Just cuz I rarely wear a dress.
Starbucks is packed. I'm not sure wear ana will sit. Across from is a geeky goth girl, maybe 17 or 18. She's doodling in a journal with chalk, listening to something on her headphones. Periodically she pokes at her PowerBook. A man with astoundingly long eyebrows sits beside me, manicly fumbling through the newspaper before finding a crossword puzzle. The hum of random chatter filters through my headphones.
Who likes to tell the world
About the way she feels about herself
Days like this - when it's really Spring, and the weight of being me seems less - I feel somewhat less shy. Random strangers seem less random, somehow. At the T this morning, I lit my smoke and went to grab a Metro from the bin outside the station. Empty, but I knew I'd find a stack abandoned in the train.
"Here," says a man in his late 50s with blondish, close-cropped hair. We were wearing the same jacket. "I accidentally got two. He looks somewhat abashed, and I smile. I know he's gay, though he's anything but a flamer.
"Didn't want me to get one, eh?" I say.
"Well," he says, smiling, recognizing my queerness and taking a drag from his cigarette. "You smoke, so you must not be able to read."
We smoked our cigarettes and chatted, with a level of intimacy less than close acquaintance, but more than random-stranger small talk. The conversation lasted until we bought tokens and headed down toward the train.
I wonder who he is, and I wonder - if he was a part of the circumscribed area of my life - I wonder if we might be friends.
He said, sun don't shine
He said don't bring tomorrow
To justify tonight
I walked from Chinatown to here, on Beacon Hill, about a 10 or 15 minute walk through Downtown Crossing, across the Boston Common. It's about 70F, intermittently sunny and cloudy. The rain began, a drop every few feet, about halfway here. The clouds opened as I reached the Common. The rain fell harder, the sun glinting off each drop - a million points of iridescence. I breathed the smell of spring rain and raised my face to the sky. I thought of North Carolina.
We set each other free
Both people and plants are beginning to shed their distrust of New England weather and cautiously accepting that spring is here. The daffodils are slowly opening. The trees are faintly green, a few of the optimistic ones in full bloom. A woman walks by with flowers tucked into her hair. People jog past me, their t-shirts damp with rain and sweat. A couple of college students stand in the drizzle, their softball gloves dangling at their sides. He looks stoically ahead; she brushes her hair - pulled tightly into a ponytail - with her fingers to assure herself that the rain hasn't destroyed it. The hairspray glistens in tiny circles where the raindrops have landed.
You should be running scared
When I've been working very hard, as I've been doing lately, I have a great deal of trouble disengaging. First, $evil_project, then $not_evil_project. The second went in yesterday. We - the involved investigators and I - pulled it together in about a week. I've worked hard, but I get an indescribable rush from being completely focus on a project, especially when I'm confident that I can really accomplish something.
The downside is that ana becomes a work widow. Even when I'm not pounding away at the computer, I'm not really available. My head is rewriting that last passage, making lists of the pieces that still need attention, rehashing the last email I got from $investigator. Everything else is muted and distant.
Will we pay for who we've been?
I've apologized; now I've got to follow through. I have to stop sorting my inbox and my various work folders while watching stupid television. I have to figure out how to go about my life without that work rush every day, or even every week. I have to learn how to shift my focus. Adrenaline high versus genuine contentment. There's not really any question, is there? Right?
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