God I’m horrible at keeping up on this, but at least you can empathize with me on how much waitressing kicks your behind!
First things first - I loved the pictures from Bastille Day! I wish I could have been there with you to totally nerd out without judgment because quite frankly you are the only person who doesn’t look at me as though I have twelve heads when I have one of my (frequent) nerd moments :)
Secondly (and much more important!) Italy… To quote one of my best friends “sold!”
I’m actually thinking about a trip to Italy during my winter break at CEU as a birthday/Christmas present to myself because it’s too expensive to come back to the states and mostly because I want to go to Italy. I’m also considering heading back to Austria, but as of right now I’m undecided…
Let me give you another reason why this is perfect and you have to make Ben intern and go with him.
It happens to be right up at the top of our bucket list with ‘buy a castle in Ireland and convert it into a used book store’ – backpacking through Europe! 6 weeks with both of us in Europe before I settle into my mandatory internship and you have to get a job – basically a nice break from real life!
Ok now on to my much less exciting life. I saw Harry Potter and cried like one of my closest friends had died then came home and restarted the series because I felt that the end of an era needed to go out with a bang – well really more of a binge, but who’s keeping track?
I also pounded out another section of Somewhere Under Bolts of Steel. Mostly its crap, but there was one passage I really liked so I’ll leave it here for you to read feel free to reciprocate with a passage (or two!) of the sections you like from comet – I’d love to read them!!
There are monsters in the dark.
And like the best kind they don’t hide in the closet or under the bed, but in the recess of your mind. There they grow bigger and sprout extra heads and eyes and colors. And they torture you, slowly, because if you can’t see them you can’t fight them and you end up just thinking happy thoughts and hope that a little bit of light will cause the monsters to retreat.
I sat perched on my mother’s vanity, cross legged like the Indian I was dressed to be. My mother hummed absently as she braided my hair and I rummaged through her jewelry. Not her nice jewelry, the ruby ring and silver locket I really longed for where in Daddy’s study, but the other stiff that she wore when we left the house.
Suddenly the jewelry box was a treasure chest made of wood and filled with gold and I didn’t want to be an Indian princess anymore I wanted to be a pirate. I had been told a story a few weeks back about a boy who never grew old and the pirate who chased him – he had a hook for a hand, but I couldn’t remember his name.
“Arrg,” I tested my new self in the mirror and then giggled and looked around at my mother. I wanted her to laugh with me, to share my joke, but she just kept humming as he wrapped the hair band around my right braid. So I tried again, this time a little louder.
Still nothing. I continued playing with her necklaces running their cool surface over my fingers as she finished my hair. When she was finished we looked at each other in the glass. Rather, I looked at her, but even at five I had the feeling that only one of us was really seeing.
I tried to bring her back to me, I wanted to know the name of my pirate, I wanted her to play with me, I wanted her to smile.
“Mom? Mom? Mommy!”
She blinked and her eyes found mine. For a minute she just stared at my reflection as of wondering how I’d gotten stuck on the other side, but then she smiled and the smile went all the way to her grey eyes and I sighed in relief because she knew me.
“Yes, my Livy?”
“I want to play pirates.”
“I thought you wanted to play Indians.”
“No. Pirates. Arrg!”
She looked confused, like she’d missed part of a conversation and she waited expectantly for me to fill her in.
I sighed dramatically angry that I had to explain myself, she was my mother shouldn’t she just know?
I pointed to the jewelry box.
“This is the treasure and we have to hide it so that we can find it and have lots of pretty things.”
“Ok.” She stood, picked me up from the vanity, set me on the ground, placed one hand on her hip and the other on her cheek deep in thought. “Where shall we hide it?”
Excited I grabbed the box and started running.
“Come on mom!”
I was down the stairs, through the front door, and back into the kitchen before she even had time to move. I had made it to the dining room and was spinning in circles looking for the perfect spot when she swung me up on her hip, took the box from my hand, and brought me into the pantry. She set the box on a shelf between the laundry detergent and the box full of little white sheets that I got to add to the dryer sometimes. Then she placed the mop and the broom criss-cross in front of our treasure.
“X marks the spot” she said.
“X marks the spot” I repeated and then laughed happy at out game, happy that she was playing.
“Why do you want to be Captain Hook?” My mother asked as we walked hand in hand back towards the living room.
Oh, that was his name.
“Because I like gold.”
I rolled my eyes towards the ceiling. What a silly question why else would I want to be a pirate?
“I like gold too, but I like flying better.”
I was confused, flying? “Huh?”
My mother gave me half a smile and pulled on my braid, “I just thought you might like to be Peter.”
“But he’s a boy.”
“So is Captain Hook.”
“But he has the treasure.”
“Yes, but Peter has a great friend, Tinkerbelle, and she can help him fly wherever he wants to go."
Oh yeah, “Any place?”
“Could he come here?”
“If he wanted to.”
“Does he like treasure?”
“Of course, everybody likes treasure.”
“Ok, if he comes to visit he can play pirates too.”
My mother laughed. Or at least I think she laughed, she didn’t make any sounds but simply shook for a few seconds then bent down to kiss my forehead. When she got close I saw that her cheeks were pink and her eyes bright and I thought – she looks like me.
“That’s very nice of you. Maybe when we’re done playing he’ll take us on a trip.”
I asked as I started to the corner of the room where my toy box sat open and ready for the recruitment of some dolls to help me find my gold.
“Anywhere” she whispered. And when I turned back to show her our helpers she was gone.
Back in the present I try desperately to cling to the good part of that memory, the light. Her rosy cheeks, our smiles, the X in the closet marking our treasure, but I always come back to the end of it. And isn’t that how it usually goes? No matter how good the beginning whatever happens at the end is what sears into your mind, branded there, marking you as used goods.
Story of my life.
With the light extinguished I fiddle with the gold bracelet on my wrist and I’m dragged back into my memories.
I’m once again a five year old pirate and I’m about to run away.
I don’t have many memories before this one, no stand out moments that were worthy of early recall, so I don’t know if it was the first time I thought about it. I only know that it seemed easier, somehow, to run then to stay.