he was older. dated often. jewish. born and bred in this city of skyscrapers.

i was--well, am--still young. an inexperienced dater (to put it mildly). catholic. from a city situated on bayous.

so many differences.

if i had known these things--if he had known, perhaps it wouldn't have begun.

the age alone made it difficult.

but i liked him before i knew. and when i did know, well, then it became just a number.

i asked him early on if he'd ever been married. ever proposed to anyone. those were the things that seemed important. he said no, asked if i needed to know why not. nope. not important, i said.

later, without prompting, he said, i'm not a settler. and never had more perfect words been spoken. and i loved him for that perfect, unprompted response.

and yet. that became the thing. the thing that nailed me in the end.

it was when i realized i was just another girl not worth settling for that my heart began to break.

perhaps, that's too simplistic. but that's what i felt.

i miss him. and i think about him. more often than i'd care to admit. certainly, more often than i'd care for him to know. but maybe the hardest thing has been coping with the knowledge that for him i just wasn't worth it. which becomes am i worth it? which of course, yes, yes, i know that i am.

but it's never about knowing so much as feeling, is it?

and for a while there i felt...unworthy. mediocre. like the kind of girl you can't bring home to mom.

don't get me wrong, i was not looking to meet mom. i just wanted to feel... i just wanted to feel. i don't know. better than that.

the ego takes a hit. and it's coming back to yourself that takes some time.

but a week ago when american pie came on the radio it stirred the low-country girl in me. and i shimmied around my room chasing the sunlight and laughing at my oddities. and the journey home to self trucked right along.

but it takes some time, this truckin'.

it surely takes some time.

he (chekhov) insisted it (the cherry orchard) was a comedy.

{myself as anya with our lovely varya in chautauqua theatre co's production of the cherry orchard directed by ethan mcsweeny}

i went to look it up the other day.

the scene from the cherry orchard that i can't stop thinking about.

and there it was. page 382 of the plays of anton chekhov (the paul schmidt translation).

it's about ten lines long. takes up half the page.

it looks like nothing, this scene.

and yet, that was the scene that brought me to the wings each night. that was the scene i couldn't bear to miss.

the proposal. or rather the not proposal.

you see lopakhin goes in to propose to varya (who knows he's coming in to propose to her) and yet, it just, doesn't. happen.

but it's so full. the scene is so pregnant with the space around the words. with possibility. promise.

and so i would watch each night. from offstage. knowing how it would end. and yet hoping that maybe this time--maybe this time it might go just a little bit differently. that if varya turns around just a little bit sooner or if the final line comes just a little bit later--that it could all end... better.

i remember saying to the lovely gentleman who played our lopakhin (and who i was just ever so slightly, oh you know, just a little bit, in love with) just this once, actually do it. just this once propose, and let's see what happens.

and yet he didn't. he couldn't. and the emptiness that immediately follows the unimaginable fullness of those ten-or-so lines broke my heart night. after. night.

i've been doing this recently. standing in the wings of my own memories. watching the scenes replay. attempting to find the one variation that might just change it all. and thinking that if i can just get the actor playing yasha to call out for lopakhin a little bit later (or whatever my equivalent of that is) perhaps...

but chekhov was a genius. he knew what he was doing. and so i'm gonna choose now, in this moment, to trust that.

what better time to contemplate love than a friday?

note: {the quote} i first saw this via a couple featured on either once wed or 100 layer cake but now for the life of me i can't remember which one. i am passing it on to you via them and many others. {as for the video} i really just want to share the song (beauty by the shivers)and this was the least distracting video i could find. so turn it up and go about cleaning your room or surfing elsewhere. my roommate amanda just introduced me to it and now i have it on continuous play. i cannot stop. seriously.

somehow this pairing of quote and song just makes sense to me.

love is the ultimate outlaw.

it just won't adhere to any rules.
the most any of us can do is sign
on as its accomplice. instead of vowing
to honor and obey, maybe we should
swear to aid and abet. that would
mean that security is out of the
question. the words make and
stay become inappropriate.
my love for you has no strings
attached. i love you for free.

tom robbins

the kiss.

it had been so long since she kissed someone, she wondered if she had forgotten how.

because surely this was not how it was meant to go.

wasn't one person meant to go for the top lip, the other the bottom?

she couldn't figure out what was happening.

well, okay, she knew what was happening. sort of. she just couldn't figure out what she was supposed to do.

standing right there on 78th and Amsterdam, kissing.

she almost started laughing and gave up. she thought if she just disengaged, turned around, and walked away, she might be spared the embarrassment.

but eventually they figured it out. reached a tentative meeting of minds. and mouths.

she loved that he turned around right there on the corner--as if driven by his own wonder and curiosity. loved that he had to take his glasses off. loved that he was suddenly a boy, transformed by his own excitement.

because never had she felt more beautiful.

and so when it all ended, she would laugh about just how uncomfortable that first kiss was, but choose to remember that moment when he could just no longer wait--that moment when a grown man became a boy. and she began to fall.

i looked for obama. but i suppose he was, oh you know, kinda- busy with some important conference.

i had the most wonderful time spending monday and tuesday in washington d.c.
naomi, josh, and kingsley so kindly welcomed me into their home.

we picnicked in the park, cruised around town in the bug, headed to the docks for live crab, spoke about beliefs, visited the national gallery, carefully dissected cupcakes, (josh even attempted to illuminate the male mind for me).

but mostly naomi and i did what girlfriends do. we talked. at our picnic. in the car. meandering through museums. with mouths full of frosting (me).
and i returned to new york feeling new again.

it's funny that for as long as i've known naomi--as long as i've watched her grow and change and fall in love, and build a life, i am still constantly surprised by the depth of her goodness. because the thing is, it just keeps going.

naomi, josh: thank you for showing me d.c., making me laugh, and for filling me up with such love.