Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Holy Crap I've Been Gone For 75 Years.

"They do THAT now?! There is SO MUCH I am missing out on in life! I always thought mayonnaise was a sandwich


Brett's back in Pittsburgh. After a month of being here with me. SO NATURALLY the afternoon he left I was back in my original-Brett-is-gone state. Which meant I was on the couch working my way through a bag of stale white chocolate and catching up on 'The United States of Tara.' I guess you could say I was coping with our situation in a healthy manner.

Or you could not say that.

You could say the opposite, really.

I started classes on Tuesday and showed up to class sweaty, frantic, confused, and a little bit depressed. A friend noticed my frothy state and offered to escort me to my next class. Maybe it was because I had written my schedule down on the back of an old banking slip from 2007, but whatever it was he sweetly left class with me, made sure I was caffinated, and then started the walk with me to my next location. As we roamed the campus I made the casual remark that I had never been to this part of the grounds before. It dawned on me then that I had lived in a pretty tight circle and always took classes in the same buildings. This new class ON MARS APPARENTLY was causing me a lot of anxiety. He stopped in his tracks and looked at me.

"You mean to say that you have never been on this side of campus before?"

I was hot and cranky and wanting a shower and a burrito and I might have snapped at him. "Yes. That is what I am saying. Now, where are we? Where is this stupid class of mine?"

He just flipped his gaze over me before literally spinning on his heel and plowing forward. I panted behind like a fat little puppy.

"WHERE ARE WE GOING?" I practically barked at his back (again with the fat puppy comparison.)

"You'll see." He replied, and then took in the glory of my sweaty companionship with an exasperated eye. "Just wait."

Seconds later found us in this cool, lovely, enchanted-forest looking place that was drenched in dappled sunlight and overgrown threads of branches that stretched out against the blue sky. The scent of pine, a scent I literally ache for as a New England girl, was thick in the air. And, in the middle of it all was a simple bench.

"Let's sit." He said.

I couldn't believe this perfect spot was right on campus- a place I spend so much of my waking hours. I couldn't believe how close it was to my normal walk: a triangle path that I carved my first week at Berkeley and followed every day. I tried to swallow this as I sat next to my friend, breathing in the amazing pine and feeling so utterly alone in the best possible way. Like I was the only person that existed...the city was far behind me...and I was the only heart beating for miles.

Except my friend's heart, or course. And the heart of the crazy fucking squirrel that watched us the whole time on the bench and eventually charged us, prompting our quick, messy, and terrified exit from nirvana.

As we fled from the rabid (probably) squirrel, that moment of new experience made me start to tap into all of the things I have never done or experienced. I turned to my friend and blurted out: "I've never had a Bloody Mary!"

He looked at me, confused. "Well...that's unfortunate."

"I've never had Guinness, either."

"Are you saying you want a drink?"


And then we talked about Jurassic Park.


This brief little moment in my day had shown me how safe I play this game of life and how very, very much I am missing out on. I'm NOT saying I need to do ecstasy at Burning Man or jump out of a plane or eat Paula Deen's cooking. I just need to...explore a little bit. Knock down that third wall and see what's behind it. It doesn't have to be extravagant or mind blowing- it can simply be a walk in the woods.

So, what is on my exploration list? Well...I'd like to start small. Try new restaurants in Berkeley. Go for a hike somewhere completely unknown. Take a dance class. Go to a poetry reading. Maybe sing in public at open mic and NOT WHEN I AM TOTALLY DRUNK AND TRYING TO SING ALL JOURNEY SONGS.

And then I will branch out. Learn how to sail. Make my own pasta. Write a book. Have a kid or something. Learn how to speak a language that makes me sound really cute when I speak it. Adopt? Garden. Grow. Learn. Laugh. Live.

And then maybe eat some Paula Deen cooking. As a celebration, you know. That woman knows her way around a jar of mayonnaise.

In all seriousness- I hope you all live. Because I certainly intend to.

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