thinking about you, maryann

There’s a new room in my basement, because it’s now our basement, because the AD moved in at long last. Now there are boxes in the garage. Now there are at least six toothbrushes. My old housemate Emily has moved on to a space of her own. Some nights the AD’s daughter is with us, and suddenly I’m aware of the cracking walls and the lack of shelves.

Camping out in a construction zone is all well and good for a girl going it solo, but it’s hardly the setting for a family. For some reason I always thought that when that transition took place it would take its time. Time enough to call the drywallers. Time enough to paint.

So now there is a room downstairs, but there is also a room upstairs – the back bedroom once reserved for a renter, soon to be home of a bunkbed. And even though there is a woodstove and even, unlike last winter, wood, there is still no insulation, there are still windows with noticeable missing parts. I wonder how this happens. Once your life requires sound walls, that life itself takes up all the time you might otherwise use to build them. Mystery.

Did I mention we’re having a baby? I guess most of you knew that already. We don’t do things one at a time around here. We’ve found that with one-at-a-time you can only fit one lifetime into one lifetime. This way we were able to do the whole Lost And Alone In Portland thing, the whole Crisis of Self Confidence And Subsequent Fling With A Loser thing, the whole Hippie House thing, the whole Kickass Barista thing, the whole Heart Broken By A Self Absorbed Artist thing, the whole Finally Getting Ones Shit Together thing, and still have room for the Two Kids Three Bedroom House With Potted Plants thing, all since the (bitter, bitter) end of 2006. The downside being that when you try to do everything at once you might get a little sloppy. One of the bedrooms might have no ceiling. There might not be an oven.

I think it’s going to start raining soon, and it’s not going to stop. Good thing I bought two new umbrellas. Isn’t it marvelous?


some time later

The gingko leaves are still green but it’s feeling like fall already, and any day now I suspect the air will begin to smell of woodsmoke. I feel a little like a hot cider and a gentle book and a chair by the ocean. I feel like feeling safe.

There’s a little beanbag frog who lives on my desk, and I’ve sat him over the blinking light on my phone so that I don’t have to see there’s a voicemail. I don’t feel like answering questions. I’d rather just let the temperature drop around me, and watch the days grow shorter, and enjoy the change.

This morning a young woman walking in front of me in the park turned around when she heard my heels clicking quickly against the path. Everyone is running this morning, she said. I feel like I’m missing something. She was carrying a gallon of milk.

And I wanted to make an offer: trade me today. I will have a slow day listening to leaves and drinking milk, and you can go see what you’re missing.

I love the fall for how vivid it feels, for how peaceful it is and for how there’s nothing you can do to stop it. I think most of us would stop it if we could and it would be a terrible loss.