Thursday, October 26, 2017

Sometimes at Night

Sometimes at night, I'll mentally enumerate the face-to-face interactions I had, even passing ones, over the previous 12 hours, just to reassure myself I didn't spend the entire day in task-focused isolation. I don't, but it often feels I have. Thus . . .

Today I chatted for a few minutes with S., who came by to tell me an amusing addendum to a story of her ongoing househunt that we'd talked about the day before. 

Our IT guy showed me how to solve a problem that comes up every month but that I never think of forestalling till it's too late. Now I can take care of it myself without bothering him.

I had a brief exchange with an intern about a fact-checking issue, and one or two with the intern supervisor. 

An ex-coworker who's now a freelancer appeared out of the blue as I was stepping out for a walk, and we had a nice five-minute conversation. (When he worked here, we had a more fraught relationship; we get along a lot better now.) I used my witty line of the moment, which I also used yesterday on a colleague while killing time on the sidewalk during a fire drill (witty lines are so rare for me, I have to recycle them): I told both of them I shaved my facial scruff the other day because Harvey Weinstein had forever ruined facial scruff for me. 

The boss swung by a couple times about this and that. A few other short exchanges with other people, both business-related and small talk.

Oh, and I had a phone conversation with a local novelist of some reputation (in fact, the author of a book I remember extremely fondly, though I didn't mention it) who has a piece in the upcoming issue. He was very pleasant and down to earth. A decade or more ago, when my job was very different, my day was filled with calls like that.

Why am I writing all this? I'm trying to get back in the habit of putting sentences together. My muscles are slack, my mind a Ping-Pong ball, and a rather dinged one at that. 

This year I had cataract surgery at age 55. My mother died. (We laid her ashes to rest just last week, four and a half months after her death. I placed them in the niche with my father's, alone there for the last five years.) 

This summer, I got my ear pierced again, the third time for that particular ear, something I've been wanting to do ever since my earring was taken out at the ER after my bike accident three years ago and was never returned.

The other evening, I shaved the scruff. My face is my father's, my brother's (my mother's?), my own.  I've missed it.

It's a start.

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