January 15, 2010

Rock me mama like the wind and the rain.

As the outdoor temperature has slowly warmed my mood has improved considerably. I think I was seriously missing the exercise I was used to getting from my bi-daily bike rides. As soon as the temperature hit 40 degrees I was out the door and on my rusty old bicycle, sailing off down Gumthicket to the post office. I had guests over the weekend, which probably helped my mood as much if not more than the weather. Jessica and Travis were lovely as usual. It is funny to think that we're probably living in places that foil each other perfectly: downtown Brooklyn in a many-person house vs. on an island in the Chesapeake Bay by oneself. Both are good, but certainly different.

Current irrational/impossible dream: an enormous Laurel houses reunion on the island. Old Crow Medicine Show plays on the front porch in the waning evening while we all drink whiskey and sangria and dance barefoot under paper lanterns in the lawn, fireflies flashing above the dingle. We eat fried chicken and spoon bread and butter beans and swim in Milford Haven all afternoon, emerging only to drink glass-bottled Cokes and sit in the rocking chairs, listening to Alex and Travis jam. We go running through the forest, vaulting patches of poison ivy and mosquito-pools, and tip toe, breath held, through the abandoned houses, gleaning non-treasure treasures from the dusty piles of left-items.

Sounds pretty good, right? My desire for it to be summer lately has been verging on the insane; I wake during the night having dreamt of the sound of osprey screeching only to realize they haven't come back yet, and the trees are empty. I bike around in 50 degree weather and try desperately to pretend it's summer, despite the tell-tale signs of winter everywhere. Ice and snow still linger in the ditches and the woods are bare and gray but I close my eyes and pretend.

It's funny how your habits change and intensify when you live alone, and spend almost no time in public. I do the dishes before I eat and turn off the lights in a certain sequence when I go up to bed every night. I don't bother closing bathroom doors and have taken to swinging over the staircase banister onto the downstairs couch, rather than walking down and around like a civilized human. Every morning I try to do one useful thing, like email a professor or pay a bill or clean my room; this enables me to do nothing for the rest of the day while justifying it by saying, Well this is my reward for ______. I barely wear makeup anymore, something people who know me well will think is a lie. It's true, world. I even go to the grocery store without my face on. This week I've stopped brushing my hair, which is getting long and shaggy. Brushing it seemed only to accentuate the fact that it is a hurrahs nest. So now I wander around looking like a fuzzy wavy poofball, a human thistle, makeup-less and wearing threadbare jeans. And can I say, for the record, that it is all amazing. It is amazing not to give a shit- to never look in a mirror or even wonder if what you're wearing matches at all. This is probably all helped by the fact that I don't walk past Cafe Pergolesi everyday, withering in the scrutinizing gaze of the hipster pack.

I guess what I am trying to say is that I love living here. I wouldn't want to forever, but being the stranger in a strange land, particularly one as strange as this, has its perks.

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