I'm not sure that my mom would be very happy to know that this image of her is out in the world, but I captured it during a FaceTime chat this afternoon and it makes me smile. Even though, at the time I took it, her medicine was making her sleepy and I could not, for all of my effort, figure out what she was trying to tell me, in the stillness of this screenshot none of that matters. In the stillness of this screenshot she's just my mom, absolutely. My sweet, beautiful, perfect mom.
I did something sort of super awesome today. Today I played tennis with a former professional tennis player. He was on a few of Stanford's national championship teams and he's beaten Andy Roddick and he's also toured as Serena Williams' hitting partner. Anyway, he kicked the crap out of me and I can already feel the soreness spreading through my body, but it was such a blast.
Once in a great while you happen across a collection of words that are so damn perfect that you don't even care that you didn't write them, you're just glad that someone did. The words below, from the end of Annie Proulx's short story Brokeback Mountain, are those kinds of words.
The shirt seemed heavy until he saw there was another shirt inside it, the sleeves carefully worked down inside Jack's sleeves. It was his own plaid shirt, lost, he'd thought, long ago in some damn laundry, his dirty shirt, the pocket ripped, buttons missing, stolen by Jack and hidden here inside Jack's own shirt, the pair like two skins, one inside the other, two in one.
The Facebook Wall post above was made by my college roommate Danielle nine years ago today, which means that I finished my last college course, British Literature II, nine years ago this week. It's really kinda crazy to think that even though some three thousand days have happened since then, I can still remember just how it felt to walk out of the Silver Center that last time, like it was the beginning of something, of everything really, and that there would be time to figure it all out.
The following week, my last in the Big Apple, was a blur. In fact, I considered titling this web log entry Messes Take Manhattan because those three words so accurately describe how things unfolded when my little brother and his two best friends, Jake and Mark, all recent high school graduates who'd come to move me out of my shared one-bedroom Brooklyn Heights apartment, imparted themselves on New York City. We visited Central Park and Madison Square Garden and Serendipity, we ate catfish soup in Chinatown and saw Rent from the front row on Broadway and walked across the Brooklyn Bridge, and then, in one final insane burst of unbridled celebration on our last night in town, we barfed up homemade rum and Cokes on the Staten Island Ferry. As my littler brother said to me in a text message about it this morning, "Those were the days."
I landed back in SF a short while ago after traveling for almost a full day and my last flight was through a sky that looked like a forever-spanning field of cotton candy castles and so I stared out my window for a good long time considering it and the last few days at home as well as the ones ahead and in lieu of posting again those haunting words from the great Jonathan Tropper's This Is Where I Leave You I'm going to post words from the just okay but pretty darn quotable 2015 British comedy-drama The Second Best Exotic Marigold Hotel instead, and then go to sleep.
The great and terrible thing about life is that there's just so much bloody potential.