Not-now, Not-ever

I haven’t been writing. No news is good news — that’s what my dad always says. He’s usually right. I wish he were right.

I haven’t been writing because everything I’ve stop-started in the last seven days has been horribly depressing. I mean horribly. I will spare you. I don’t want this to become the place that you used to go but stopped, because the girl there hurt to look at.

Let’s go to a different place. A happier place.


Yes, why don’t we go there — the quiche of the day is sure to involve crust and cream and cheese. And it’s highly likely that nobody thought to slip in a ½ cup of Greek yogurt or subtract a few eggs or stuff a truckload of vegetables into the mix.

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Let’s go there — where wedge after wonderful wedge bakes up big and brown and beautiful. How are they all so perfect.


Maybe I should just come here every morning. I’m not sure how long the quiche kick will last, but when I do feel like something else — something besides an in-person friend or an immediately more bearable job or just a longer list of reasons to get out of bed in the morning — there will be one, two, three, times two, six shelves to choose from.

Maybe I should think about something else now. Like Peach Buckle, turned Upside-Down Caramel Cake.

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Peach season is short-lived. When we talk about peaches, we are not talking about forever. We are talking about August, essentially. Same for nectarines.


I would like ALL OF THE NECTARINES and ALL OF THE PEACHES, please. Because I’m feeling REALLY GOOD about NOT-FOREVER, at the moment. Not-forever. Not-forever is only temporary. 

The way I am feeling now is not the way I will feel in six months. Hell — the way I am feeling now is probably not the way I feel in six hours. I must remember this. I learned this a long time ago.

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I don’t know why it’s so tempting for me to jump from not-now to not-ever.

I don’t have any friends (in my City of Three Weeks) morphs into I am never going to make a friend.

I haven’t been flirted with in months turns into I am never going to meet someone.

And it goes on. About jobs, about apartments, about all sorts of things. But I think we should abort this list, because it’s just not likely to take us where we want to go.

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I’ve been doing a lot of that lately: trying to redirect my trains of thought. Like when I stub my toe in the middle of the night and can’t find the light and wind up in the living room instead of the bathroom, blearily wondering when do I get to go home.

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Or when I stuff my hair up into a borrowed hat and hope that no tendrils escape because OTHERWISE HAIRNET, and go to work and pretend that I am someone else. That all of this is happening to someone else. I pretend that I am somewhere beautiful, running far far away, with my ponytail whipping in the wind. Or that I’ll be there again soon.


In a very strange way, I feel like none of this is happening to me. I am simply writing about a girl who was just like any other girl, until about two chapters ago, when she moved across the country.


And now this girl is having a very hard time, and goodness, I hope she can lift herself out of it. I hope that she’s just normal-sad, not scary-sad, and I hope it will get better. I hope it will get better really soon. I wonder what will be the first thing to make her laugh again.

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And I wish that I could take her out. Somewhere fun — somewhere that might call for a cocktail dress. I wish I could get her to order the cheese plate. She needs the cheese plate.


I wish-slash-hope that she’d go ahead and enjoy it. And that she will keep trying all of her usual tricks, to cheer herself up.

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I hope she will give the man on 21st a giant ginger cookie from the market, I hope she will twirl through a little cloud of sample perfume, I hope she will try a new recipe, I hope she will cut some flowers and put them in a vase.


I hope she will linger a little longer next time, at the coffee shop. Smile at someone sitting next door. Bring home a great big stack of books. Go to yoga. Call the doctor. Write to the people she misses.


I hope she will take a long bath. With tea, with chocolate, with ice cream — with whatever she pleases. I hope she will keep her head high. I hope she will try. Try again.



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