My office is now serving a Halloween chocolate pumpkin pie. Bah humbug. I’m not looking forward to the 31st simply because there is no way I’m going down the stairs of my home on Halloween at every ring of the doorbell. I live on the second floor of my brownstone, which is technically the third floor since the first floor is just a walk-in area. I won’t be celebrating. It just ain’t happening. I was on the brink of getting a pumpkin, but I’d be the only one eating the seeds. And besides, no one liked my idea of carving it to look like Herman Cain.
The season change makes me appreciate having someone to curl up with occasionally on the couch, but not everyone has that someone. John T is a man who lives in this neighborhood, and he’s a sort of handy-man for anyone in need. His name is either John, or it’s T. I hear him tell different people different things. He’s probably a former drug addict who’s cleaned up, and now people trust him enough to let him in their homes. He knows everyone around here it seems. I walked into the deli and he said, “It’s gettin’ cold out he-re! I need a woman to keep me warm at night, but anything under a buck sixty won’t do!” I smiled politely, and he looked me up and down. “How much you weigh?” I didn’t realize he was joking and actually started to answer him, and he just fell out laughing. He’s nice enough I guess, but I really try so hard to avoid him for exactly this reason. It’s mean, I know, considering he helped me get cinder blocks to hold up my (headboard-less) bed. I asked him if he knew where I could find some, and he showed up in front of my building an hour later with three blocks. I never told him where I lived, but John T just knew.
Leaving the grocery store left a smile on my face. The usual suspects were all there, the men who own and stock the place, and loiter inside of the check-out area. The man selling bootleg dvd’s occupied his usual place just inside of the entry and exit area, making the most of a tiny ledge to show off his latest goods. I know these men, I like these men. They know and like me too. I’ve never been able to catch the artist responsible for painting the large windows of our grocery store at the start of a new season, but I’d like to thank him or her. It’s nothing to write home about, but it definitely gives the grocery store a cozy little feel. Seeing the display of school children in costumes makes me want to buy bags of candy and hay stacks just to say I participated. Christmas is my absolute, ultimate favorite holiday, but there is something so calming about coming home to a house that has freshly mopped floors– not so easy when you consider that Amber forces me to work with a mop from 1976 that has strings and makes my hands ache from wringing it out!–, and hanging out in a warm home with open windows letting fall breeze in and out. Here’s something like advice: get your home cleaned, organized, and smelling good now and you can enjoy it all winter.
Fo whatever reason, not a single Halloween goes by that I don’t think of the Backstreet Boys video for “Everybody”. The dance, the lyrics, the stupid mummy costume that they dressed Nick in. I remember it very well, and it reminds me of being in high school in California, my sister and me dancing in front of the television. My high school reunion is only a few short weeks away, and I’ve got mixed feelings about all of it. When I weigh out the pros and cons to going, there are no cons, only excuses I’ve created to hide the fact that I don’t know if I can swing a plane ticket by then. On one hand, I think it’s worth going to, worth paying anything to go and have a settled peace about having finally conquered people bondage. To arrive in Los Angeles still thin, still pretty, still smart, and still sassy, and lovingly fellowship with people who did and did not like me would be so much fun. There weren’t a lot of people who didn’t like me, but it wouldn’t matter now anyway. It’d be the best chance I’ll probably ever have to show my friends and old enemies that God’s love for me and in me has changed every aspect of who I am. I’m a better version of myself, and I keep my clothes on now. I’m the life of the party without chugging vodka. Who knew!
Seeing Jason B always brings back memories of being young(er) and fun(ner), but it never brought on trepidation before. I’m still testing out this whole “I’m an evangelist” thing amongst my friends, and I never know how people are going to react. In the end it doesn’t matter because it’s not going to sway me from doing what God has asked of me. Jonah tried that in the Bible, and he wound up in the stomach of a giant fish, and then he went to hell. No thanks. But it does send the butterflies a-flyin’. Jason B reacted so well that I grabbed his arm and slammed my head into his neck with glee. Fresh from a trip that took him literally around the world, he’s visiting the City for the next couple of days before going back to the West Coast. If I could bottle his energy, his money, and his reignited interest in making the world a better place, I’d make every young person scared to leave their secure job drink some. We chatted over coffee and ginger juice at my office today, and I’m sad that he won’t be around when I go back later in the week. Without questioning me, he just offered up support and smiled. And that’s more than enough. Thank you for liking the new me.
I’m so content with the way things are working out that I could dance. And oh, do I dance! I dance in my seat at my office when I’m listening to Empire of the Sun, reading emails from friends, reading scripture that reminds me God is for me. Always for me. He even put a dj booth in this coffee shop! I mean, office! A dj booth in this office. The fast has ended so I’ve gotten to sip on coffee again, and be treated to good food and good conversation over dinner at Virginia and Ryan’s. My time has been occupied by challenging work that I look forward to doing. I get up filled with faith, and when I get up with less than faith I have time to pray my tank full. I dance around when I think about being an English tutor again, a surprisingly new and flexible way to bring in extra income. I’s knows a good bit of English and I’s can teach it!
I even spelled Halloween correctly throughout this entire post without needing spellcheck. I keep telling you, it’s the little things people. It’s the little things.
Written to: N’Sync “I Want You Back”, Lionel Richie “All Night Long (All Night)”…and some jazz! Shelly Berg “All My Tomorrows”