Oh Dear Reader! It’s been ages! Hello and hurrah!
“Where have you been, Yawps??” you ask, teetered on tenterhooks, wondering what adventures I’ve been living in the darkness beyond your sight. Have a seat, and I’ll fill you in, and with pleasure…anything to distract from the disarray around me which I must needs take care of sometime today.
There has been, of course, my ever-present battle with the abyss, that yawning void of despair that has me pinpointed in Google Maps and is never far from knocking on my door to leave its flaming pile of shit. But honestly, there’re only so many times a girl can write about depression before, well, before we all get fucking bored of it. Wouldn’t you rather I return to snark and pith, regaling you with stories of my awkward flubs and social misdeeds?
I thought so.
Let us away down yon flowered path….
A few weeks ago, my mother called me and left a message: “Hey, um, listen, I’ve got to, well, just, CALL ME OKAY?” She’s prone to the dramatic, my mother, and I know this, but the one time I ignore her until morning will be the time someone’s died, you know? So, I called her right back. “Your grandfather is starting to get a little tired” she says, “so I had a thought…do you think you could make it in for Father’s Day weekend, and we’ll surprise him with a visit?”
Now, I’d been secretly hatching a plot to fly east again in the late fall, which would include a few days with my grandparents, but he’s 87, so if the chance was there, sooner is always better, yeah? So I placed Mom on speaker and immediately smart-phoned my way to the interwebz, finding out quickly how expensive last-minute travel can be. Tipping the scales at over a thousand bucks, prices decided the fate of that idea very quickly. I wouldn’t be able to go. Mom was uncharacteristically understanding and I hung up the phone. But in those few minutes, the trip had become real in my head, and disappointment spurred me back to the search. In the next ten minutes, I found a Priceline fare for a song, convinced my penny-pinching Id to STFU, booked said ticket and called Mom back to announce that I’d made it work.
I was going home!!
Things fell into place from the second the idea was hatched out of a phone call. On Thursday, I would take a direct flight out of Seattle and into JFK. (And, in case you’re wondering, there is little more awesome to this girl than the NYC skyline coming into view from thousands of feet in the air when she’s been living in locational purgatory for too long.) My best girl would pick me up and take a personal day on Friday and then drop me off at the ferry into CT in the afternoon. From there, a weekend visit with my family, a return to the ferry to get back to Long Island, a quick day babysitting the tow-headed little scootch and back to the airport on Tuesday.
“FUCK YEAH!” you’re saying. But wait, it gets better. All of that DID happen. And this stuff too:
About halfway through that 5-hour flight, I startled and sat bolt-upright in my seat. A PLAN! A why-in-the-holy-HavanaCuba-did-I-not-think-of-this-before Plan.
On that Monday morning, a TweetUp of epic proportions was going to be taking place. For a couple of hours Amanda, Stereo and Dominique were going to be in the same place. At those same moments, given the previous plan, I would be getting off of a ferry in Port Jefferson, NY and spending an entire day by myself waiting for the bestie to get out of work. With that background, you’ll understand just what it must have been like for me to have the following thought, at 30,000 feet in the air, with no electronic way to announce it to the world: What if I just took the train into NYC with Amanda, took part in the TweetUp and then just hopped the LIRR back out to my friend as she was getting off of work? WHAT IF, INDEED!
You bet your ass I made it happen.
As soon as I touched down, (and while I waited on the tarmac for “VIP Movement” which turned out to be Air Force One taking off to the left of my window), I began tweeting and, just like that, the whole plan came together. Thus ensued five unexpected and thoroughly perfect days.
With a kiss on the cheek, I hopped into Blondie’s car, squeezed the chubbo-toes of the littlest one, and found myself, in mere minutes, digging my toes into the sand at Jones Beach. With the Atlantic before me, and the sun beginning its descent, I took a deep breath in and let it all go. The two months on crutches, the loneliness, the ache. All of it. Jen was in her heaven, and all was right with the world. We began the next day with a diner breakfast, frittered the early afternoon with the babe in the wash at Smithpoint Beach, and talked about everything and nothing. For the first time in months, I relaxed and didn’t feel lonely. And the best part? I recognized it as it was happening. Recognized it, and enjoyed it more for that.
My weekend in Connecticut was just as fulfilling. I ate cannoli (SAN REMO’S!!), spent time with each grandparent in turn, listened to my Dad play guitar, drank beers with my brother and SIL and tried on ridiculous things with my mother in the fitting room at the Meriden Marshall’s. I sat next to my favourite aunt at church (yes, church), surprised great Auntie Re-Re in a completely different pew and ate the most ridiculously sinful brunch buffet (with EVERYONE), where I allowed myself to be harangued by mother and grandmother alike with thinly veiled hints toward procreation; “Aw! Look! Behind you, A BABY!” (insert the dark and intently pointed stares of two generations of Sicilian ladies. Set phasers to stun.) It was Quality Time: the definition of.
On Monday morning, after hugs all around, I climbed into a green Honda named Adventure, and rode into the sunrise with Amanda (who is NOT a serial killer). We took the train into Grand Central (my first time at GC EVER?!) and, brimming with timorous enthusiasm and confidence, I purchased my first Metrocard in YEARS. With only one deliberate and deeply purposed deviation from the expected route, we arrived safely in Brooklyn, into the waiting smiles and hugs of Dominique and Stereo and gents.
And kids? Even though it should have been? It wasn’t even a little weird.
Somehow, against all odds, and in the face of a ratio that suggests that 1:1 people you meet on the internet range on a scale from A Bit Tetched to Profoundly Disturbed, these girls were all “my kind of people.” And more? Each is genuine to their Twitter personae. For around three hours, I chatted, clucked and laughed with a trio of skirts whose writing and humor and humanity I’d come to admire. In NYC. On a short detour that almost didn’t happen.
Pretty fucking sweet yeah?
If every guilt-laden suggestion from my mother yielded such results, I’d understand better why I always submit.
For those five days, life was like I want it to be always. Easy, unburdened and spontaneous. To be within easy reach of friends and family. To lose myself in the laugh of babies whose lives I’ll play a large role in. To eat things that are delicious. To be told I’ve turned into a beautiful woman by people who’ve known me long enough to see the change. To fly and live out of a backpack. To listen to the music that formed and INformed my life. And to see the ocean regularly.
It’s not a complete wishlist, of course, but there are more than a couple Ten Ten things in there.
So, for the moment, I’m recharged. And I’ve got a little something to put the brag back in my step.