"No, I don't think you're flaky. That's not how I'd describe you at all. I was watching you a little bit earlier today, and you were just walking along, and I was sure you would see me, but you didn't. You just seemed so lost within your own mind, like you were dreaming while you were awake. So I'd describe you as reflective and thoughful. A dreamer."
So she said to me a couple weekends ago. She's a new friend, one who I took classes with all fall and ended up at a 3-day conference with earlier this month. I've worked with her for the last seven years, and have had just a few conversations with her - until this semester, when we spent several hours together twice a week in our horrible Coppin State classes, then a weekend conference.
As usually happens when I befriend a woman, she is either a lesbian or she is in a serious relationship. She falls into both categories. So it's not that. But forming a new connection with a new person is something else I enjoyed this season. And I loved her lines from above. I had done one of my classically stupid things that day - hmmmm, probably forgot my nametage to the conference, or leaving my bag somewhere - and slid into my self-defense mechanism of self-derision. I try to embrace my flakiness because what else can you do?
But she made me feel better about that. I am a dreamer.
That's probably why as I left my house at 6:30 a.m. on Christmas Eve morning, that I went twice around the beltway before I left the city, meaning I didn't really get on the road until 8 a.m. I have no good reason. I just missed I-70. I didn't realize it until I was several miles past I-70, but refused to believe it, until I started realizing I was hitting the harbor; by then, it was too silly to turn around. So I spent an hour driving around the beltway that morning, in my rental vehicle that is costing me over $800. I'm trying to justify it a bit in my head, but there is the ridiculous fact that the $800 is pretty much three car payments.
(Long story short about the car rental: I was quoted $382 on the internet. On the way, sister and mother both informed me that I better get an SUV because the roads were really, really bad. That was an upgrade. And I was guilted into the $22/day insurance because honestly I'm not sure if my own insurance would cover an accident and the nice man at the counter [as well as my state police officer cousin] said I'd be crazy not to get it. And why did I rent a car over flying? Renting a car, I thought, was cheaper than flying, renting a car in Michigan, and boarding the dog. And I loooove driving, especially alone - I sing and dance and fart and hold long conversations with my dog. However, let's face it - this is a typical stupid-with-money story, though. I could have freaking flown to Europe for $850!)
I'm not belaboring this issue anymore, though it might make me call back the restaurant, which keeps calling me and calling me about extra shifts available. I'm trying not to think about it, though. Baltimore seems a wonderful drive (no bad weather at all, actually, except for rain) and six worlds away from here, where life is slow and moving from the living room to the family room constitutes a major movement. Christmas was good. I got a very appropriate G.P.S. Locator for my car. I got some cool books I want to read, including The Story of Edgar Sawtelle, and a couple of CDs I wanted, including Kanye West's latest and the Alice Smith CD whose title this entry shares.
So, yeah. Not flaky and airheady, but reflective and full of dreams. I hope, at least. This is why I need to find someone grounded, to balance me out a bit. A Paul McCartney for my John Lennon, a Leah Remini for my Kevin James, a Carla for my Turk.
Back to Hamlet with a mute boy and his strange dogs.... I'd love to finish this beast of a book over this little vacation...
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