Posts Tagged ‘Friends’

So….. It’s been a while.

Basically, I’ve been very, very busy.

First, I volunteered as a counselor at Camp Clot Not. Besides having a really gross name—I mean, the word “clot” just kind of makes me want to take a bath in hydrogen peroxide—Camp Clot Not is a week-long annual camp in Alexander City for kids with hemophilia and von Willebrand’s disorder, both of which mean that your blood doesn’t clot correctly.* In a word, it was awesome. I won’t even try to explain it to you, but I will tell you this: that week, I absolutely fell in love with those kids, and I miss them every day.

Also, it didn’t hurt that I was the only female counselor under the age of 40 and there were four extremely attractive male counselors all of college-age with whom I got to practice Being Normal Around the Opposite Sex, something I don’t usually get to do. It’s a necessary casualty of being a nursing major.

Then I got home Thursday, and at 7:00 Friday morning we were driving to Bentonville for Ben and Rachel’s beautiful wedding. Also I got to ride a horse while I was there. No big deal.

Then I had Monday to recuperate, Tuesday to do… something, I don’t even remember… Wednesday and Thursday to work, and then immediately after work on Thursday I headed to Lisa’s house for an incredibly fun, wonderful, and ridiculous weekend of making obnoxious Facebook videos, shopping, Stone Mountain, Mr. Popper’s Penguins, and the FREAKING GEORGIA AQUARIUM, MY ABSOLUTE FAVORITE PLACE IN THE WORLD. On this side of the world, anyways.

Also, I think it is worth mentioning that I had the plague while all of this was going on, too. Think sinus infection from hell, plus sore throat, hacking cough, and some freaky heart stuff. Well, the heart stuff really isn’t related, and I got a Z-Pack to clear up the sinus infection, and I’m going to St. Vincent’s in a week to have an echocardiogram. Go figure.

All of that to say that I haven’t blogged or worked on Snell or done much of anything. Except read, of course. I’ve got one book to go until I hit the twenty books mark, and even though I now know I’m going to fall shy of fifty, thirty won’t be bad, either.

Anyways, that is really all I have to say for now, so that this blog post doesn’t get too long, and because I’m getting a slight computer-headache, and because I followed my brother around the golf course in 236% humidity with a literal-not-exaggerating temperature of 100 degrees Fahrenheit today, and… well, I want to read my latest book.

So Honey Nut Cheerios for now.

. . . . . . . . . . .

*In case you’re wondering, it doesn’t mean that if you get a papercut you bleed to death and die. It means that you get bleeds in your muscles and joints and other internal sorts of bleeding, and it can be really hard to stop. Therefore, these kids have to be given daily or bi-daily intravenous injections of “factor,” which is an unbelievably expensive kind of medicine that attempts to replace the missing protein in your blood that helps to prevent uncontrollable bleeds by causing your blood to clot. Now that is bravery. Imagine getting IV push meds every single day for your whole life. And by the time these kids are in their early teenage years, most of all of them will have learned how to self-infuse. Incredible.

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That’s a picture of me thinking, Oh no, is this story even working? Ah!

Here is another installation of Snell. I’d love to hear some feedback from you guys—is it all making sense? Do you like it? Are the characters consistent? Do you like it? Do you like it?

Ha.

Also, I dreamed last night—again—that I was signed up for Marine Biology next semester. This is the second time I’ve had that dream, and I woke up more stressed out than I do when I dream about getting devoured by hot pink velociraptors. Marine Biology? Really? Why brain, why?

. . . . . . . . . . . . . .

On my first day of work at Boys Ranch of the Appalachians, I discovered that for basically my entire life, the books have been lying to me.

In my time, I have read quite a lot of these. Books, I mean. If I had five dollars for every book I had ever read, then Mom would have never even needed to write Hans the Great and we would be living in a palace in Rome being fed grapes by godlike Italian men and none of this would have ever even happened. For the sake of my education, Mom had even hired a team of metaphorical Clydesdales to drag me clawing and scratching and biting through some of the classics, an experience I had yet to fully recover from.

I had read fantasy books with covers sporting mostly naked women carrying swords in the middle of a forest and science fiction books displaying mostly naked women carrying laserguns in the middle of a spaceship. I’d read historical fiction, historical nonfiction, steampunk, cyberpunk, realistic fiction, realistic nonfiction, nonrealistic ish-fiction—you get the picture. I simply loved to read.

But for all the smörgåsbord of literary delicacies that I had sampled, I had noticed something which, in my new life in the bustling metropolis of Meat Camp, was glaringly and inexcusably misrepresented in almost every case.

Horsemanship.

Don’t get me wrong. I like horses. They can’t talk. They don’t make me act in awkward and blazingly home-schooler ways. They don’t care if you look like the unholy offspring of Sasquatch and Frankenstein’s monster because you just rolled out of bed. Their noses are really soft, and they mostly do what you tell them to. Unless they’re a stallion and there’s a hot mare around, but I won’t even get into that.

But being a stable boy—let me just tell you, there is absolutely nothing you can glorify about that, no matter what the books say about it being peaceful and simple and earthy and satisfying. It’s all crap, both the lying books and the stinking job. If you can find something poetic and laudable about shoveling horse crap, standing in horse crap, smelling like horse crap, or anything else about horse crap, send me an email, and I’ll give you a prize. Because that’s what being a stable boy is about. Lots and lots and lots of horse crap, with a little straw thrown in to, you know, stick to the horse crap that’s sticking to you.

And also being bitten by Tolon, that blasted four-legged terrorist. It was all I could do not the get out the mane shears and lop off the two enormous baubles hanging between his legs and hang them on one of the trees outside like Christmas ornaments, just to piss him off.

So in case you haven’t figured this out yet, I was in an absolutely diabolical mood by lunch. If looks could have killed, Boys Ranch of the Appalachians would have been turned into a nuclear waste field.

I was sitting on a bench underneath a Bradford pear—I hated Bradford pears—eating a turkey and salami sandwich—I hated turkey and salami—and drinking strawberry lemonade—I hated strawberry lemonade—glowering down at an ant crawling across my lap and trying to fry it with my laser vision of Bad Mood Extreme Addition when someone sat down next to me. I was surprised, in the way that a polar bear might have been surprised if a five-year-old with cerebral palsy came up and petted it.

“Hi!” said the person brightly.

I looked up. A girl, maybe two or three years younger than me, was smiling broadly at me. So broadly, in fact, that her eyes almost vanished into her cheeks. She had dark, olive skin and a sheet of glossy black hair that fell almost to her waist.

“Uh,” I said. “Hi.”

She was sitting on her hands and staring at me unashamedly.

“What’s your name?” she asked.

“Snell.”

“Oh, wonderful!” she exclaimed. “I have a weird name, too! My name is Risso. Oh—not that your name is weird in a bad way, but I’ve never heard of anyone named Snell before, and I’ve never heard of anyone named Risso, either. But Risso is sort of weird in a weird way, if you know what I mean. My mom named me that. She wanted to called me Rizzo, like, after the Muppet. But my dad put his foot down so she changed it to Risso because he said no daughter of his was going to be named after a rat, even a cute one. Then he left right after I was born but by then the name stuck.” Suddenly she frowned, her eyes getting enormous. “Oh. I’m doing that thing. Where I talk too much.”

I wondered if the unholy stench of the horse manure had actually caused me to hallucinate.

“It’s okay,” I said. “I, uh, don’t talk too much. So you’re making up for both of us.”

Her smile returned immediately, and her eyes disappeared again. I’d never seen anyone who wasn’t Asian do that.

“I like you, Snell,” she said. “I think we’re going to be friends. I work here, too, you know.” She looked critically at my poo-spattered jeans. “But, um, not in the stables. Thankfully.” She laughed. “Because no offense, but you reek.”

Maybe I should have taken offense at this, but I didn’t. I guess the offense done to my nose by the stables was all the insult that the rest of me could take for one day. I grinned, too.

Strangely, Risso’s ability to talk the hind legs off a horse—or hopefully, in the case of Tolon, the testicles—actually made me talk more, rather than less. Before long, I found myself telling her all about the move, Bob, and Mom’s purchase of The House.

Again, her eyes grew round when I mentioned The House.

“I can’t believe someone has finally bought that old thing! It’s going to make all the stupid teenagers in Boone sad that they can’t come and camp in there and break the windows and smoke pot in the back yard.”

Hmph. That explained the small plot of rather questionable plants in the very back corner of the garden.

“But that is so exciting! There’s always been a sort of… mystique about that place. I like that word—mystique. No one has lived there for over forty years, and before that it was just this ancient old crabby woman that no one liked and who never came out. Apparently she died there and had lain in there for, like, a month, rotting in the summer heat before they found her.”

“Oh,” I said bleakly. I decided not to ask her in which room the crotchety old hag had decayed, not wanting to start having nightmares about a figure with strips of flesh hanging off her standing over my bed.

She chattered on about two boys at her school that she missed dreadfully because they were off working at a summer camp in Texas. They were also identical twins, which complicated her feelings even more. Almost accidentally, I told her about my encounter the previous day with Dimitri, and how I was supposed to meet him for a party at his house that nice.

Again, the round eyes. I was beginning to notice a pattern.

“Oh, but this is so exciting! I’m going too! Dimitri is, like, my best friend for forever.” Then maybe she noticed something in my face, something I hadn’t even meant to show or even consciously thought. “Don’t worry though, Snell, he’s like an absolute brother to me.”

She winked.

So it happened that that night, after I scraped off the horse manure and tried desperately to scrub the stench out of my hair for nearly half an hour, Risso and I rode together to Dimitri’s house in her “ghetto jeep,” which she named thus due to its cacophonically broken muffler.

I’m not sure if “cacophonically” is a word, but if it’s not, just call me Shakespeare. Cacophonically could be the new bedroom.

Anyways. Dimitri lived in Boone, the bigger town about twenty minutes south of Meat Camp. Over the heinous sound of Risso’s engine, she blasted 90s music as loud as the rather substantial speaker system could go. I tried not to goggle as she belted out “Oops!…I Did It Again” and Shania Twain like the salvation of the universe depended on her pure volume.

“Sing, Snell!” she shouted above the wind, and the engine, and the music, her hair blowing like the branches of a palm tree in Hurricane Camille. “Sing!”

I just grinned sheepishly. Maybe this was one of those things you learned in public school—how to sing really loudly with someone you’d barely even met and not give the first sign of a darn.

We parked outside of a lovely little apartment complex. I slid out, looking uneasily at the number 16. No backyard gardens to obliterate here.

Risso marched around the side of the ghetto jeep and placed her hands on my shoulders, looking intensely into my eyes. I liked Risso, but the concentration in those eyes almost made me take a step back. Then she smiled broadly and said, “You’ll do just fine.” Then she flounced towards the door marked with the big red 16.

And to my greatest surprise—you know, the kind of surprise when you’ve been expecting your parents to give you a new shirt for your birthday and instead you get a Maserati—I did. Just fine, that is.

Dimitri opened the door right as Risso was raising her fist to give what undoubtedly would have been a resounding knock, grinning so widely that I thought his face might split in two. He immediately pulled Risso into an enormous bear hug. I prepared myself to feel awkwardly out of the loop, but then he pulled me into one, too.

“You made it!” he said happily. “And I was hoping you two would become friends tonight and, as usual, Risso, you’ve beat me to it.”

Risso bowed deep and then punched him lightly on the arm. “Of course! Any time.”

He ushered us inside, and for a moment the street lights illuminated his eyes, and again I was struck by the infinite kindness there in those ocean-deep eyes, swimming there like fish in a sea current. Something inside of me loosened and relaxed—later I rather thought it was the abnormal tendon that had been constricting whatever organ gives people the ability to be smooth and normal—and I stepped through the door.

“My parents are out tonight, gone to Asheville for the weekend,” he said. “So we’ve got the place to ourselves.”

“Hooray!” shouted Risso, and she immediately leapt onto the loveseat and began leaping up and down, chanting, “No parents! No parents!” at the top of her lungs.

Dimitri looked at me and shook his head, laughing.

“Is she always like this?” I asked.

“Oh, you know, usually worse,” he answered. “She’s on her best behavior because you’re new.”

We grinned at each other, then quickly looked back at Risso. The tips of his ears, I noticed, had turned a pale shade of pink.

Risso quickly bored of couch-jumping, though no before she had come close to destroying a lamp that Dimitri seized deftly when one of her wildly flailing limbs threatened to send it into orbit. She then ran—going fast, always, seemed to be her primary mode of transportation—into the kitchenette and pulled down three packages of chewy chocolate chip cookies. Then we launched into a rather ferocious game of charades, which according to Risso’s rules always had to depict dying in some terrifically gruesome manner. Points were, of course, awarded according to how gruesome our ideas turned out.

Dimitri fell behind almost immediately in the points, or at least he would have if we’d really been keeping score. It was like that kindness bubbling up out of his eyes came from a place so deeply ingrained in him that it prevented him from even imagining anything truly horrendous. The best he came up with was a witch burning. His depiction of it, however, left Risso and I rolling on the floor in laughter fit to fracture our ribs.

Risso and I, on the other hand, went for each other’s throats like wolverines with toothaches. She started out with being ripped to shreds by Tasmanian devils while having the lower half of her body slowly disintegrated from an expanding pool of battery acid. Inspired by Dimitri’s rather pitiable attempts, I savagely followed up with being trampled by horses after escaping from a witch burning and having my scalp ripped off by a particularly vindictive horse who decided to take a bite of my hair. (Which was perhaps a touch inspired by Tolon as well.)

By the end of the game, we had all collapsed in a heap, tears streaming down our faces from laughing so hard. I felt so at home with them you would have never thought that I had only just blasted in from outer space (also known as Alabama) and landed in the middle of a friendship that was over a decade old. Our companionship felt seamless, something I had never experienced with anyone outside of Mom, and this was even different than that, newer, fresher, a taste of wind blowing up from a deep valley of pine trees.

After we had progressed to the inevitable point in charades where everyone starts picking subjects that are completely incomprehensible, Risso bounded up and pulled out the drawer under the television and started flipping through movies. She pulled one up and held it out like a trophy.

“The Notebook!” she shouted, eyes disappearing into her cheeks.

Dimitri and I both gave her such identical looks of horror that she immediately shoved it back in the drawer.

“Okay, I guess not,” she muttered, and I thought I caught her saying something like “too soon” under her breath. Suddenly, the room felt too hot.

Eventually she settled on some old John Wayne movie that Dimitri said belonged to his dad, who was obsessed with John Wayne. Apparently Risso was too, because she started giving us all the background to this particularly film, including the names of all the obscure actors and actresses and what other equally obscure 60s movies they had played in and—well, lots of other stuff. I wasn’t really paying attention, because Risso had chosen the only armchair in the living room, leaving the loveseat to Dimitri and me.

What a stupid, stupid name for a piece of furniture.

Risso immediately snuggled into the armchair and sunk into the movie, leaving me and Dimitri stranded in the corner. He looked at me sort of shyly, his mop of curly hair falling into his eyes so that he had to push it back out of his face.

“You aren’t much of a John Wayne fan,” he said. It wasn’t a question, but from the bored-out-of-my-gizzard look on my face, it didn’t really need to be.

“No,” I said, “but it is light-years better than The Notebook. I don’t know of a worse movie in the history of Hollywood, unless you’re counting those B- and C- and D-rated zombie-vampire-werewolf apocalypse films.”

He chuckled. “Those are definitely preferable to even the previews of that movie.” He looked at me, a bit of puzzlement in his eyes. “I was wondering—do you think we’ve ever met before? You look sort of familiar.”

I shrugged. “Probably not. I’ve lived in the super-city of Charming my entire life and not hardly ever left except for one hellish trip when I was eight to visit my Aunt Fiona in New Jersey.” I paused for a moment. “Aunt Fiona is a cow.”

He laughed, causing Risso to hiss, “Shhh!” across the room at us.

“Tell me about Charming,” he said.

I raised an eyebrow. “There’s not much to tell. It’s too hot in the summer and rains a lot in the winter. The only thing that’s smaller than the town itself is the minds of the people who live there.”

As soon as I’d said the words, I regretted them, wishing I could reel them back in like ugly fish on a line.

“I mean,” I said quickly, “People are just not that… open-minded. If that makes sense.”

Still looking at me—his steady gaze was the tiniest bit unnerving—he nodded slowly. “Tell me about it.” He said this not like, “Oh my gosh, like I know,” but as in, “Go on.”

So I did. I told him about Melissa’s farm and her horses and dogs that I spent my days with, wondering the trails and streambeds in the acreage she owned as well as the large swatches of land that had DO NOT TRESPASS signs posted around the boundaries that I tended to ignore. I told him about Charming Hills Apartment Complex, and the two restaurants and how good they were, and the way everyone thought Mom and I were something like Satan’s ambassadors because I was black and she was white and uninterested in men.

In turn, he told me a little about growing up in Boone. Both of his parents were professors at Appalachian State University and he’d grown up with a never-ending stream of college students coming in and out of their apartment, the down-on-their-luck ones sometimes staying in the guest bedroom for a semester or two before they got back on their feet. They always got back on their feet, he said, because that’s just the kind of people his parents were—the kind that helped people find their sea legs and learn to walk all over again. He told me about going to Watauga County High School, and how half the teachers spent their time gossiping about the students and the other half talked bad about the first half gossiping about the students and how mostly no one ever got taught, unless it was football or baseball.

He asked me where I had gone to high school and what it had been like in Charming.

“Oh, I was a home-schooler,” I said.

“Really? I wouldn’t have guessed.”

“Ha—right.”

From the armchair, Risso hissed at us again.

Whispering, he said, “No, really. You really don’t seem like a home-schooler.”

I realized with a touch of surprise that he hadn’t intended to be sarcastic at all. With time, I realized more than that—Dimitri didn’t have a sarcastic bone in his body, not even one of the really small ones in his fingers or ankles.

“Well,” I said slowly. “At least I’m not like the other Charming home-schoolers. They all thought that one plus one equaled Jesus.”

We eventually lapsed into a comfortable silence, enjoying each other’s presence much more than the cowboys and shoot-outs playing out on the television screen, no matter how nice looking John Wayne had been in his younger years. Once, I caught him smiling at me out of the corner of my eye, and I smiled back, and I did not feel even a hint of a blush hiding under my dark skin. I felt… content. At peace. I didn’t even feel the need to obliterate my feelings under a slew of  internal sarcasm.

That was a new one for me.

Today was rather uneventful. We had church, and I only fell asleep once. Then I went out to dinner with Brittni and her friends, which was fun, and slightly awkward because I didn’t know the family we were eating with, and they didn’t know me, and I had to guess who they were out of the crowd of people waiting at the front of the restaurant and they acted scared of me the rest of the time.

Ah well. My hair was rather large today, so I can hardly blame them.

Then I was irresponsible and did no homework at all for the entire day. (Sorry, nursing school, but you and I really have to develop some boundaries if this relationship is going to work. You know I love ya, babe.) I took a nap—a really long nap, I finished the Museum of Thieves audiobook (which is still no easier to explain), I decorated the outline of a concept map which I never got around to filling out, I read 100 pages of an e-book that ended up not having the rest of it available. Which was disappointing.

After all of this, which was around 10:00 PM, I decided I was tired of being inside, that I felt too hot, so I called Wesley and told him to bring my keys to the fountain. So I walked to the fountain, got my keys, came back and voilà, party in the Searcy lobby! Charlene, Pearson, Alex R., Collette, and Crystal were building a Spring Sing prop of the pregnant tree* and eating donuts and playing the guitar, so—despite the fact that I had not done any homework since Friday at 2:15 in the afternoon, I joined them.

Charlene and I danced for about ten minutes straight, employing every move from the Harry-and-Hermione-awkwardly-dancing-in-the-tent-after-Ron-leaves to the flirt-with-your-eyes-Damon-Salvatore (my personal favorite). This was pretty epic, especially since there was another random girl sitting in the lobby who didn’t know any of us and was trying to study, but just kept creeper-watching us instead.

I also played Pearson’s guitar, giving the entire room swooning fits over my masterful musical… uh… mastery. Quite dazzling, really.

All of this to say…. I didn’t do any homework, I didn’t go to sleep at a reasonable hour, and my room is a wreck. Mission, once again, accomplished.

Now for tomorrow….

Oh. I also lit several matches in my room. This was really fun until Lisa attacked with the bathroom I-just-had-a-physiological-necessity-moment-and-I-don’t-want-anyone-to-know spray to destroy the smoke smell, which ended up just smelling like perfumed burnt, well, fecal matter. It happens.

So the first day of my new life resolution of being Irresponsible and Spontaneous went splendidly.

I turned my alarm off when it rang at 10:30 and slept until 12. Quite lovely, except for some rather disturbing nightmares about mutilated kittens and Merlin running away before I got a chance to pet him.

I read several chapters of Elisabeth Kubler-Ross’s On Death and Dying.

Around 2:00, I took a shower. Then I started packing to take a load of stuff home next weekend when I meet my mom in Tupelo while listening to Museum of Thieves, an audiobook that is about… well… it’s really hard to explain. Never mind.

And I shot engagement pictures for Noelani and Devin, and they were quite lovely.

But none of this is very Irresponsible or Spontaneous. I’m getting there.

At about three o’clock, I realized I was doing decidedly poorly in the aforementioned category, so I decided that we were going to have a cookout. Once I realized that I had nothing to either grill on or with, and that I had never grilled before in my life and had no idea how to do so, I changed the plans to a campfire. Of the twelve or so people I invited, I think only about two or three knew what the actual plan was, which wasn’t much of a plan at all. For someone like me who likes to plan out everything, this was quite a big step.

(You should see my normal daily schedule. I have every hour of every day written out and planned from the moment I wake up until “11:30-12:00—Get ready for bed and go to sleep.”)

After I was done with the photoshoot, Charlene and I loaded up on campfire goods at, minus important things such as plates, napkins, or any way to light the fire, and headed over to Searcy dorm where Wesley, Caleb, Pearson, John Mark, Dustin and Velvet, Mere, and Brittni met us. From there—though I had forgotten to tell anyone where we were going—we drove to Riverside, which is closed after eight o’clock and is known for its own special breed of cops that tow cars if they’re still there after hours.

After we hid our cars a little ways into the woods, nearly sinking mine into the mud and just about destroying John Mark’s undercarriage, we hiked out to B rock, a spectacular cliffside makeout spot with a perfect little alcove for the building of a campfire. Luckily, John Mark had been intelligent enough to supply matches, and we basically removed all the underbrush for a five mile radius in order to build a rather cozy little fire.

Wesley spilled hot dog juice all over himself multiple times before Rob and Andrea showed up, and Rob single-handedly attempted to destroy the ozone layer by throwing plastic items into the campfire to the great displeasure of basically everyone else. But honestly, no irresponsible, spontaneous event is complete without Rob, who is essentially the king of irresponsible. (The guy wants to be the next Steve Erwin, y’all—the kid is never going to grow up.)

At one point, while roasting his hotdog, he turned to Andrea with the bag of bread and handed it to her, saying, “Honey, will you hold my buns?” to which John Mark responded, “I wonder at what age bun jokes get old.”

Never, John Mark. We’re all too old if those ever stop being funny.

The moon was so bright that you could hardly see the stars and we didn’t even need a flashlight to find our way back to our cars, which was convenient since we didn’t bring one.

On the way back to campus, I realized I even had a big gob of melted marshmallow in my hair, and for the first time ever, I did not care that something was in my curls that was not supposed to be there. I was even glad.

I love college, you guys.

Oh, and luckily, the cops never found our cars, either.

Recently, I’ve begun following a blog called 1000 Awesome Things. It’s written by a man named Neil who posts a new “awesome thing” every weekday, including everything from peeling that thin plastic film off new electronics, your colon, and old and dangerous playground equipment, to forks, airplane toilet flushes, and finally get a piece of popcorn that’s been stuck in your teeth all day out. Basically, it’s an incredible list of all those oddly satisfying things in life that you were never sure anyone else really enjoyed or even noticed.

Sort of fun to find out that you are not the only one who liked the sound of scissors cutting construction paper.

Today, I had a personal awesome-things sort of moment. I’ve been a little stressed in the office the past few days, trying to get all of that last-minute end-of-the-summer stuff done, plus what feels like a bajillion other things. I was standing next to my desk around 2:30 this afternoon, trying to figure out if I should pull my hair out in clumps or just one at a time, when Fish the other intern returned from lunch with one of the girls in our youth group.

As per usual, I asked him how lunch had gone, and he told me about the food, their conversation, and how she’s doing. Then he said something that took me off guard.

“She really likes you, you know.”

I paused in obsessively straightening the pile of index cards in front of me.

“Really?”

“Yep. She really does.”

So I decided that hearing from other people that someone enjoys your company should definitely be the thousand-and-first awesome thing, because just hearing that made my day. It’s a rather beautiful feeling. And hearing it from someone who is not that person makes it that much more special because 1) it means that you came up in conversation, and 2) you know that the person telling you would not have told you if said other person did not like you. Even though you may know people like you because they don’t ignore your text messages, and they don’t mind hanging out with you, and they don’t try to convince you to become a hermit “for your own good,” sometimes it is really nice just to hear the straight-up, undiluted fact that they like you.

That said… go make somebody’s day. Send a text message or Facebook chat, or pick up the phone and call someone and just say, “Hey, you’re cool. I like you.”

You’ll make their day.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . .

Don’t be yourself—be someone a little nicer.

—Mignon McLaughlin

The latitudes and longitudes

Posted: March 11, 2010 in Uncategorized
Tags: , ,

Too much has gone by since my last post to try to detail it all—Winterfest, which was gloriously fun; the two intervening weeks between Winterfest and Spring Break, which were remarkably not; my dog laying his head on the firewood basket next to the hearth, where we had a fire yesterday to drive away the cold and damp and which remained unlit today due to hopeful temperatures in the mid-70s. I have spent the days since getting home catching up with my family and reading until my eyes have threatened to fall out—the last released book of Wheel of Time, Chalice by Robin McKinley, and about two-thirds of Spindle’s End by the same, for the second time.

In this  time, I have had all sorts of thoughts about which I thought, “I think this would make a good blog,” but most of these thoughts—about life, about friends, about God, about the church, about nursing, about sunshine or the lack thereof, about mistakes and unwitting goodnesses—most of these thoughts are either too muzzy now to write about, or I am simply saving them for another day.

So I shall leave you all with five pertinent pieces of information, and bid you a goodnight.

  1. Two days before I left for Spring Break, I dreamed I was kidnapped by Satan and locked in a torture chamber. The room was without windows or doors and the walls were covered in dirty, cracking white tiles with mould growing in the grout, and a shower spigot stuck out the wall dripping brown water that had dampened my clothes by the time I came conscious.
  2. A few weeks ago, I began painting my fingernails for the first time since I was five. For some odd reason, I like the way it makes my fingers look when they move.
  3. Even though the life of Henry David Thoreau has yielded innumerable daunting (not to mention loathed) assignments for scores of high school students, he nonetheless has several very apt quotes that can express what you yourself cannot quite manage to speak.
  4. I am going to be the female intern at Homewood Church of Christ in south Birmingham this summer.
  5. Sometimes I wish I would “catch” a mental illness like schizophrenia or a varying form of psychosis just so that I could know what it was like to see things that other people didn’t see, and so that I could be put into a mental institution and meet interesting characters like in the movie Girl Interrupted.

. . . . . . . .

Nothing makes the earth seem so spacious as to have friends at a distance; they make the latitudes and longitudes. 

—Henry David Thoreau

This semester is mine

Posted: January 8, 2010 in Uncategorized
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Tomorrow, Lisa and I will load up in my car, followed by Kathleen and Jeanie, and journey back to Searcy.

Sometimes, when I step back from my life, I find it strange that we carry out all of these dramas in this tiny little backwater Arkansas town that most people in the world have never even heard of. For the four years (or more, in many of our cases) that we go to school there, our entire universe swirls around that one little town, like a spiral galaxy with a super-massive core, all of our hopes and dreams and goals either spinning towards the center or careening out from the interior.

This semester is mine. I am going to make every second count and live in the present fully and wholly. This semester is mine, and it is God’s, and it is ours.

. . . . . . . . . . . . .

There is no passion to be found playing small—in settling for a life that is less than the one you are capable of living.

Nelson Mandela