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Archive for January 29th, 2009

Ever After

Once upon a time, I was a gawky teenager in a Moroccan restaurant in the East Village talking about writing with a Real Writer.  And she was funny and smart and self-deprecating and I had a huge girl-crush on her forever.  Whenever I sat down to write, I thought of her.  When I started workshop, I thought of her.  Sometimes just sitting on the subway I daydreamed about running into her again.  I thought of her when I listened to Devo’s Beautiful World or when I felt like I was all out of words.

Once upon a time, she wrote a book and I read about it in the Advocate, sitting on my stool in the video store where I worked and a friend ran out to the library and got it for me and I read it in one sitting like  had been waiting an eternity for this.one.book.  And I bought a copy as soon as I could afford one.  And I gave it away.  And I bought another and gave that one away and I think all told I bought 5 or 6 copies from 1998 to 2002 and gave all of them away.  The last copy I bought was at the Strand and I was panicked because I thought I had given away the last copy I would find but there it was, hardcover, the same edition that I had read back in Albany.  

I have her picture in a photo album and her book on my shelf and songs that remind me of her and a tattoo I got a long time ago from Lou Reed’s Magic and Loss album and I’ve carried the magic for all of these years, maybe close to twenty, of having had a person who inspired me to keep writing, who was dripping in words.  It’s the loss that is kicking my ass.  All of these things I’ve written here, I just want five minutes to go back to the East Village and whisper in my ear that this moment would change everything in my life and to remember to say thank you.

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I can do it right?

And now on to the third stage of undertaking a huge new life thing like college:

I think I can.

Y’all missed ‘There’s no way in hell I can handle this’ mixed with a little bit of ‘This is a huge mistake’ yesterday because I was too busy, well, freaking out.  You also missed my hard drive dying on Tuesday, as well as my realization that I do.not.remember.anything from science.  ANYTHING.  I mean, I’m a smart person who has tried to keep my brain active with intellectual pursuits and all but I’m starting to see why I can’t keep plants alive–I don’t know a G.D. thing about ’em.*

It’s intimidating, to say the least.  I have finished many of my assignments though and can get the rest done well before they are due.  It just feels like I’m behind, right?  It’s a marathon, not a sprint?  Go nine?  Just Manny being Manny (that one’s for you, Cori)?  There must be some sort of cliche for this situation and it’s probably baseball-related.  

The kids are not quite so thrilled with my new schedule, especially the baby who has taken to grabbing my face and turning it to his so that I pay attention to him.  That, my friends, will break your damn heart.  It is a strong reminder that I have to ind some sort of balance here between Mommy Jen, student Jen, and well, Jen.  Balance is not my strong suit.  At all.  I think I can do it, though.  As long as I remember that I don’t have to be perfect.  That there is no perfect.  All I can be is good, and in order to do well I have to stop freaking out long enough to get things done.

 

*I joke about this a lot but the truth is I have seven perfectly healthy plants (and only two are cactus/succulent) scattered about the apartment.  My kill-to-thrive ratio is just a bit greater than I’d like.

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