Just now, five minutes ago, I gave up on a post I was trying to write, turned off the lights, gave Girl a t-shirt of mine to sleep in because she was hot in her pajamas, climbed in beside her and set the alarm.
I realized there were maybe one or two things I could get down after all, good idea or not.
Maybe I should tell you about the other post. It started off as a sweet and funny bit about how social conventions have changed, with excerpts from the 1955 edition of Emily Post’s Etiquette that sits on my desk to help with research for my book. But then, it somehow became an essay about how I think it might be nice for men to start wearing hats again.
Yes, really. Hats.
(I had good reasons, or reasons that sounded good. A whole conversation can be punctuated, even supported, by a man tipping his hat at all the proper moments, or removing it, if it’s called for. It’s romantic. I’m doing it again, aren’t I?)
To tell the whole truth, I should admit I was really just trying to write a post because I felt it had been too long since my last one. But my mind has been a blank these last few days. (Hats?) Or it bloody well feels like it, at least when I sit down to write.
It occurred to me earlier today that it feels like static.
The TV screen after sign off.
A radio dial stuck between stations.
Yes, that’s it.
All the signals crossing and bouncing and making white noise. None of them strong enough to come through clear and strong.
So maybe I need to keep going for a while until the signal gets better, just keep driving. Sing to myself, if I have to.
I’m missing all the good stations on the dial, but not for trying. I’m missing a lot of things.
Like my friend who I haven’t seen in years but talk to on more days of the week than not. I miss the ocean and the feeling of my feet sliding into sand. I miss the story I fell in love with and wanted to tell. Want to tell, will tell, when I sift through the words. I miss Vermont, the leaves this time of year. My sister, Ducky. My other sisters. I miss drawers full of clean, folded laundry. An empty hamper. Lyle Lovett and His Large Band. My ass, in those jeans that hang at the back of the closet. New York bagels. The Metropolitan Museum. Hay fields. Corn fields. Miles of soybeans, gold in September. And hayrides and s’mores. Kissing for its own sake. For my sake. Canoes. Quiet rivers. Grass. One tree, with a spot at the top where I could hold on tight and sway in the wind. Montana. Me, in Montana.
I miss all the moments, hours, days, in these 39 years, that I wasted. Every single one of them.
And right now, more than anything, I miss my bed. Sleep.
And maybe hats, just a little.