Y’all! I started crying again. And having anxiety. Fear even. In the shower. In the car. At night. In the morning. Right in the middle of the afternoon. It started as I sat in the lobby of the orthodontist. As I sat among hormones and pimples and parents. Waiting for braces. For the first time since I was 14. Me. Now almost 40. Impressions. Photographs. Radiology. Metal. All at the orthodontist. Great.
I am wildly enamored by hot water and Epsom salts. And I am not ashamed of it. In fact, this combination may be my greatest love. If we’re not talking about children. Or liquids. Wait, that is a liquid. I mean drinkable liquids. And if we are talking drinkable liquids then sparkling water is my greatest love. Followed very closely by iced coffee and IPAs. Any IPA. And margaritas. Good ones. Holy mother of Jesus. I just realized I am totally obsessed with liquids. Both potable and float-able. But the bath. Mmmm. That’s where it’s at. Undeniably perfect.
I’m a firecracker. A little explosive even. My mouth tends to get me in trouble. A lot. Historically speaking. I’d very much like to blame this on my parents. First my father who I believe gifted me with my combustible nature. And I do mean gifted. After all, I am able to use this burning flame to the benefit of myself and others. Sometimes. Then there’s my mother, nary a firecracker in her, but she did leave me in a hot car. In the Tampa heat. When I was just three years old. “Jesus Christ it’s hot in here,” my mother heard as she opened the car door after those (no more than) 20 seconds. Thus beginning the saga of my dramatic nature. My explosive mouth. The trouble to be had. Historically speaking.
I fell in love for a moment last night. At the county fair. I noticed him right as we walked up to the bumper cars. He stood tall with blonde, tousled hair that perfectly complemented his tan, taunt skin, and blue eyes that equally supported his sun-kissed vibe. When he glanced my way, they looked kind. His eyes. I’m sucker for kind eyes. I believe they reflect a kind soul. And I like kind souls. He let my daughter on the ride even though she was shy of the height requirement. I watched him as he kindly ushered our kids into a working car. The flashy silver one. The one my daughter most certainly would have chosen had her very boy friend not initially led her to the blue one. And then he walked over in our direction. Holding a red and a blue laminated card he asked, “which one is bigger?” The blue one we said. Most certainly the blue.
Today was a good day. I failed my state certification exam. Again. By one point. Again. There’s irony behind it. This is a written test. Like a sit down, look at a prompt, draft an outline, and write kind of assessment. Written. Y’all! I once won a state poetry contest. So what if it was in 1994. I even beat out my older sister who is a much better writer than I will ever be. I studied creative writing at Florida State University. I’ve written a 123-page thesis on homelessness. Homelessness. I’ve been a high school English teacher for 10 years. I do this every day. I write. Hell, I do this in my free time. I write. And yet, I can’t seem to pass this written test. But like I said, it was a good day. I failed the exam.
I have seen two people fall off their bikes in the last week. I am not proud of this. Watching someone fall off their bike is awkward. My first instinct is usually to turn my head the other way and pretend I saw nothing. Twiddle my thumbs, look at the sky. Anything to avoid the ugly reality that I’ve just witnessed a wipeout. And it’s so confusing. I’m thinking – I don’t want to seem insensitive if the person actually hurt themselves. But I sure as hell don’t want to bring even more humiliation to this unfortunate human. Let’s face it. Falling off your bike is embarrassing. Watching someone else fall off their bike: equally as embarrassing.
I met quite a character in the express lane at Publix the other day. That tends to happen when you walk around smiling and making eye contact with strangers. That tends to happen to me a lot. You should give it a try. I don’t always get smiles back. And many people avert their eyes in any other direction but mine. Yet I still keep doing it. Mostly for that person who looks right into my eyes and gives me a warm smile back. It’s like we’re saying to each other, “thanks for doing this hard thing called life with me today.” Life is hard. I enjoy making it a little more pleasant with eye contact and smiles.