I might very well have mangled that, it's been a great many years since I read that particular story, and I think with a recent effort to find The Macbeth Murder Mystery for somebody in my book group, it's probably been a long time since I read Thurber at all. I'd pledge to re-read some of his work, but it seems there is so much I want to read, and even re-read, that he's far from the top of the list. Anyway, I digress, or wander.
I spent a good part of my adult years in the same spot, and a fairly small and isolated spot it was. Over time, I began to chafe at small town life. I resented being in the same place so long. But one is a wanderer, not two. I'm on my third city since we broke up. I'm likely to stay here a long time. I'm not sure what would draw me away, and given how bad I am about making friends in general, I'm not sure I'd be up for starting from scratch again. Still, I finish my eight hours a day indexing papers, and I sit for 30-40 minutes waiting for my train back to Boston. While I wait, three trains a night pass by going southbound. It took exactly one week of this job before I started looking at these southbound trains with envy. Providence, New Haven, New York City, Philadelphia, Washington D.C. And I just want to hop on the next train. Run down to the platform and throw myself through the door just as they're closing. Sometimes, I think the only reason I don't is because nobody would notice that I had. If a tree is impetuous in the woods, does it make a sound?
Tonight, I sat in the upstairs waiting room as usual. I briefly opened up the laptop simply because the ipod needs to get an extra little charge up if it's to last the rest of the way home. It might not actually need it, but since the ipod keeps me sane at work, it's playing from the point I leave my apartment at 7 in the morning. For a moment, I considered writing, but I've been in weird headspace this week, and not up for starting something new. The subject of my sunday coffee date has been revisited, with an e-mail exchange between me and her, in which she made it quite clear that she thinks me utterly self-absorbed, and yeah, she has a valid point. Probably the fact that I thought it went reasonably well, while she did not at all would indicate that I was not picking up on whatever signals she was emitting. So yeah, date didn't go well. I'm not really weeping over it, more like a learning experience for me. I'm not inexperienced with relationships, but utterly new to dating. So I offer her applause for telling me what's the matter with me instead of a vague blow off.
So, I just close up the computer, and pull out my sketchpad instead. If you saw my entry in the last CFC, that's about the expect one can expect from my hand. Which is to say that if I produce anything better than most people it's simply because instead of declaring, "All I can draw is a stick figure!" I make some small effort. I've been doing a couple of drawings, somewhat based upon characters from my NaNo. Suddenly, I realize that there's somebody standing rather close to me. I look up, and there's a Chinese woman in her 40's, and she say something to me. I remove an earphone, "Huh?" "Your drawing is really neat." "Oh, umm, thanks." I glanced down at the page bashfully. Self-absorbed, maybe, but utterly self-concious about somebody complementing me to my face. She disappeared, and I finished up the work on my drawing. I look around, but she seems to be gone. I start on another one. I'm working on a face which is not turning out right at all, when I realize that she's back and watching me. Now, it's really not turning out right at all, I erase an eye, decide to cover the other one with hair. I want to tell her to not watch me, but I also don't want to be petulant. She walks off again, and I manage the pencilling by the time I have to rush down to Platform 2 to get on the 6:02. I ink it on the train (inking in my case being me going over the lines with a black sharpie). Not one of my favorites. Her left eye is too far to the left, her arms are too thin, and I've done nothing to disguise the fact that I can't draw hands (a great many of these sketches feature characters with hands in pockets or behind their backs, only you know that this is not a stylistic motif, but a coping mechanism). I give it a quick initial, and figure I'll give it to her if she's in the station tomorrow. If she likes it, why not?
Finally, when I got home tonight, I booked my long planned trip to Providence for the long Christmas weekend. Not much planned for it, just wandering around a city I don't know. Satisfy a bit of wanderlust, stare out at the ocean and feel stronger wanderlust. And of course, I'll be taking the train there.
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