Lunch

CAM00133

The hurricane and I are sitting side by side on the subway, lurching uptown after work.

He’s talking about something, I’m thinking about something else, and he slaps his substantial hand over mine.

“What are you doing,” he asks.

I look down. My right hand is squeezing my left. My nails, short, as always, but not short enough, dig into my skin. I am wringing my hands.

My right hand drops the left and I shrug.

“I’m thinking.”

The train throttles through the underground tunnels and the people riding, sitting, standing, blocking their ears with music, their sight with games and books, hurtle through space and time, riding a slow-moving rocket back home.

I’m stuck in a moment. Sitting on that subway bench, speeding by the dirty, tiled walls.

***

I am speculating about when I’ll be getting around to cleaning my apartment. It seems that I feel that I have more important things to do, including nap, pet my dog, eat breakfast, drink coffee, pace, play with my dog, read about the cannibal cop who’s on trial for conspiring to kidnap and cook his wife and his college friend, and wonder if Bill O’Reilly is not actually an angry old man with a microphone, but an oracle who speaks in riddles.

I feels like I have a conjoined twin stuck to my liver or maybe rattling around my blood stream. And I wonder how I can reason with her in order to get her to vacuum the carpets and scrub the tub.

She, of course, doesn’t understand why I don’t just get up and clean. If I were crazy enough to talk to her out loud, I would say, “because I’m trying to write.”

But, if I say that, she’ll cross her arms with an “I told you so” smile. I hate it when she smirks at me.

Lately, this psychic twin of mine is getting on my nerves.

We haven’t been seeing eye to eye.

***

There are three things I do well.

Walk, write, and worry.

Walking comes as naturally to me as breathing. It’s the loose whip-stitch that sews the Frankenstein quilt I call my life together. I was one of those toddlers who refused to walk or even practice walking, until I knew how. One day, I simply stood up and took a step and then another step. I’ve been walking ever since.

Writing’s a special skills I ignored for a long time. But it kept showing up. Stories wanted to be told and they wanted me to tell them. So, here I am, clacking away instead of cleaning.

I come by worrying naturally. My mother is a great worrier. She used to set aside time to worry, as if it were a treasured hobby. I try not to do it, since it doesn’t do much good; I don’t know if it’s the change in weather, or my impending trip to Alaska, the lack of direction in my life, or that I’ve discovered a sleeping dog where my considerable stash of ambition used to lay, but I’ve been worrying a lot lately.

It’s bugging me out.

***

NASA’s advertising for a couple to go on a rocket ship for five hundred day trip to Mars and back in 2018. They’re looking for a married couple, but I’m thinking about applying, anyway.

They warn that the space is confined, six hundred square feet, which is exactly the size of my apartment. And, unless they also want to chart the beginning, middle, and end of a married couple’s life together, I think it’d be better to throw two cute single urban dwellers and one super cute dog into the rocket to see what happens. Of course, they’d have to meet a few times, coffee, drinks, dinner, perhaps, prior to lock down – to measure attraction, the potential for romance, compatibility, stuff like that.

It would be a great opportunity to get to know someone. What’s the fun of going up there with someone you already know?

That’s what I’m going to tell them when I send in my application.

But, I’m worried that they won’t let me take my dog. And what happens if the space suit makes me look fat? Or if the moon boots hurt my bunions?

What if the man I’m in outer space with starts to look at me like I’m lunch?

It worries me.

See?

***

If I find the cave that Bill O’Reilly, the oracle, lives in, I will respectfully approach and ask just a few questions.

“Dear Bill O’Reilly,” I will address him, “is wrong for me, a single woman, to desire simplicity? To pray for safety? Is it selfishness that makes me not want to fall victim to the fantasies of a blind date, college friend, or boyfriend who wishes to barbecue my toes and eat them in front of me? You say I want to be taken care of. If I can’t find a husband or father to do it, that I want the government to support me. Does my sense of entitlement lead me to expect too much from others. Is it self-centered of me, dear oracle, to question humans who sexualize the pain of others? Is it wrong for me pursue evolution over entropy?

“In addition, dear Bill O’Reilly, I am worried about you. Do you like living in a cave and speaking in riddles? Or would you rather enjoy the sunshine? Would you like me to bring you some ice cream?”

***

Last week, I decided I wanted to stop worrying so much. But then I got worried about how to stop all the worrying. And I worried that maybe my worrying was justified by the blank slate in front of me.

IMG_5731I was worried about my dog not wanting to walk after we played in the dog run. And then I got worried about where I would find a pot big enough to make cheese in without spending $300 dollars.

And though I largely feel that life has a mind and motor of its own, I fretted over the possibility that I might be wrong.

Then, I decided to take a break from worrying about worrying at least, and take a nap with my dog.

I was hoping that while I was sleeping, my conjoined spiritual twin would actually make herself useful and straighten up the kitchen.

But, she wanted to nap with the dog, too. I can’t blame her for that.

IMG_5020

8 thoughts on “Lunch

  1. Going to Mars sounds like the most interesting trip yet. Though, I’m not sure I could ever be brave enough to entrap myself with a new guy and whirl in to outer space. If they let you go, they would get to hear the best stories – if NASA puts it to a vote, I would absolutely get all of my friends to join in and vote for you. As for the cheese – no need to worry, I have the pots this time around!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s