Thursday, July 3, 2008

ways we say hello and goodbye. one.

I am thinking about the great big move. Where will we live? Will c. find a job easily? Will our house sell quickly, and will we make enough money? When do I need to cut off the electricity, cancel the utilities? Do I need a P.O. Box in Austin? Tiny details. Little floating strands of stress.

I am thinking about work in every sense. The kind I’ll do in school. If I’ll write well. If I’ll publish. The freelance I am doing now. A cultural landscape report – straight up research; the writing is interpretation of history. A feature story – water as a way of life in south Louisiana. An essay of sorts – about Baton Rouge. The exact subject remains fuzzy, but tonight I’ll finish it no matter what. The ways I procrastinate.

Last night I went to an art opening in which a friend was showing work. Part of her artist statement said something to the effect of: I want my work to demonstrate what can be revealed when we decide to be quiet and observe. I wish I could remember the exact wording. It was more eloquent in its simplicity. It hushed me, and now, somehow, it leaves me thinking about sisterhood and friendship and the ways we say hello and goodbye.

When I was home, my niece noticed of my sisters and I: You’re all so alike. It made her giggle, eighteen. She has made this observation many times. She likes to point out when I am making the exact expression her mother makes when she is frustrated. She feels amused when our senses of humor seem identical – when we laugh at the same precise nuanced oddity.

I never cease to feel amazed when she narrates our likenesses. We look and behave, to me, like such distinctly different creatures. But my niece makes me look again. I get surprised by what she helps me notice.

Not quite adult. Not quite child. The night before I left town, it was late, and she was lingering. Absorbing us, her mother and aunts, I said to her: g. I’m not trying to be mean, but you know what it’s like when you want to talk to your friends without your mom around? I wanted to talk to my sisters. I wanted my niece to go to bed. To go to another room and eaves drop from out of eyeshot. To have the illusion of private conversation late in the night while a house full of people sleep

SONG: Bizarre Love Triangle, covered by Frente (Yes. I posted this song.)

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