Of things I do not expect.
In my place, I know what and where everything is. I’m closer to minimalist than anything else in these terms, though I don’t necessarily embrace austerity in this. I have a pouch of things I might consider sacred. I’ve reduced this from a rather over-taking-everything kind of altar to a satin bag that the moth gave me for travel. It has feathers and train tickets and various memento that probably mean nothing or not much to anyone else. There is a lovenote from Sweetbest to her younger daughter on a bit of paper from a takeout joint in Pismo Beach that was left in a book she gave me. Things that may be cast offs but beautiful. A shred of tissue paper that Manda used to wrap a present, on it are the words “She has the gift of sight.” Atop this pouch sits a tiny figurine of the Venus of Willendorf. (Also a gift from Manda.) She was a on a keychain fob, but I released her from that so she could rule over my shelf thing. (Or just sit there being pretty and relicky and royal in her art history.)
I made friends with Randus last year around March. He may have been my first independent/new L.A. friend. We had a long talk one afternoon that buoyed me for days. I wrote about it. Since then our camaraderie has developed. I am honored to be his friend, I appreciate him at every turn.
I asked him to give me a lift to an interview I had on Tuesday to which the public transpo was nearly intractable. He spent the night before on my couch, because mornings aren’t his thing and we had to hit the road by 8.45a, (which is practically lunchtime to me and in the realm of “RUFKM?” to him). I was asleep when he arrived, but I knew he was coming so I left the door unlocked, pillow and blanket on the couch, and a note that said have a beer if you want, man, they’re in the fridge. I woke for a minute or two around 3a and he was here and I was glad he made it and I mumbled something silly and went back to bed.
We chattered on the hour long drive there and back. He reminds me that learning myself is not a one-shot thing. He reminds me that keeping a good outlook is an undertaking in mindfulness, and mindfulness touches my whole life. The easy way he and I get along reminds me that there are always wishes to manifest and while setbacks may come, they also ebb. I appreciate his honesty with me, I appreciate his strength. I am grateful for his company, I am touched he shares things with me.
So I was eating an apple a moment ago, and I wandered over toward the shelves of the things I keep. Housed here are nearly all of my possessions. I think I was on my way outside but something caught my eye and then got my full attention because I did not know what it was. I was alarmed.
A tiny piece of paper, 2×3 inches and it’s not blank, but I can’t see very well, and I know it’s not mine, and I didn’t put it there and I’m suddenly concerned and curious. I took up this foreign, interloping scrap.
I made no sense; comprehension escaped me. I stood holding my apple, regarding. Suddenly, I acquired focus. With alacrity, the whole thing sharpened and I saw it all. My breath caught. I turned the leaf and the meaning of it occurred to me in that blink and I instinctively sunk to my knees. The overwhelm took away my balance. I couldn’t stand.
This was me. These words is how he sees me. I’m still teary and stunned. I think of all the ways people in my life reach me, how I am so lucky and profoundly thankful for everybody. I haven’t considered with any weight that I might be touching others. That need for recognition/approval isn’t on my mind. It doesn’t motivate me, you know? I don’t feel like I have to say to anyone: “and you think I’m lovely, too, right?!” I used to exist entirely in abject desperation that I was of any small import to anyone at all, “please someone, someone tell me I’m cute/sexy/funny/smart/anything. Please someone say you see me.”
But somewhere in the last year it went away. If I feel now like I am not seen, I go out and meet people, or visit Sheddy’s and say hi to the kids there, or descend upon Tiomio. I take it upon myself to do something about feeling invisible. The “pleasepleasetellmeIamsomeone” thing faded. I giggle over beers or coffee with whomever and stumble home, and I don’t think as I walk, “I wonder if they’re saying nice things about me now.” I got over it. Sure, everyone likes attention, and sure, I like that the people I meet seem to think I’m cool enough to chatter with for a while. And I don’t think I give off an aura of IDGAF, because I like pretty much everybody with whom I spend time. Because I don’t care to surround myself with anything otherwise. I enjoy you.
It just might be the case that everybody I like feels mutually. And that isn’t so bad at all.