Mar 29, 2013

Pure Coincidence

I thought I saw Kathi today. Kathi with an i. Kathi from college. I was waiting for my coffee when I saw her standing in line. It's been many, many years, but this woman had Kathi's nose. Then, when she turned, I saw that she also had Kathi's eyes. And I felt a pang of recognition. Her voice wasn't Kathi's. But it didn't matter, because otherwise she was practically Kathi.  

I thought about it carefully. I knew that if I said anything to Kathi, there would be no going back to the not knowing whether or not she was Kathi. And, as obvious as it seems that confirmation would be the better thing, the fact that there is no going back to the state of 'not knowing' had to be carefully considered. 

And I knew if I said anything that the next few minutes would be very different than I had imagined them to be. And I had to decide what was more important to me: a few minutes of dark roast coffee with a hint of cinnamon and nothing else going on–or a few minutes of reconnecting with Kathi. Long lost Kathi. Kathi with an i.

If I tapped Kathi on the shoulder, she and I would scream and hug and start talking very loudly and animatedly. It would be like no time had passed at all. I'd find out that she had indeed gone successfully forward in the fashion industry (as evidenced by her amazing suede boots and what looked like $10,000.00 bag). And I'd explain how I hadn't (as evidenced by my disposable drug store mittens and back-pack by Bic). 

We'd laugh. We'd suddenly remember the instructor that had made our lives so miserable. And I'd be able to finally tell her how I went back to school years later and had that same instructor all over again! Oh, the exquisite irony. And Kathi would just die at the mention of this. Just. Die. And my mind would be blown by a flood of memories. Of course! Of course! How could I ever forget?

We'd trade email addresses and promise to get in touch. We'd say goodbye and go our separate ways. Later, I'd look at her business card and marvel that her handwriting on the back was exactly the same as I had remembered. 

And, I would wonder if I hadn't somehow predicted all of this. Hadn't Kathi crossed my thoughts a few times recently? I'd chalk it up to something slightly more interesting than pure coincidence. Like synchronicity. Or something about the Collective Unconscious.

Still, should I say anything? It felt scary to break the status quo. What was I afraid of? Why was I so un-spontaneous? Why couldn't I simply run into someone and be happy to reconnect? Why couldn't I be glad for life's surprises? Why did this kind of thing always provoke such anxiety in me? What on earth was the matter with me? 

So, as I started to say, "Excuse me, is your name Kathi?", my brain screamed, Wait! Let's think about this! Even if this person is Kathi, it's unlikely that this will be anything short of awkward and uncomfortable. Besides, were there not solid reasons that we drifted apart in the first place?

Then again, what are the chances of ever running into her again? I've been thinking a lot about the people I've lost touch with, lately. And Kathi was quite dear to me at one time.

"Excuse me, is your name Kathi?"  

"No", she said, "Sorry."

"Oh, no problem." 

I sat down at the window with my coffee for a few minutes, just as I had imagined I would. I did half expect Kathi to come through the door, though. It felt inevitable. And if she did? I was ready.

Mar 27, 2013

Consider Raisin Toast

I'd like to to take this opportunity to recommend the reader sit back and please consider raisin toast. I made two slices of raisin toast for myself earlier today (with butter–it was magnificent) and am here to report that I have zero regrets regarding the making of raisin toast today. The current loaf of raisin bread that is in our bread box (note: our bread box is actually a bread drawer) has not been denied the very real, often ignored cinnamon aspect of raisin bread. So, the pronounced cinnamon effect (pronounced to me, anyway, due to my oddly inferior past experiences with raisin bread) caused me to stop and think about cinnamon for a whole ten minutes. Thus bringing cinnamon to the forefront of what can only be referred to as my 'cinnamon brain'. 

It was so great.

Later, having broken out of my cinnamon reverie, I placed two slices of the raisin bread into our forty year old 'Toast-R-Oven'. We had bought it second hand five or six ago. It turns out, the exact same toaster oven that my family had when I was little is the exact same toaster oven my SO's family had when he was little! We know it will break down any day, but so far, so good. And, you can watch the whole process of toast toasting through the toaster oven's window. It's so exciting. The Toaster-R-Oven really is just an Easy Bake Oven for grown ups, if you think about it. I should also mention that if you do chose to watch the toast while it is toasting, it won't seem like anything is happening for a long time, which may become frustrating. But then, all of a sudden, the toast will begin to change color and brown and crisp and it will smell gloriously like cinnamon and raisins. This will seem 'sudden' if you happen to give up, like me, and look away from the toaster for even a second. However, if you manage to keep your eyes on the toast the entire time, you will see a very subtle progression that is not only fascinating but oddly reassuring. 

Mar 14, 2013

Winter Wear

I've been having flashbacks: it's winter but for some reason I'm wearing a paper thin coat. A little single-layer-of-fabric deal that doesn't even have buttons; that doesn't even have belt. It's a coat designed to be held closed (to be clear, dramatically closed. With one hand while jumping across puddles. Or traipsing through the streets). It's a smock, if I'm honest. A summer smock so diaphanous and lightweight that it would probably melt if I ever wore it out in the rain.

Yet, I wore such a coat through many winters. Through all of the winters. I froze. And I accepted it. Discomfort was just part of Winter; just part of fashion. So, my shoes, which by February were destroyed by the salt, were, in the interim, continuously wet and soggy. And my gloves, which were really these mesh, fingerless decorations that had come free with a bag of marshmallows, were quickly tucked away into one's tiniest coin purse when not in use (or, as it happens, eaten for one's impromptu breakfast as gloves like these were typically fabricated from things like rice candy).

Hats? Hats were the known destroyers of hair-dos. Layers? There wasn't room for any layers beyond those of one's already lightweight clothing beneath one's already lightweight coat. Boots? Boots would be just more things to lug around. And I already had a handful of Skittles in one hand and a micro-purse in the other–which kept my single Altoid and as many as eight dollars organized quite nicely. No, I was cold. Very, very cold. But then, *one day, as is the case with so many things, all of that changed. And I started dressing for the weather. And it was wonderful. And warm.

*Last Tuesday.

Mar 9, 2013

Looking Up

Looking up
through dirty winter windows
the sun seen almost by mistake
as it really is
just a glimpse
of a cold hard beam of light
not some loving, sparkling
lemon wedge in the sky
smiling joy onto the world
so much as something
so much as something 

Mar 8, 2013

Prop Cake

High white cake crowned 
with red raspberries
leaning a bit to one side
three layers of inscrutable
soft vanilla crumb 
filled with luscious red raspberry 
expertly frosted 
a clean white canvas to adorn 
with the merest of painterly flourishes! 
It was a cake.
A cake to behold.
A cake to end all other cakes.