I keep a journal with me at all times. It is my lifeline. I tend to keep track of almost everything I am thinking or observing and go back later and make connections. The journal is the first place I look to, when I go to write a blog post but this week it offered me little clarity. In fact, it made me feel a bit like a dog that keeps seeing squirrels and runs zig zag patterns around a big field. So here we are- I will simply share with you some things I found in the thirty pages I wrote in the past two weeks. They are unrelated, all non-fiction, and in no particular order.


A small woman stood at the counter of the bakery where I work studying her confectionary options, and rubbing a very pregnant belly. Her skin was dewy with sweat, from carrying an extra person within her, on a hot summer day. I observed for a few moments, then interjected, “Are you ready to order ma’am?” She smiled, looking down at where, ordinarily she would see her feet, “She is.” She ordered a lavender biscuit and a wee glass of milk. Sitting by the window with her treats, she fed the baby, eating slowly, breathing deeply, humming lightly, and stroking the part of her that was her daughter.


The newly twenty-one year old girl laughed so hard that she began to double over and squat a bit with her knees together like she was going to pee on the kitchen floor. She braced herself on the refrigerator handle with one hand, while cider sloshed out of her fancy new wine glass in the other hand. A slightly more sober friend came from behind and tugged the her light pink suede mini-skirt down to preserve some of her birthday suit. Then pushed her out the door with the exclamation- “It is bar time, baby!” They giggled their way out of the can littered apartment and into the lamp-lit street. I headed home.


I was dressed in a ridiculous outfit last night simply because I decided I didn’t care. Wearing striped leggings, a wildly printed dress, running sneakers, and a baseball cap tugged over my unwashed hair, I marched through Montpelier after all of the shops had closed. I like meeting a city for the first time during the golden hour. Everything is at its warmest and most sparkly. As I quietly explored the town, I was met with a man on his cell phone, who walked boisterously down the middle of the sidewalk. He stopped within my path and I quickly swerved around him. “Damnnnn- yeah homey, I just am looking at this hot little thing. Girl, shouldn’t even be allowed out. Made for a bed.” The smart thing would have been to ignore him following me until he got bored but I wasn’t in the mood to make a pig feel powerful. So instead, I stopped, turned, and glared with my hands on my hips. All five feet of me waited for him to realize that I have ears in addition to my exceptional ass. He stopped talking for a moment, then backed away. “Okay okay, little one. She thinks she’s real feisty that one. Ha-I’m not free for a bitch tonight…” I could hear him marching down the street continuing his assessment of me. Some men, I think, shouldn’t be allowed out with their tongues.


I walked through a maze of mingling people in a bar, headed for the restroom. I noticed a well dressed couple sitting almost completely still amongst the twisting crowd.  Fingertips touching on the table and faces illuminated by screens. They were lit up like an exhibit- two statues with only one moving part. Thumbs swiping up and down. I went into the bathroom and hoped that they would melt into reality by the time I returned. But, statues will be statues in this day and age.


My pointer finger and thumb rested on the handle of my tiny espresso mug and I sat criss cross applesauce in my chair. I had Dancer by Colum McCann open to page one, but was distracted by the cafe action in front of me. To be a good barista, I’ve decided, you must dance behind the counter during a rush. A young man sat one table down from me and set his very own espresso mug down to pull out his novel. Let The Great World Spin by Colum McCann. He looked over at me, looking over at him and we both smiled. I returned to look at my book but didn’t read a word.


One by one each auntie took a turn leaving the room with the bibles, and the old photos and the psalms playing over loud speakers and the fight for the most righteous way to memorialize Alice. They each walked into the kitchen to find me and cousins, eating pretzels. They begged for one of three things each time- a walk, a drink, or chocolate. We took turns supplying all of those things, and the suggestion to implement a talking stick in the funeral preparations.


Last week my Aunt Rosemary emerged from a fit of laughter and said, “We laugh, then we cry, then we talk about spotted dick.” This describes the week of July Fourth very well. (I’d like to inform everyone that “Spotted Dick” is a popular British pastry best described as a cross between a cake and sponge pudding. Apparently, its lovely.)


I woke up early, even though I had nowhere to be, to finish my book. The end was gorgeous and there was no one awake to tell. So, I had a dance party.


Two sisters sat by the lake tonight with headaches from crying and from learning from screens for too long. We don’t have any of the answers. We ate ice cream with rainbow sprinkles for dinner, though. So we are winning regardless.

3 thoughts on “glimpses

  1. Ordinary days turned into extraordinary treasures, never to be forgotten. You are immensely talented, and I am always in awe of you. XO


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