4:51 am promptly punctuated last night's sleep, and this morning i didn't even bother with the under-eye concealer. i knew i wouldn't be going anywhere, and if an uninvited visitor stopped by, well, i just wouldn't answer the door. i think it's rude to come by unannounced anyway. i'd never do it. maybe it's a southern thing that i don't understand, like the way girlfriends in the south go everywhere together. that one struck me early on after moving to memphis. it was new to me. i've warmed up to the group thing a little, mostly out of necessity, because you can't make friends being the new girl unless you give in a little to the way things are done around here. social hegemony, i call it. but i budged a little, and lo and behold, it wasn't too painful. well, a few times it was. either way, on the whole, i'm better off dangling like a stray thread from the fringes of social groups. that way, i can come and go as i please, which is what i'm used to. maybe it's one of those selfish habits cultivated by people who live alone for too long..."too long" as defined by the same authorities who decided it's improper to wear white after labor day or have long hair past the age of 50, i imagine. those people.
today is distant and cold, the defiant child of spring. i'm supposed to be writing an article about the beach, to be published in a magazine, but who can think about that kind of day while having this kind? not i, says the girl whose once-charcoal hair is now laced with a few too many strands of silver, whose hazel eyes, unembellished by thick black mascara, are underscored with dark circles. i'm that girl. or woman, i guess. though i never think of myself as a woman. women have homes and husbands and long-forgotten dreams. don't they? i like to think of my life as an experiment in prolonging girlhood. how long can i make it stretch. at least for the length of this day, for certain.
this girl will write about sun-basking and nesting sea turtles later this evening, after coming to terms with the state of today.
maybe 30 minutes ago, as i looked out my window through the 6-inch gap left bare by my too-short mini blinds, i saw the stray dog who is being looked after by the girl in the guesthouse in my back yard. i call her pretty girl because she has no other name. she looks like a mix of beagle and pitbull, mostly butterscotch with patches of white, and she's
sweeter than sugar. more often than not, when neighbor girl goes out...lately with her ringlets flat-ironed poker straight, dyed neon orange, and parted into two thick pigtails...pretty girl gets loose because the guesthouse gate is broken. neighbor girl found an old tire to push against it, but you really have to position the gate and the tire just right so the dog can't get out. many days and nights now, i find pretty girl on my front porch and have to coax her back into the yard and fiddle with the gate to make sure she doesn't escape. my yard and the guesthouse yard are connected, so on late nights or when it rains, i leave my gate cracked so she can wander between my yard and hers. she seems to bark less that way. i feel responsible for her, even though i'm not the one caring for her. but neighbor girl is young, maybe 20, and i can tell she's not entirely responsible. nor am i, in a handful of ways for certain, except for when it comes to anything i might, possibly, could, almost, sorta, or outright love. pretty girl has stolen my heart. she'll break it eventually when she goes. there won't be a thing i can do about it. i always think i can, you know, fix everything if i love it enough. and love does conquer all. except not always in the overcoming odds sense. sometimes it simply conquers the good intentions we can't make good on. and that's just the way it goes.