Dishes Poll Results

When I returned to the apartment Friday afternoon, the sink hadn’t changed. While it didn’t shrink, it also didn’t grow, and I can be grateful for that.

Sometimes I use that task of doing the dishes as a way to clear my mind, to meditate. In the words of Thich Nhat Hanh:

While washing the dishes one should only be washing the dishes, which means that while washing the dishes one should be completely aware of the fact that one is washing the dishes. At first glance, that might seem a little silly: why put so much stress on a simple thing? But that’s precisely the point. The fact that I am standing there and washing these bowls is a wondrous reality. I’m being completely myself, following my breath, conscious of my presence, and conscious of my thoughts and actions.

The Miracle of Mindfulness: An Introduction to the Practice of Meditation

There’s been a lot on my mind lately, and being able to focus on the dishes helps lower my anxiety. Same goes with handwashing my whites.

So. Yeah. When I washed the dishes on Friday, I noted that I might have contributed a butterknife to the pile.

When I think about being maliciously passive aggressive and contemplate leaving piles of dirty dishes on respective roommates’ beds, I also wonder how the apartment would react to a swarm of New York City rats crawling around the sink.

But the girls are busy, and I can understand how dishes aren’t a priority. They’re nice, and generally cheerful, and it’s nice when we all happen to be home at the same time and can talk for a little bit. As I rinsed the dishes and loaded the dishwasher last Sunday, someone thanked me, and it was nice. I think I grunted, but not in a mean way.

Maybe I was too focused on the task.

Amuse Me

A white board hangs on our front door. Sometimes the roommates write interesting things on it. Yesterday I happened to look at the door and found these two ideas wrestling:

I can’t identify the handwritings. Two different people, out of the three who live with me. I could figure them out easily enough. I pass through the kitchen all the time, and often I do the dishes just because it’s nice to have a clean surface for my food to ass on. I’m on about three hours’ sleep today, and that apparent curse word in the last sentence was a crude and pretty tacky derivation of a French word, but right now it’s pretty dang funny, and all I can think of is how my professor says that 60% of English vocabulary comes from French, and so many layers of meaning seep through words by learning another language, intensifying and expanding my power to communicate. Muah ha ha ha ha! But here, in this instance, I just visualize sitting on a plate of food.

Much easier than trying to reconcile the white board.

No wonder the French are so skinny.

An Indication I Don’t Spend Enough Time at My Apartment

Dear May, I know I may not be the best roommate. I may not turn down your bed and put a mint on your pillow or serve you breakfast in bed. I may not be tall, dark and handsome and be able to spoon with you at night, but I assure you I am cool, though not as cool as you.

-Text to my phone at 11:17pm, Monday, August 31, 2009

This made me smile. No writeup in the world, no matter my imagination or how much time I have, could top this flash of genius. Also, I can’t write when I’m feeling guilty.

Check out her blog. My roommate does some pretty cool stuff. Because she’s pretty cool.

I promise to come home. You don’t have to thank me when I come into your room in the morning and start spooning you. It’s the least I can do.

An Adventure to Begin the Day

5:05 AM. She said goodbye. I smiled.

I closed the door, and took a deep breath.

The tears came. No floodgates, but a moderate mist, a condensation.

I paced the living room briefly. I looked at the couch where my roommate had slept last night. First, I noticed a folded sheet, which I knew she used because I know her feelings about sleeping on the couch with the possibility of drool. It made me smile.

Then I noticed a cell phone.

It might belong to the new roommate, H. I picked up the phone and opened it. No one’s name was on the display. I started navigating the menu and looked at the call history. The list showed contacts I knew. The phone was M’s.

Only a few minutes passed since M left. She was with H. They were wheeling two large suitcases and catching the subway to the airport.

I hoped I still had time.

I grabbed my keys. I put on some running shoes. As I started to open the door, I hesitated and went back to my room to get my wallet, in case I had to chase the girls down to the airport.

I held my own cell phone, just in case. I raced down the stairs, repeating out loud, “Please still be here.”

As I exited the apartment building, the morning was cool, and the sun was starting to peek over the horizon into the sky. It was quiet.

I ran across the street. I ran to the subway station, hearing rumbling of a passing train underground, hoping it was uptown and not the one my roommate would catch. I ran down the first set of stairs, then about 100 feet, then a second set of stairs.

Did I mention I sprained my ankle two days before?

As I approached the turnstiles, I saw the two girls just entering the platform, pushing the suitcases through the service door. They saw me.

I held up the phone.

M said she realized she had forgotten it and was about to come back to the apartment.

We hugged. She thanked me. I told her to take care and started to walk home.

I already miss her.

M comes to mind when I think of integrity. Her accomplishment, her personality, her beauty, her gentle manner, her deep spirituality, every aspect of M, so tightly integrated into the whole of her. I could say I admire her passion, or her knowledge, or her approach to life, or the way she sees movement, or the little things she notices before anyone else, but I can’t list one quality without referring to all of them. M is M.

I got to spend yesterday with her, going to the Doughnut Plant, then to SoHo. We walked past a set for Law and Order: SVU on our way to walk the Brooklyn Bridge and over to Grimaldi’s for some pizza, where we waited in line for maybe ten minutes. We took pictures and reminisced and laughed. What a great time. I’ve really cherished my time with her and wish her the best in all she does.

As I turned away to climb the subway stairs, maybe it was adrenaline, but maybe because this apartment already feels her absence, because M is so extraordinary, the tears came again.

As they do now.

3 Fun Facts, er, Truths?

1. Yesterday’s search terms:

boyfriend dates to remember
poo-perry
moody music

I wish my stats would tell me which post came up with a specific search term. The files in my forebrain come up with nothing regarding “poo-perry.” What IS that? Hello, out there, the one curious about poo-perry, did you find what you were looking for? Would you please tell me what it is you did find?

2. Last night, as I got ready for the pretty party (there was a “pretty party” where everyone dressed up [in tuxes, suits, gowns, to-the-nines in any form] and went to a solarium on a rooftop and danced the night away), I went to my room and got some black nylons, a black slip, and a black bra. I was going to wear a black dress. Everyone knows what the rule of thumb is about what to wear beneath black dresses. Anyway, since my room is two walls of bare windows and I didn’t want to change in front of all of Midtown, I carried those items from my room to the bathroom to change. Becky saw me before I entered the bathroom, and she saw what I was holding.  She said, “Ooh. Underthings.” I blushed and did the little Flashdance run-in-place thing, and I giggled. Then I closed the bathroom door and changed into those underthings. Hee.

Does anyone else feel seductive or … you know, when you’re not wearing the standard whiteys or natural tones underneath? Anyone? Anyone at all?

3. My rabbits sometimes like watching television.

Meandering and Another List

Right now, I’m looking over at my roommate’s laptop screen. She’s blogging, and I’m proud of her. I can’t read what she’s typing, but that’s okay.

My roommates have become pretty steady bloggers. I really like their writing. It’s amusing for three of us to be sitting in front of the television, computers in our laps, not really talking to each other. I should get a picture.

Those gals think I’m some sort of world-famous blogger. It’s embarrassing.

I was going to come home and crank out a post I’ve been thinking about for the past couple of weeks. When I got home, the post required a little prep work, so that took some time. Then, I decided to go to Trader Joe’s to pick up some things for tonight’s dinner/leftovers for lunch tomorrow. So, that took some time.

As an aside, can I say how fun it is to walk through Union Square in the evening? So many varieties of weird. And the thing is, I felt I could fit right in.

So. I came home and cooked dinner. And I felt the pressure of posting an entry before midnight. I wanted to be able to take my time with the post I was planning. What you’re reading now is a shoddy substitute. It’s a stall tactic.

But to flesh this post out, I’ve decided to list the search terms people have used to find this blog over the past two weeks. For some reason, I’m into lists lately. Interesting stuff, people. Interesting people.

~the living room, brad roberts july 2008 (that kind of narrows it down)
~starbucks (there has to be bazillions of posts about starbucks)
~meg hutchinson pictures (I guess I’ve been a little obsessed)
~on your way to the wishing well (yay, Patty!)
~”starbucks” (might as well be air quotes)
~falafel doctor (a doctor FOR injured/sick falafel?)
~dirty talk dialogue (hee. that’s what I get for a questionable title)
~the history of meg hutchinson’s depression (I have not posted on this specific subject; it’s not my (hi)story to tell)
~ghosts (or more like skeletons in the closet)
~to-get-used-to english-class (what’s with the hyphens? is that part of a boolean search method?)
~church educational system scriture mastery (heh, this is where my seminary blog used to be)
~counting crows (“round here”)
~things to by guys on their birthday (can’t get over the typo and the unparallel syntax)
~Francesco Stoppini (he is supposedly the Italian Consulate Correspondent from Philadelphia)
~but i’m easy (but I am not)
~my date’s birthday (my month of dates! yay!)
~what does it mean when a guy talks in your ear (she already knows the answer, I’m sure)
~evolution of strep throat (how do people stumble upon my blog with these searches? really?)
~things about my birthday (it’s 10 and a half months away!)
~no show for jury duty in westchester (why specific to westchester? do you get extra jail time there?)
~does anyone in wagga need a cleaner (someone was on crack for this one; what’s wagga?)
~”tied ribbons to the fire escape” (yay! more patty!)
~things to on a guys birthday (things to … what?)
~dirty dialogue (a variation of the search above)
~matthew evans spelling bee (yay, spelling bee! aww, matt evans!)
~things guys like for their birthdays (whisper back in their ears; and thanks for pluralizing birthdays)