I like it here. I walked in, nearly unwatched, and made my way through the maze of bookshelves, slants of floor and steps. Saw a table with an empty champagne bottle and four glasses, two unfinished, and I immediately drank them both, half out of need for them not to go to waste and half because I just wanted them. Cara would later say, “What if you get the flu?”
After finishing the second glass, I slid into the one-seater bathroom and blew my brains into really soft toilet paper, the fancy kind that I don’t see in Asheville much. I was blowing mucus, not brains, really. I’ve been blowing this stuff out for days upon days. Really thick, rich, cloudy, jelly stuff like a membrane or liner of sorts. Like impermeable flesh. Like slime. Goo that slides between my fingers as I blow my nose into them and rinse them clean under the faucet. I watch the stuff slide down the drain.
No wonder I’m out of energy. This goo is slowing me down, clogging my insides, enveloping my organs, closing openings.
I’m not worried about the flu, not when I have this to contend with.
I am ashamed of myself sometimes. At the Dirty Santa party Saturday night, Jodi asked about my mom. I was just beginning to tell her the latest developments when Nathan interrupted us with his shenanigans, took Jodi’s scarf from around her neck and proceeded to wear it as a dress. I was having a hard time being at the party at all just then and continued to look around the room, ignoring the show that was happening right in front of me. Finally Nathan apologized for interrupting and said to go on about my mom. Somehow I thought sarcasm was the best response so I said, “It’s the best years of her life!”
“Really? That’s great! Wow. And rare too.”
“Yep. It’s pretty rare.”
I walked off and found myself across the room at the kitchen sink staring at nothing in particular on the counter. Sue happened to be standing nearby and asked if everything was ok. We then began a fairly normal conversation with me not really going into it. Jodi and I talked later, but neither one of us brought up the previous interaction. We just talked about simple things. Silly things. I was glad for the levity. I thought about asking her about her mom and then just appreciated the lightness of not.
Sitting here at the Battery Park Book Exchange and Champagne Bar, I realize that I like it here. It’s perfect for an introvert. With its nooks and corners and shelves to peer through and steps into other smaller rooms and people talking in whispers and sipping drinks and mulling things over to themselves or to others quietly. The non-interruptions. The carpeted floors. The area rugs. The padding and buffers that soften sounds. It’s polite and demure in its approach. It comforts me and acknowledges my wariness to open up. People are messy. That’s a quote from the first season of Grey’s Anatomy, taken from one of Meredith’s opening monologues. The implication of the story line is that dealing with people may be less than ideal, but it’s better than being lonely. We at least get some sort of comfort from being around other people, some sort of support in being part of the human race together.
Some days all I want to do is watch Grey’s Anatomy, soak in its philosophies and fantasies and drift away. Just drift away for now. Is that so bad?
Oh yeah, for this new year, I ask for peace of mind, adventure and travel, and closeness to friends and family.
And more time at the Champagne Bar.