i have a pen pal.

i'm twenty-four years old and i have a pen pal for the first time in my life.

my pen pal doesn't know how to ride a bike.

i find this cause for great concern.

when i return to new york (yes, yes, the irony in that i had to go all the way to utah to get myself a pen pal back in the city) i plan to rectify his situation immediately.

i am a master bike rider. well, okay, maybe not. but i learned very quickly at a very young age. i wore red sweatpants to the park. my father made me wear them. it was hot. and need i remind you we were in texas? he thought they might protect my legs upon falling. but i didn't fall. not once. i was a natural. a sans training-wheels phenom. this experience set me up with unrealistic life-expectations...i assumed all transitions could be accomplished smoothly. ah well, we all learn eventually.

i digress. this is to be the post about coffee. and i'll be darned if i don't get to it eventually.

so my pen pal, in his kindness, offered writing prompts to help me through this difficult period known as writer's block.

he suggested i write about time. how i measure it. and this got me thinking about how i might define this past year. not the calendar year. but from last summer to now.

and i started to make a list.

this is the year of the bed bug.

of the everlasting funk.

the year if given a bit more time i might have fallen in love.

the year ned began his slow recession.

but the thing i keep coming back to is that this is the year i fell in love with a little house in australia. next to a park, down the street from the train, and across from a coffee shop.

the house that was all one level. with a spanning expanse of a kitchen. and a courtyard umbrella-ed by trees. a bathroom accessible only by backyard. clotheslines handing from roof to tree. this was a house that was lived in and loved. table-clothes slightly faded. granola on the counter. newspaper clippings littering the fridge. old photographs askant covering the white walls. this house was not my dream. it was never my dream. and yet i was in love. and i might just spend the rest of my life looking for something similar.