. it's just a test, all my superfriends say, all my heroes. you'll do better in october, you'll be much more prepared, we know you can do it because you rock. not believing them but glad they said it anyway. this is what i feel this morning.
so i'll take my usual twenty four hours, kids. tonight, i will drink wine and i will be moody and fatalistic about it. i will try and take my mind off of what feels like stupid disaster, but it will be hard to fall asleep tonight. but my optimism has regenerative powers - and tomorrow i will dust off, shake away the negative energy, prop my chin up by force if need be.... and i'll be fine.
just give me tonight to brood.
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