filling in the blank.



i'm going to turn twenty-four in just over a month.

my mom said her scary-age was twenty-five.

twenty-four.

well, it's not my scary-age. this much i know.

and yet it's the first age that causes some...trepidation.

twenty-four.

not so young anymore. i mean, well, yes of course twenty-four is young. it's so young.

but its not young-young.

and because my life seems to have no direction, maybe that makes the number a little older. if i was twenty-four and in law school, the number would be younger.

does this make sense?

the ironic thing about this number--this age--causing any fear is that for two or three months now i've been telling people that i'm twenty-four.

its not that i'm fibbing, im just forgetting.

i keep forgetting that i'm twenty-three and keep thinking i'm twenty-four.

i'm talking in circles.

when my mom was here just before i left for australia, we were sitting in my old bedroom surrounded by boxes and mess and not a door to be found and i was relaying a friend's story.

she was working in a restaurant one night when a gentleman ever so slightly older (mid to late thirties, early forties maybe) asked her how old she was.

twenty-three.

twenty-three? he responded. wow. nothing matters in your twenties. everything you think is important isn't. enjoy this time and the prospect of just how much time is ahead of you.

my mom listened patiently and then said, well, that's easy for a man to say.

excuse me? i somewhat screeched (the feminist in me reeling).

well, women don't have all the time in the world. it's much harder to have children when you reach a certain age.

there it was. amidst the mess, in the middle of my life in boxes, my mom was giving me the i-want-to-be-a-grandmother-some-day-speech.

and as it was happening i had a million thoughts including all those that would negate just exactly what she was saying. but the one that stuck with me was: oh, this is it, this is one of those once-in-a-life moments. like the first sex talk. or the first (and only time) you make out with a random guy standing on top of the bar counter. i now get to check this off the list.

my mom knows its gonna be a while before i come through with a wee one. but i like knowing that she wants me to have a child. i like knowing that she wants to be a grandmother--that she wants me to experience the thrill of motherhood.

there are moments in your life that age you.

i was in the what-must-have-been-400th-hour on my journey to Oz, one hour away from landing, when i pulled out the visa i'd need to present to customs.

and there it was:

regular occupation _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _

with the customary blank boxes calling out for my penmanship. and an answer.

regular occupation?

for the first time in my life i couldn't pencil in "student" and i sure as hell wasn't going to put "hostess".

actor? no that's not right either. not now at least. maybe in the future.

and so i sat there, blank boxes taunting me.

i suppose that's what i want now.

an answer. a response.

i want to be twenty-four with direction.

then it might not be so scary.





_ _ _ _ W R I T E R _ _ _ _ _



that's what I put.

it was the most truthful thing i could think of.

and it may in fact be the direction i dream of.

time will tell.

and then wee ones will follow. many, many, many moons from now.



I guess I should confess...

that I'm in need of a really good cry. It's not that I'm sad. Because I'm not. I just feel something welling up inside of me and I could use a little release.
that I even resorted watching to One Tree Hill in bed last night to try to get that "really good cry"...
...and then drinking a smirnoff (because I didn't have wine) and taking a hot shower (because I didnt' have time for a bath
that I started playing footsie with Ned about a few days ago thinking it would end there, but it didn't.
that I'm may never ever escape Ned.
that I discovered the exact location of that really good chlorine whiff on 5th ave. It's 54th street in case you want to know.
that I fell asleep in Sheep's meadow today and it was so good that I forgot where I was. In fact I started to get chilly so woke up to turn off my ceiling fan, only to realize it was the breeze and I was napping in a public park. And that I had no shame about that.

that I'm blogging right now from Rockefeller Plaza (thanks to someone's free wi-fi), while I kill time before my job starts at the Met. I should be preparing for my auditions. But I'm not. Or exercising. But I'm not.
that I've become addicted to blogging, most especially right now anything to do with the Nielsons. I go to Nie Nie and C Jane Enjoy It and wonder at their strength and faith and the glorious writing and then I stare at those gorgeous pictures of Stephanie and her children and wonder if I've ever met someone so beautiful. And I find myself praying for people I don't even know. And I don't pray much.
that I hate having to ask people for gifts (aka money) over the phone...even if it is for a good cause. I get it...no one likes the pushy phone calls, no one likes to give money away...but it's my job and I love the people I work with. So please...have patience with telemarketers and fundraisers...they're just trying to make a go of it like everyone else.
that I can't understand why not one man offered me his seat on the bus this morning. I stood there for an hour. Chances are I would have refused, but really--is chivalry actually dead?
that I just realized I actually have to do something other than this...oh damn, the real world beckons and I am forced to answer.