return to me

My parents are here. They are taking care of me which is nice since the tetanus shot has ruined my left arm, I got a splinter in my good foot hopping around, and all of my muscles are sore from having to be used all of a sudden in ways they are not used to. Anyway, enough of the moaning and groaning, I should be half-walking in a few days.

My family is taking me to the beach to be waited on. I can’t go in the sun with the antibiotics that I’m on and I can’t get my foot wet. It’s all good; I don’t like the sand and saltwater anyway. So, I’m off for a week. I’m being driven 4 hours to sit in a house and have people bring me things. I’ll be knitting up a storm and reading and watching my little nieces and nephew play. I wish I could play with them. So, no blogging for a week. Come back, I’m sure I’ll have lots to say when I return to you as long as you return to me.



i was born in a hospital

And it seems I should have stayed there. The infection is way better today, but I was really groggy from the vicodin this morning. I had to take it last night to sleep through the pain. Then, this morning, I went to fix some eggs and toast and just when I was going to put the food on the plate I stepped on a blade that had fallen from a cabinet that I forgot about and didn’t see. I sliced my foot wide open and now have 6 stitches. I’ve never had stitches and I was not the best patient for the poor doctor. This has been a rough two days. I’m going to bed and please don’t call cause I can't walk to get the phone.



i think you’re acute too

So, I have an infection and from 6 to 10:45pm was in some SERIOUS pain. I went to a prompt care place nearby and pretty much cried the whole time as the pain got worse and worse. I thought about not going, about toughing it out. I don’t like to look like a hypochondriac, but after phone calls to mom and the worsening of the pain, I couldn’t not go. I’ve never seen any of the staff before and I went by myself so I’m sure the staff saw this crying girl and was like “Ok, what’s going on there?” As they sent me from the bathroom to x-ray room to testing room and 2 people walked in on me undressing then dressing, I cried. I cried around the nurse, the doctor, the x-ray tech. I winced and moaned and squirmed like I was having a baby. I’m not a crier and as a woman I can handle pain in the abdominal area pretty well. I couldn’t stop the tears, the pain was too much. So, after all the testing (and crying), the doctor on call gave me a bottle of vicodin. I think he felt sorry for me. I’ve taken the other meds, but not the vicodin yet. That powerful a drug scares me. And, thanks to the beautiful power of antibiotics (we are talkin’ serious ones here) and gentle Tylenol, I can walk and sit without moaning. I love medicine. I love doctors. And, I’m sure if I take the vicodin, I’ll love you too.



spit or swallow

Yesterday, the phone rang while I was brushing my teeth. Mouth full or foam and sonic still buzzing, I run around looking for my cell phone. When I locate it deep in the depths of my purse I don’t recognize the number and think that I need to answer it quickly. And then, like a ditz, I do. My muffled “hello” allows the person on the other end to identify himself. While he does so I’m thinking “What do I do now? I can’t talk like this. Do I swallow it (ew) or spit while he’s on the phone. What. Now?” I decide on spitting and just confess it, he’s already heard me sound as if I’m under water. So I say “Hold on, I’m brushing my teeth,” then go to the sink to spit, sonic turned off but still in my hand. I apologize to him when I return and hope that he didn’t hear me spitting in the sink, 3 feet away from the phone. I realize; what a ditz, like answering the phone at that moment was so important that it superseded the mouth full of water and paste. What, what was I thinking? Sometimes, I wonder.



a full time job

I’ve realized it is real work being a girl. The maintenance is insane and usually I am not great at making regular appointments for the filing and plucking and cutting and tweezing and polishing. I usually get things done on a whim or because I can’t take the jungle growing above my eyes anymore. Home upkeep is far cheaper, but I am far from skilled enough to keep it up. I try for a few weeks and then I have to revert to the professionals.

I’ve never really been the kind to have one hairdresser that I go to excusively. A college roommate would travel 45 minutes back home to get her hair done and still goes to the same lady today though now the commute is about an hour or more. I don’t understand that. Sure, a good hairstylist is hard to find, but there are several out there, in every city.

I’ve never had a fear of the haircuts either. I’ve walked into salons for the first time and told the stylist to just do whatever they wanted to do. Some stylists like this, others, not so much. I haven’t really ever had a bad experience. One hairdresser said that I didn’t have to worry about my hair framing my face while other women used their hair to enhance their features and thus the anxiety they have. I think she was complimenting me. She also gave me one of the best haircuts and I ended up going back to her a few times.

In the 10 months that I've lived in Richmond I've had my hair cut three times by three different people, none were bad, but none were exceptional either. Today, my stylist was Daniel, a thin man with spiked dirty blond hair who smelled like cigarettes and herbal shampoo. I was apprehensive at first for a man to be plucking my eyebrows and cutting my hair and then he spoke and walked. There is something comforting about a gay man being in charge of your beauty needs. I told him I just needed a trim and he guided me to a sink then said we’d do the eyebrows first so we went to back room with a comfy bedlike chair. He worked on my eyebrows longer than most women stylists have. He plucked the small thin straggling hairs at the top corners of my brows and only put the wax on once. He massaged the areas wear he had waxed and plucked. He relaxed me. He took his time and care.

I was disappointed that he didn’t massage my head when he shampooed my hair. I expected he was an extended massager, he wasn’t. As we walked to his styling chair I wanted to tell him to do whatever he wanted with my hair, to put his spin on it. As he was combing out I my hair, I wanted to tell him to be creative, do what he thought was best for my face. I never did. I sat quietly and watched the other customers. He never asked how much I wanted taken off. He just took my hair and started cutting. He cut it to a healthy length, parted it down the middle and added subtle layers. He did this without asking or telling me. He cut and cut and cut, the layers taking time and many head tilts.

When he was finished cutting he put straightening cream and hair gel into my wet hair and blew it dry using a rolled brush to straighten and turn the ends under, a skill I can never get down. He didn’t talk much, nor did I, but when he did he said things like “rock and roll” and “twisted.” With these words, I realized we couldn’t be friends.

Hours after meeting him, he lingers. When my hair swishes or I brush it out of my face, I smell him, cigarettes and herbs. In the time that I walked in looking for a simple trim and walked out with a hairstyle, Daniel became my hairdresser. I’m committing to him like no other man. I know at least he will take his time and care and he'll give me what I need without even asking.



why isn’t there such a thing as daughter’s day?

For week’s I have been wondering when exactly Father’s Day is. I know of course, that it’s in June and on a Sunday. But I feel like it moves around from year to year. I have, however, just learned that it’s always the 3rd Sunday of June each year. Hmm, I really have trouble with dates. I’m horrible at birthdays. Actually, horrible is probably not strong enough a word. My best friend and I will often send birthday cards that are 6 months late. But, we know that’s the way it is and we accept it, wholeheartedly. Others, however, are not so kind. I’ve known people to really get offended by others forgetting their birthdays. That’s just selfish in my opinion. I don’t know. I’m not a big birthday celebrator and never really have been. I’m trying to get better at it, but dates elude me. Like today, I was reading my daily blogs when Jennifer Weiner’s post mention’s father’s day and I have one of those “Oh my God, I’ve got to call my Dad” moments. I ran around looking for my cell phone and as I’m talking to my Dad I realize that I have not sent a card or anything. I quickly realize I will try to remedy the situation next week at family beach week, but still bad, bad of me. I sent my Mom a Mom’s day card (a days late of course), but nothing for my old Dad, who loves me so unconditionally. Sorry Dad. It’s not personal, I just stink. Well, I guess in my case, we’ve established why there is no Daughter’s Day. On the bright side, maybe the Father’s Day cards will be half-price tomorrow.



miss cellophane

Cellophane. It’s my new favorite wrapping material. I’ve just wrapped 2 presents for today’s scheduled parties and yes, one is wedding related and yes, I’m over it. As I went through my quite vast assortment of wrapping material I landed on the cellophane for the first package because I had to due to it’s odd shape and then I just had to us the cellophane again for the next one, it’s just too fun. And, while wrapping, I walked around singing “Cellophane, Mister cellophane” from Chicago. And now, I’m just chillin’ before I have to leave to drive all over Virginia in one day. I’m usually a last minute shopper and would typically be out buying the presents right now. But, I’ve learned to stockpile presents so that I can just pull from the bunch and go. But, my last minuteness is not totally gone, I’m really waiting on my clothes in the dryer and I was suppose to leave like 5 minutes ago. Oh well, people love me anyway, despite all the lateness and last minute presents, tags still on. I am, in fact, not Miss Cellophane cause you gotta notice the girl who is fashionably late.



all by myself

Last night, at about 9:30 I had the bright idea of going to see “Raising Helen.” Some friends had already seen it and since I had no work the next day I could handle to the late night showing at 9:55. So, I hopped in the car and raced to the West End to the stadium seats. It was me, and three couples. Wonderful, nothing like smug couples on a Thursday night date. Whatever. I took my own row, settled in and put my feet up. I love the movies.

I started going to movies alone about 5 years ago when in college an impossibly popular co-worker divulged her love of going to movies on her own. I was appalled and shocked. Why would a 20 year-old, blond, size 2, charming, and smart girl ever go to the movies by herself? She explained that her mother did it and that she liked it. She would often be shopping and find a movie on and just go. I thought she was brave.

It took me a good year before I braved the movies alone. It must have been uneventful, as I don’t even remember the movie that ended my solo movie going career. Now, I don’t even think twice about it and yet I think I’m still a bit of a rebel in the venture. I don’t think my friends do this. I even have a friend who doesn’t like to rent movies alone. Movie watching is a solitary act anyway, unless, of course, you are at home snuggled up on a couch. So, if a movie is out that I want to see and no one else does, or I’m near a movie theatre and see something interesting, or I’m bored at home and need to do something other than stare at myself, I’ll go to a movie, alone. No big deal, it just happens. So, last night was “Raising Helen.”

Sad bit of a movie if you ask me. The plot was weak and lame and not well thought out. There were scenes were I literally wanted to rewind and rewrite and then there were the ever present continuity issues where the clothes in one scene are the same in the next scene although it’s a different day. This movie overall has bad writing, bad editing, and not really great acting although I still adore Kate Hudson, John Corbett, and Joan Cusak. What were they thinking? Anyway, good premise, just not well done. And, I’m beginning to rethink things about my friends who said it was “so cute.”

And then, because I could, I went Wal-marting at midnight. I stepped into the Wal-mart at 12:15am and spent the next 45 minutes shopping the supper center. It was fabulous and surreal. Tons of people were about, mostly Wal-mart workers restocking the shelves and a few customers. There were boxes everywhere, which you had to navigate around. The restockers would sometimes give me weird glances like it was crazy that I was bargain shopping in the middle of the night on a Thursday. Please, like it’s not weird that you are working at Wal-mart in the middle of the night. Yarn was had because well, the kitting has not stopped. And then, because I could, I got some fresh produce and checked out at 1am. Wonder if that is what Sam Walton envisioned for his supper store?



uva, uvb, I don’t know upick

So, I went to the doctor yesterday to get a mole checked out. Since I had blistering sunburn 10 years ago, I have been cautious with suspicious items on my skin. Turns out that melanoma does not necessarily strike the area that was burned (interesting). And the mole or whatever seems to be nothing (thank God). This was my first visit to this doctor in Richmond so I had to fill out all the info. sheets and sign away my life, literally. Well, since it was the last day of school I had a little trouble leaving when I wanted to and then when I got to the hospital there was an unexpected game of chicken for the limited parking spaces. So, I finally grab one and walk quickly through the soupy, muggy air (wearing jeans no less) and make it to the fourth floor about 7 minutes late for the appointment. I get my papers and sit down. I write and write and then pause to actually read the clauses before I sign them when the receptionist moves the glass plate that blocks out the waiting area (um, it’s glass people, we can still see and hear you) and this is what she says “Miss Banana, the nurse is waiting for you because she was expecting you at 3:30. Can you write faster because you’re late?” “Yeah, OK,” I say. And then it dawns on me that I should have stood up on a chair or something and announced to the waiting area “Hi, my name is Anna and I’ll be late today.”



hot for teacher

I woke up early this morning to a fog, a thick fog over the city. It nestled in the trees in the courtyard of my apartment building. It was tranquil and quieted the morning like a blanket of snow. I haven't seen a fog in years, probably becuase I sleep through them. But today, the fog mimiced the fog I've been under for the last few days. Not a bad fog, just a mindless, in a daze fog where I leave important, confidential documents on a copier, don't put an important piece of info. into folders, can't comprehend questions asked of me, can't understand what I am reading. I've been in a haze but, now, it's mid-day and the fog is gone, the sun has burned it away. It's the last day for teachers, my files are completed, I've helped other teachers clean up their rooms and mail letters home. School is out. We're done. One year down, a million more to go. But, for now, for the summer, I'm free. Plans for the beach, LA, and NYC are being made, and of course all the weddings. Happiness abounds with the sunshine raining down. Pool days and sleeping in and reading books and unexpected trips and movies and relaxation and freedom. It's good to be a teacher when it's summer in the city.



it's not in the city, it's and the city

Sex and The City on TBS. The girls are back. Fall in love people, all over again.



still recovering

Woke up around 11:30 which really not that late, but considering it was after a night out sleep, it was far too early. Too much bachelorette partying. My head hurt and I felt like a ton of bricks hit me so back to bed I went at 2 pm for a long nap. I don't even know how I got that tipsy or if I was that tipsy. I didn't drink that much, although people were handing us shots all night, but those fruity shots don't have much alcohol in them. And, I had my wits about me at the end of the night. I was probbably the most sobber one there. So, what is it with the hangover? Anyway, it's currently 5pm and I need to get on with my day, or what's left of it.



the water’s the thing

It’s summer, well almost and not officially, but heat wise; it is summer in the city. Poor Virginia, it is plagued with humidity and hot summers. I know our summers are not like Texas summers or Louisiana summers, but they are hot enough for me. I don’t believe in snootiness, but sometimes I wish I were a person who “summers” somewhere else if just to get away from the nastiness. Maine, Maine sounds good, or maybe even Canada.

The only thing really good about the heat is that pools open and there are trips to natural bodies of water. Every year my family takes a beach trip. I actually hate sand and saltwater, but I love the laziness of a beach week. I take about ten books and I just read and play with children and read some more. And then there is, of course, the eating of the shrimp and crab. There is always the eating of the shrimp and crab.

But, before and after the beach, there is the pool. Growing up we belonged to our local Elks Club, an organization I really don’t understand except that there were usually old men there at any given time throughout the day and they could be found at the bar inside the clubhouse. I’ve never found out what the organization stood for or against and as soon as the last child (me) went to college, my father’s membership ran out. We used the place for the pool and the pool only.

The local pool, a place where you learn to swim from the coolest man you have ever seen because he wears sunglasses underwater, where you strengthen friendships over adult swim breaks and during “shark” in the deep end, and where you tackle the fear of the “high dive.” I never joined the swim team, but I was a lifeguard for 2 summers. Lifeguarding is the best job ever invented. Sometimes I think about going back to lifeguarding with my summers off, but then I think that the current 16 year olds would find me a bit strange and I would certainly not fit into their lifeguarding clique. That’s OK. I got my lifeguarding kicks back in the day anyway. I just really miss the twirling, the twirling of the whistle while sitting in the tall chair with a high vantage point, the sun so strong you can see your legs tanning before you eyes.

The pool is now what I go to with my nieces and nephew. None know how to swim yet, but I am determined to solve that one. My favorite thing to do with them is to take each one, individually, in my arms and pull them across the pool from the shallow to the deep end. On the cross-pool treks, our faces close together, we pretend different things, sometimes they practice kicking or just floating. When water rushes into their mouth and nose I know it’s a 50/50 chance of them quitting the trek mid-pool. But, the other day, my precious niece coughed it out and swallowed hard then said, in three year-old voice, “Annie, I want to ride the waves again.” You see, we were pretending to be on the ocean and waves were gently bouncing us up and down (hence the water in the nose from the crashing wave). I love the pool. I love that it turns a three year-old into a chlorine swallowing wave rider.



the mac and cheese of it

There is this guy I know, but he shall remain nameless, although I might be related to him. I adore this guy. He is one of the funniest people I know and whenever I am around him I know that we will be laughing so hard that we fall over. However, last night I discovered he is the biggest dork I know. And this is why.

We both love Apple. We are both obsessed with Apple. Like last week I emailed him about the new Apple Airport Express and he emails me back and is like “I was reading about it just when you emailed.” And then the next day he calls me and we chat for like half an hour about how the world really needs to know that Apple is so superior and really people would be happier if they just owned an Apple and businesses were run on Apples. We discover it is a futile attempt, but our love for Apple will never die.

This guy is a certified Windows programmer and even interviewed for a job at Microsoft so his love for Apple is even more special than mine. He converted about 4 years ago and has not looked back since. In fact, he’s a little mad at people who like PCs. He loves Apple so much that he gets magazines about Apple and somehow is in the loop of rumors about the new products they are creating. I know there are rumor websites and he probably surfs them. It’s all a business related obsession since he programs all day. I have to confess that if I understood all that computer jargon, I would be in on it too. I just don’t have time to learn all that stuff about computers, I just know I love Apple. I also know that he is my Apple lovin' hero and he is there to dispense knowledge should I have a technical quetions. He rocks my Apple lovin' world.

Well, so last night he was telling me about the last issue of Mac World. Alton Browngave an interview and developed a special recipe to celebrate Apple. The name of the dish is APPLE MACaroni and Cheese. “Ew,” he said. “Yeah, weird,” I said. Then, this guy that I adore,went on to tell me that at the last Mac Expo (or whatever) when Steve Jobs gave his closing statement, he had a friend over to his house during their lunch hour and they watched it on the internet while eating MACaroni and then for dessert they had APPLEsauce. Oh, dear one, I still, still, adore the heck out of you!



the state of the president

Ronald Regan's body will be lying in state on Thursday at the capitol in DC. I’m thinking about going. Although I don’t really have the money to spend on gas, when will I ever get to see a president lying in state in the near future? And really it’s not about the pomp and circumstance, it’s about Ronnie.

He’s the only president I feel personally connected to and it’s not about his politics or his cuddly nature and love for his wife or that even a president can be human and have family problems too. It’s about birthdays. You see, ole Ronnie and I have the same birthday. Big deal you say, you also share it with Bob Marley. But, Bob didn’t send me a birthday letter when he was president. Ronnie did.

It was 1988, I was eleven and this was the last year for Reagan in the White House. I thought my sharing his birthday was the coolest thing. I had no idea what his politics where nor did I care. I considered myself a Republican then because my parents were Republicans and so this extra kinship with Ronnie felt strong.

My mom had the brilliant idea of sending him a birthday card and announcing the importance of the shared date. I was a little apprehensive, how exactly do you tell a stranger, much less a president, that you have the same birthday? Why would he even care? Well, we bought a card and wrote a note. I’m sure my mom helped craft the sentence or else it would have been something like “I was born on Feb. 6 too. Happy Birthday Mr. President.” And, well, that’s probably what it did say. So, off went the card and about 3 weeks later arrived a letter from the White House. It was the most exciting day of my eleven year-old life. My family was thrilled too.

I learned of his death on Saturday night after a full day spent with old college friends. A friend was looking at the now framed letter on my living room wall and said that Reagan had died today. “What?” I thought. Then I thought about peace and that it seemed so expected and so natural. I’ve dealt with Alzheimer's in my family and it is trying disease, on everyone. I told my friends that it was probably for the best for him and his family. Then I went to the letter.

He, or a staff writer, wrote a short and sweet letter. It is typed on a typewriter. The date is off-center from the letterhead and the eagle emblem. It begins by acknowledging our “mutual birthday.” Then, in presidential fashion, goes into the history of Febuuary birthdays including George Washington and Abraham Lincoln. He tells me to study these great men and hopes they will inspire me the way they have inspired him. The letter ends with Mrs. Raegan joining him in his wishes and may God bless me. His name is signed simply “Ronald Reagan,” no mention of president anywhere. We think he really signed it. It doesn’t seem to be a stamp. I will probably never truly know. But, it doesn’t matter. My eleven year-old heart knows he touched this letter somehow.

In the bottom left hand corner is my full name and childhood address. My name has a typo. Since the beginning of the letter I have gone from Anna to Anny. At eleven, this typo crushed me. Now, it is endearing. It makes the whole letter so much more real, so much like the man who’s birthday I share.

Dear President Reagan,

I am honored to have shared your birthday. Every February 6 I will continue to remember your birthday and those of the other great presidents you mentioned. Washington and Lincoln were truly amazing, but they don’t mean as much to me. I can’t look over at my wall and see their handwriting. I loved your letter and will always cherish it.

May you and your family find the peace you deserve and thank you, from my eleven year-old self and from me now, for all you did for our world.




simply late and simply put, happy birthday j.

J. is a “military brat.” She’s been all over the country and Germany, her family moving from place to place every few years. Somehow she has roots in the mid-west and Virginia. I’m thankful for those Virginia roots, happy they brought her friendship to my door, literally.

Ohio claimed her during undergrad. She was a Buckeye. I guess she still is. I’d like to think she is more a Wahoo, but it’s not my choice who wins out. The Buckeyes could probably beat our Wahoo’s in football any day.

J. now lives in Austin and owns a home there. Her settlement came by way of Miami and Seattle, her traveling childhood brought to the surface in young professionalhood. She’s an audiologist. I think she is resilient.

She lived 3 doors down from me in one of Thomas Jefferson’s original rooms at his University. We had fireplaces, wood floors, a sink inside a closet, and a bathroom we had to walk outside to use. Not exactly an outhouse, but close enough.

We were in grad. school, but J. was only there for one semester. We spent hours chatting in our rooms, at night walking from room to room in our pajamas, outside. When she left it was winter and cold, the freezing temps. had been lifted by fires in our fireplaces. Our individual rooms heated the old fashion way. J. was the best at making a fire that didn’t smoke the room out.

I was sad to see her go and begged her to stay, to change her practicum placement to Virginia, not Kentucky. But her plans were made far before any of us moved to the Range. So she left but came back for Foxfields and a New Year’s party in a cabin in the woods.

J. is a good friend. She is smart, logical, sensible and yet just as neurotic as I am (well maybe not). We talk about how much our lives have mirrored each other’s while she moved from state to state or country to country and I lived in the same pink bedroom for 18 years.

I’m so glad she stayed for that last semester. I’m so glad she couldn’t find an apartment or dorm room for those few months. I’m so glad we are friends. And I love her couch or air mattress in her tiny cross-country apartments. She’s an anchor in my life, a friend who will always be there and never feel that far away no matter the actual distance.




Restaurants are closing or are closed by now. It’s late, but you’re hungry. You’re not sure you want to cook, but you really want a salad. Drive to Ukrop’s on your way home. Rifle through your dashboard CDs looking for Emmylou Harris. You need Emmylou’s mellow voice to match your mellow mood. She’s not there, but you’re happy you find Johnathan Rice. Put it in the CD slot. The volume is louder than you expect but you don’t change it realizing “Quiet Hushed Voices” is what you were really craving. Sing along to it with the sunroof open. Don’t mind the people in the parking lot looking at you with bass flowing out the open windows. Keep singing the words. Park, knowing you are only pausing the moment. Enter the automatic doors. Pick up romaine lettuce and chevre. A salmon fillet is a sudden passing desire; you grab it, and hummus, for snacking. Check yourself out in the self-serve lane. Get back in the car. Turn the key and hit the sunroof button. Keep the duet with Johnathan going. Feel your brother’s bass in the floorboards and through the speakers in the door. This is good music. Know that you can’t go home. You want to drive and listen and feel the wind. There are no mountains here, no country roads just 5 minutes away. There is the highway. Head toward home, but pass it. Make the right hand turn you make every morning on the way to work. Bare left this time. Take the toll road, the Downtown Expressway. You need a hit from the city buildings; the skyline up close and 50¢ is worth it. Pass Rosewood and the U of R Stadium. Put Johnathan on repeat. Slow at the toll booth until the SmartTag signals a green light to keep going. Speed up, a horse out of the gate. Get the center lane. Pass VCU and the Cherry St. overpass. Pass the 2nd St. exit and Thomas Jefferson’s Capitol building. Go under a quarter mile of overpasses with lights burning a fluorescent tunnel. Emerge to the buildings of downtown Richmond. Wonder why so many lights are on. Follow the signs to 95 North and 64 West, Washington and Charlottesville. Curve around on the highway bridge through low buildings. Look out the window, to the left, at the taller lit buildings. {I want to love this city.} Be amazed that you are driving so close to the bricks and concrete. See the clock tower of the renovated Main St. train station on the right side, you can almost touch it. Sing with Johnathan. Get off at the Broad St. exit. Go quickly through Shockoe Bottom. Remember the recent attacks here. Get back to 95 going South this time to Petersburg. Stay in the right hand lane, curve right at exit 73C toward the Powhite. Imagine you are not driving but are suspended, floating through these buildings, under the highway above you. Look through the windows of La Difference. Wish you understood the difference. Go back through the tunnel of lights. Pass the Jefferson Hotel and the Governor’s Mansion. {I want to love this city’s history.} Pass the exit for the Boulevard. Quell the wish to live there in an apartment alongside Virginia’s museums and with a balcony. Go on to Cary St. Go to your home. Park and walk to your building. With the full moon behind say quietly and to no one "I want to love this city." Unlock you door. Put down your bags. Wash you hands. Decide it’s too late for salmon. Get a large bowl out. Pour the salad into it. Begin to toast pecans from the freezer. Crumble the chevre over the lettuce. Pour on your homemade balsamic dressing. Add the toasted pecans. Take a bite as you walk to the living room, to your computer. Realize you are a good cook, that this salad should be on menus. Sit down at your laptop. Put Johnathan on again. Listen to him, and write this.



do not call list, do not work

Me: Hello.
Them: (silence)
Me: Hello
Them: Yes, is this Mrs. So and So
Me: Yes*
Them: Hi Mrs. So and So. I’m calling for the Richmond Fraternal Order of Police
Me: Hello. I’m sorry, did you think I was home? I’m actually not able to answer your call right now. Gotcha! Ha Ha! Please leave a message, unless this is a computer operated telemarketer in which case do not ever call me again or I will BITE YOU. If this is the Richmond Fraternal Order of Police then also do not call me again unless you have actually done something about the 10 murders that happen each month in our fair city, especially those that happen around the schools I teach in. When I feel good and safe about driving to the schools I teach in, those schools which sadly produce men that will kill others on the same streets, I’ll answer you’re call. And listen, we’re working on educating kids that don’t kill. We’re trying. I’m not so sure about your fraternal orderness. So, until that time, Stop. Calling. Me.**

*I’m thinking, “I’m not a Mrs. which means you are a telemarketer cause no one else calls me Mrs.”
**What I really said was, “I’ve asked you five times to stop calling me, especially early in the morning and especially on Sundays.” This was followed by an abrupt click.

Sometimes, I wish I was a quicker with the unsolicited phone call comebacks.

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