Thursday, November 01, 2007

Mixed Salad Bar, Corn Velvet, Pasta with Pesto, Chicken, Broccoli, Olives

No one cares what I had for lunch.
In anticipation of NaBloPoMo, I bought
Maggie Mason’s book, No One Cares What You Had For Lunch. You could say that I have some fears of running headlong into the wall of writer’s block, and you’d be right.

But I made a commitment, and I will honor it.
I am so intent upon honoring it, in fact, that I am typing this blog entry on a Southwest flight from Nashville to Seattle, after a three day business trip.

Also, in honor of the book, from whence my ideas are sprung, I will heretofore be titling any posts taken from the cues of the book by stating what I had for lunch that day.

Cue 42: Make Your Timeline

Age Unknown(a): sitting in a high chair, eating a huge slice of sugared tomato as sunlight filters in and makes everything glowy.
-Note: My mother hotly disputes this memory, as a raw tomato is to her as haggis is to me. My father thinks my grandfather, his dad, who died when I was 8, had given me this treat as it was his favorite.

Age Unknown (b): shoving across the parquet-tiled entryway of the house on Lindshire Lane, on a small push seat with wheels that was painted like a lady bug.

Age 5: Early morning, my mother is pulling up a dark-blue velour short and tank set with red piping up my body as I stand in the living room. It isn’t even light out, my cousins are there and we are going to an amusement park for the day. I remember the day being fun, but mostly I remember that my mother dressed me in the living room this day, in front of my family. It doesn’t bother me.

Age 13: My birthday party. I’m wearing neon dangly earrings and I’m now officially a teen. I’m heavy at this time in my life, and I get a jean jacket and a boombox. My family is all around me and I’m miserable and self-conscious, but I adore the acid-washed jean jacket.

Age 14: I enter high school after a particularly troubling junior-high experience. I’m determined to be popular this time, after being the laughingstock of my previous school. I decide that I can be popular just by acting as if I am. I have permed hair, am still heavy and wear glasses. Things do not work out the way I planned. I am thrust again into dorkdom, where I will languish until junior year. I get out of dorkdom by getting fairly smart and making good grades and becoming heavily entrenched in the yearbook department, editor my senior year, as well as the theatre department. And before you scoff, I wasn’t popular because of Theatre – that is a negative on the scale of cool at my high school, but by bolstering my confidence. Something I love to do, I do actually quite well. Lead roles sophomore through senior year.

Age 18: I leave my hometown to attend college at UC Santa Cruz, in Santa Cruz, CA. Within two weeks of being dropped off by my parents, I call home and tell them I will never again live in Ohio. I mostly keep this promise. I get into a group of really great people, dorm neighbors and classmates, and I happily am accepted and have a vibrant social life for the first time in my life. I again join the theatre group and receive a lead role my first audition, which everyone tells me is unheard of in the school.

Age 20: I begin a bad habit that I will keep for 6 years, on and off. I lose the companionship of my close friends, who can’t bear what I am doing, but gain something that will carry me through so many more years…..I start writing prolifically and will continue this for close to ten years. I am still in theatre, but less involved, and not working hard enough, being surpassed by other people for roles.

Age 21: I drop out of college because my bad habit is more important. I work low paying jobs and write so much that I fill close to 10 notebooks with poems. I begin performing spoken word around the city of Santa Cruz, and am met with some unqualified success in the arena.

Age 23: I am back in school, off the habit mostly, and am accepted into the Education Abroad Program at UCSC. I enroll for my senior year of college at the University of East Anglia in Norwich, England. I have completed every course required for my graduation, which leads to much beer drinking and traveling, although I do attend most classes and take a Russian Literature course with a professor who makes the books come alive like they have always done in my heart. I love the course, sit rapt every lecture and discuss at length some truly astounding literature. I also sleep with a college professor (different class, though just as interesting), which makes me feel like I’m very grown-up, but actually reflects that he is pretty immature. Albeit fascinating, and a published author. I break it off and go back to my college boys.

Age 24-25: I am back from England, living at home in Ohio. I work as a data-entry clerk for an insurance company, entering claims daily until I am promoted (through family connections) to a member eligibility clerk, where I enter family information. I drink heavily, am absolutely miserable, and one day announce that in 5 months’ time, I’m packing up all my belongings and moving to Los Angeles to become an actress. In 5 months’ time, with $5,000, I load up my belongings and drive to Los Angeles. Along the way I stop to see a dear friend in Austin, TX, whose very talented sister takes beautiful headshots of me, and then on to Vegas, where I sit down at a blackjack table and meet a man from Boston. I continue to Los Angeles, now dating the Boston guy.

Age 26: The Boston guy and I live in San Diego, and we’re engaged. I answer a random administrative assistant classified and get called into a cool company. I get the job.
I marry the Boston guy amid serious reservations, and the marriage is rocky and unfulfilling.

Age 27: The Boston guy and I move to Los Angeles, where I intend to be an actress. I stay at the same job – moving to their LA area office. I work for different people now, I get involved in an aspect of the company that ignites my interest. I never go on a single audition, I commute 2 hours and 30 minutes a day (combined) and work my ass off at this new job.

Age 29: My marriage is ending. I accept a job transfer to Seattle, WA, unhesitatingly. This drives the final nail through my marriage. I’m relieved and delighted to have a chance to start over. I move to Seattle.

Age 30: Living on my own for the first time in my life, I am set up with the Pope by mutual friends. Love at first sight. I wake up the morning after having met him and open my mailbox to find my divorce is official. We have a tempestuous relationship, we’re off more than we’re on, but we’re deeply connected and always get back together. I buy my first home, a condo.

Age 32: The Pope and I have bought a house, we live together with our three cats.

Age 33: The favorite cat has walked away from us, shortly before I find out we’re being transferred to Edinburgh, Scotland. We are now a house of four, but a loving little stray is on her way in.


Alex said...

i got goosebumps reading this entry. it is amazing all the stuff that has happened in the 10 years since i have known you (yes 10 years sounds frightfully long and like we are old!). I just wish we had been more in contact during the low points.

when you are out of your funk (if you are still in one), you know i'm here and ready for a chat and visit.

Anonymous said...

A professor huh. Very interesting. Must have ten billlion more conversations with you before you move away.