Friday, December 23, 2011

presence for christmas.

at this time last year...

do you say that to yourself a lot? i do. i like thinking back and comparing year-ago me to present-day me. on this day last year, i lived on felix avenue in the hip cooper-young neighborhood in midtown memphis, tennessee, in a 2-bedroom bungalow with very high ceilings and very old windows that i covered in plastic, the kind you put up with double-sided tape and seal with a blow dryer.

when i was a kid living on carpenter street in the stealey neighborhood of clarksburg, west virginia, in the tiny, grey-shingled house with a correspondingly tiny not-yard just big enough for a swingset (if you swung too high you'd hit mrs. marchio's house next door), our windows were also old and also covered in plastic. my father's plastic in 1980-something measured perfectly against each and every window frame, with not a ripple in its waxy, stretched-tight-as-a-painter's-canvas surface. my plastic in 2010 had frayed edges, duct-tape-patched holes and generally looked like it had been applied while under the influence of mescaline...suddenly i imagine myself face-painted and wild-eyed like owen wilson in the royal tennenbaums, except not really, bc i'm far too high strung to enjoy drugs for fun; i barely take them for illness. speaking of illness, i don't recall anything worth recalling in 2010, so perhaps my lackluster window-plastic-ing skills weren't for naught. over the years as a single girl i've accepted my default role as domestic handywoman with an attitude similar to my dad's upon his yearly baking of pita piata, the traditional italian christmas sorta-pastry made with raisins, wine, and honey: you don't especially like it, but you do it, and when it's over you're glad you did. proud, even.

at this time last year, i was blogging as i am right now. i haven't reread that particular entry yet, though i suspect it was like a typewritten xmas stocking, strung with strands of colored adjectives, brimming with binary oppositions. i was probably in my frigid front room, space heater by my side, writing at my gigantic, impossibly heavy grey desk that was salvaged from a redecorating purge at memphis' largest advertising agency and handed down to me after my other hand-me-down desk began to cave in from dry rot. or i was at cafe eclectic, unwrapping my extra-long, extra-soft, two-shades-of-purple scarf while perching on a stool bolted to the floor just far enough from the bar to make sitting uncomfortable, most likely ordering a black bean wrap and reminding the server to remind the cook to include the avocado slices that were on the menu description but somehow never made it onto the wrap when you ordered it...that sort of thing drives me nuts. i miss that wrap. you can't find a black bean wrap with avocado slices and spicy nayonaise in clarksburg. actually, you can't find a black bean wrap, period. or a black bean burger. sigh.

the past five months have been heavy on sighs, heavy on thoughts...hell, heavy on my feet. however, like the weight i'll shed in the coming months, i also plan to shed sighs. i've decided that one day — ONE.DAY. — baby and i will have a house on cheat lake in morgantown and will travel to new york city or other exciting places maybe, possibly, once per month. we'll go because mommy will have meetings for work. who knows what work that'll be, but...

one day, present-day me will look back at last-year me and be amazed at the amazing things that have happened in a year.