i look like i’m singing (part 1)

i’ve been barren of words lately. nanowrimo was the last thing on my brain and i spent most of our lovely week in yachats cooking, playing, reading and sleeping which felt better than doing anything i felt i should do. it was a relief to get out of the city. friday night as i escaped work i wandered downtown searching for a place with food that wasn’t overrun by wet people in ponchos with 2-3 strollers filled with bags and babies, babies and bags. some big to-do was happening at the embarcadero ice skating rink. oh yeah, it was opening. here is your wet cold rink peoples. it’s raining. you can look at it but you can’t skate in it. now that you’ve all gathered in the name of the christmas spirit you are all granted permission to leave and flood nearby restaurants with your wet cranky selves.

i wandered. i squatted in a coffee shop til they kicked me out. and another until they kicked me out. the financial district. if we don’t close at 3PM we close at 6:30 PM. i dried off a little in the ferry building after checking out the lines at the plant organic, osha and that bad universal pasta place near the cinema.

every minute that passed i couldn’t wait to get out of the city. there is something magical about the holidays and shopping centers and by magical i mean awful.

don’t get me wrong. i like christmas shopping. i like going out with the purpose of filling my messenger bag with little presents and things for people i love. i’m really good at it most of the time. i usually do most of it in one day and make it into my own little event. there is usually spiked hot chocolate or soy nog involved. there is always thai food and a long walk at some point. the headphones are buried into my ear canals for a good 2-3 hour stretch as i walk around, look at things and purchase things. i’m not good shopping in groups. there are a select few i can shop with and feel comfortable and not stressed out if the other person feels rushed or if i’m too slow. sadia, jessica and setch. usually just one other companion works best. setch only works with toy stores and the like. in clothing stores i think he gets antsy if i want to try something on although he was uber supportive a couple of years ago in anthropologie but only because there was a section of owl paraphernalia to entertain him.

but it wasn’t even thanksgiving yet and there was the whole rink and tree lighting and santa claus thing happening too close to where i needed to find accessible dinner that didn’t involve a wait list two pages long.

i got wet. i got cranky. it was a total dinner fail and i felt bad and it didn’t help that i was hungry. the dr. wasn’t feeling well and when i found him in the ferry building after trekking to walgreens for a sad bag of baked kettle chips i felt awful. my sweetheart was sickly and all i had was a handful of junk food.

we sat in the amtrak bus pick up station in silence.

things got better once we got to the emeryville station and even more so after boarding the train and hopping into our cute sleeper car roomette. the moment we shut the latch on our door we curled up on the bottom bunk to stare out the window at things. trains are exciting because they feel so foreign these days. i remember taking the northeast corridor from Boston to Philly and back every year I was in college and while the first couple of times it was fun, it eventually became something i got used to. and then the thanksgiving where i didn’t have a seat from boston to nyc, it became annoying.

over a decade later, this shit’s exciting again.

i was glad that train excitement took over the general rainy wetness malaise and we were able to sleep though it did feel weird to be bunked and not spooning. note: there is no comfortable way to squeeze two people in the bottom bunk of a sleeper car.

i woke up just as the sky began to lighten and shortly after the dining car announced breakfast was open.

the rest of the trip pretty much looked like this.

jeff spotted rob and xep with kestrel in arms as we pulled into eugene and despite only really meeting them once and knowing only what i know of them through the internets i felt pretty comfortable around them and didn’t have too much anxiety. in my lifetime i’ve gone from  painfully shy to completely unabashedly friendly to anxious and reserved to what is now currently a mixture of quietly shy and confident i can probably win you over with food.

the 2 hour drive from eugene to yachats propelled me into transportation narcolepsy where i dreamt my sister was in a play about pokemon and was the only human being in it. she was playing pikachu. there was also a celery forest and one of the stalks had a hole in it and on the other side of the hole was the ocean and i needed to keep my fist in the hole or the ocean would spill through and drown everyone. my family showed up in the forest to make me feel guilty for missing my sister’s play. i had tired to explain that i was saving the world from a watery death but well, you know, things like that don’t matter when your 35 year old sister is playing a little yellow monster in a community theater production about a video game.

(con’t)

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