I opened the window in my office, and moved my desk next to it. It’s hot outside, but there’s a gentle breeze that cools the air just enough to be comfortable when it comes through the screen. It’s quiet in my neighborhood today, except for a lawnmower up the street, and I can hear the occasional train go by, up near the river.
I read a story once about a kid who grew up in a small town, and slept with the windows open so he could hear the trains when they went by a few miles away. He worried that he’d be stuck in his town forever, and those trains represented freedom and a world that existed beyond the county limits.
I can’t remember the name of that story. Maybe I made it up. I’ve always wanted to tell a story about a kid who wants to get out of his small town, but can’t find his way. You know, like everyone else in the world.
Anne’s out of town, so I made a bunch of taco stuff on Monday, and I’ve been having tacos every night, because I’m one of those people who would wear the same thing every day if I could, on account of efficiency. Did you know that tacos were invented by the Dutch? Look it up. It isn’t true.
I had another audition, for a show that I love, playing a character I’d love to play. This is not a repost. It was yesterday. I didn’t suck, and now I’m trying hard not to let myself hope, but I’m secretly hoping.
I wrote 1300 words today, and finished with just over 15,000 on this story I’ve been telling for about a ten days. I thought it was going to be a 2000 word blog post or two, but it just kept on going, and now it’s looking like it will be a novella. It doesn’t have a title, but it’s set in 1983 (thank you, Stranger Things) so I call it 83 until I can think of a title. Here’s a little bit:
Until I sat down to recall this particular story, about this particular summer, I hadn’t thought about these guys, who I lost touch with over thirty years ago, in at least a decade. They are all frozen in amber at that age, during this moment of our lives. Stephen’s house has lots of dark wood on the walls, heavy gold/yellow/brown carpet, and an orange, conical, metal fireplace in the living room that looked like it was from some version of the future, imagined in the 70s. His television is big tube model, in a wooden cabinet with stereo speakers on either side. There’s a cable TV box on top that switches to ON TV and nothing else. His mom’s stereo takes up several shelves next to the TV, and she has a lot of record albums. Stephen only owns three that I can remember: Def Leppard’s Pyromania, Foreigner’s Four, Pink Floyd’s Dark Side of the Moon. They were all given to him by his older sister, who I’m now realizing was cooler than any of us thought when we were kids.
Some of that is true, most of it is from my imagination. This whole story is like that, and it’s been a lot of fun to write. I don’t know what I’ll do with it, or if it even works as a single narrative, but it’s something I need to do, so I’m doing it until it’s finished.
My dogs are keeping me company today. Marlowe is sleeping on the couch behind me, and Seamus is on the floor. Whenever I get up to refill my water or leave the room for some reason, he follows me, staying close. My dogs make me feel loved, and valued, and I allow myself to believe it is not just because I provide the food and walks.
I’m walking them every day, and running as much as I can. It hasn’t been that much, because it’s been really hot and something that my body hates is pollenating, but I’m getting about 7000 steps every day, and earning a small scoop of ice cream with dinner. I hit my target weight this morning, though I think I need to shave off one more pound to ensure that I stay here. Weight is just a number, and it really isn’t everything, but my scale is sort of like a score for me in my reboot, and I feel like I cleared a level today.
This story I’m writing is entirely fiction, but it’s based on real things that I did and real people I knew when I was a kid. It’s been a lot of fun to remember things the way they were, and then retell them the way I want to. It’s fun to think about kids I knew when we were eleven and twelve, because I haven’t thought about them in thirty years. Part of me really wants to step through time to go back to the summer I set this story in, so I can see the places I’m remembering and describing. Part of me wants to go back to those places right now, but I won’t, because doing that would tear apart the picture I have in my memory, and I want to keep it exactly the way it was.
I don’t know why it was important to me to start this off with the bit about my window, but it seemed relevant a little bit ago. Now it’s just a detail that ended up not being necessary.
But working with the window open is nice. I can smell flowers and wet dirt and cut grass, and it helps me to remember.
I wish time wasn’t linear.