yesterday i was just sittin' here pondering stuff ...if pondering were my job, i could buy my brain a vacation and everybody i like tons of awesome shit they don't need... then i caught myself feeling like i'd been told something perplexing...and i had, it's just that i'd told it to myself. i think i even made a face. or maybe it sounds better that way. i told myself that i'm losing my fire, and i didn't like it a bit. do you ever look back on how badass you used to be? i do.
i'm jealous of the 20-something me. what a go-getter. that's what nick called me. when i lived in new york and realized my boss was a scammer, i quit one day and got kicked out of my free apartment the next, with no new job waiting and nowhere to live... nick came to my rescue. drove to the city, packed up my things in his suv and whisked me across the bridge to jersey city. he took me for sushi that night and told me how impressed he was with my ambition and how far he thought i'd go in life. with that in mind, every day i'd go back to manhattan to look for work, stay all day, then take a bus from the port authority back to jersey at hours of the night i later learned were not safe for a girl to be walking alone. nick gave me his apartment and stayed with his parents next door, where i was invited to sunday dinners. it was like something out of the movies...all the family packed together at a long table in a small kitchen, reaching over each other to fill their never-ending glasses of red wine and pile plates with pasta, meatballs, crusty bread, and hunks of hard, bitter cheese. nick took me in as a favor to his longtime friend, dr. b., my old boss in west virginia. dr. b. was young and charming and always tan. he had a black belt in tae kwan do, raised pit bulls, told dirty jokes to his old lady patients in the exam room, and had an affinity for the word fuck. my aunt, his office manager, cringed every time he said it, which only made him say it more, always preceded by a karate kick and "gina, my friend, you need to lighten up." i was his assistant until the summer i went to florida to visit two of my high school buddies.
two weeks later i was not on a plane back to west virginia and my job, but in a porsche on the way to hilton head island with my brother's high school friend i'd caught up with at a wedding a few weeks earlier in my hometown. i stayed with him for a few weeks. every morning i'd drop him off at work and spend the rest of the day driving the porsche around the island or cleaning house with annie lenox blasting on his fancy speaker system or making brownies or walking his german shepherd puppy. the day he asked me to move in is the day i called my friend in myrtle beach and said party's over, get me outta here. so she did. i went back to living with my parents. we never once talked about those few weeks. i'd guess it was discussed plenty before i came home, at least between my brother and my mom, because dad is mostly silent when he's angry, and my brother is mostly frightening, so to this day i'm okay with that particular lapse in communication.
in those days i knew exactly what i wanted and exactly what i didn't want, and tolerated no diversion from either. those lines tend to blur with age. but who says we can't draw them again? a very wise friend, who has an arsenal of dead-on maxims that she seems to whip right outta her pocket in a moment's notice, says this:
if you don't like what you're getting, then change what you're doing.
...word, my girl.