Wednesday, September 13, 2006
There are days when it is hard to escape the fact that I am aging. It's not found in crow feet or new lumps--though they are present, they are hardly the first step to this realization. No. Other signs are more obvious.

Today, I went for my final wedding dress fitting. It's raining here in Georgia; the sky is murky and has been draining on the roofs of my suburb with adamant percussions. The dress fit fine; a lady stooped to button the last button. And there I was, standing in some generic dressing room underneath fluorescent lights, staring at myself. I'm all grown up. A woman in a beautiful dress.

"It's amazing how much thinner you look!" exclaimed the seamstress. What I wanted to say was, "It's's just amazing."

I came home to get back to work, and didn't do a thing. I've been staring at pictures from a decade ago. What a child I was. The rain kept coming down. I made myself some lunch, had some cigarettes, started a new knitting project. Then, a good song came on the computer, and I went into the office. There, hanging on the wall, is my tiny eight by eleven inch diploma from college. It doesn't say much. Just that on such and such date in 2001, a college granted me the rights and privilege of practicing social work. My name is heavy embossed lettering.

When I graduated from college, I revered the diploma. It was my ticket to life; it told everyone that I cared about the world and wanted to make a difference. I took the first job offered to me; I imagined great things. I imagined I could save every life I touched. I lived alone and paid my bills. I had few friends. I spent many late nights at the office, by myself, poring over files of convicted felons, trying to devise goals to help them out of their situation. I walked back and forth to my car with my keys in between my knuckles and my elbow clasped to the Glock on my waist. How I couldn't see that I needed saving, myself, was beyond me.

There are so many lonely souls in the universe, it's a wonder we don't bump into each other more often.

In the summer, lightening storms flashed in my apartment window and lit my studio into fiery light. I'd turn the lights off and gather the cat into my lap. We would watch the old wood of the ancient mill turned apartment flake off the timbers in the ceiling. Neighbors came and went, and I watched them with a curious eye. I speculated about every person I came across. What did they need? What cross did they carry? What hope had they allowed to die?

We swallow our pains everyday without telling. Aren't we good at deception?

Cigarettes overflowed in all my ashtrays. There were many bottles of empty liquor in the trash can. I wasn't drinking to get drunk; I was drinking to have something to do. But I found some friends, and there are memories there, too. Ellen and I drove to Indiana to meet her family. The car ride up is filled with laughter and hi-jinks. Maria moved next door; I played so many pranks on her she developed a complex. There are hollow echoes of giggles in the hallways of the loft.

I was never very good with keeping up with friends. Now, I have new friends. I promise them I will not forget about them in the same manner as I have with these other women. No one deserves to be deserted.

Yet, we all find ourselves deserted at some time. In the wild, wolves die one of two ways: starvation, or another wolf eats him.

In less than two weeks, I will be a married woman. We are thrilled and nervous and excited and gleeful, as we should be. I am marrying the man who I am supposed to marry. There aren't enough people who believe in true love; heck, I was one of them. As I see how much love I have to give and share, no matter how few lives I reach, I know I'm aging. I'm a little sad I didn't try this happiness thing before. And now? No one is going to stop me from joy.

It's not what you thought
when you first began it...
It's not going to stop
It's not going to stop
It's not going to stop
'Til you wise up.
-Wise Up
Aimee Mann
Written by FRITZ
| Link | 7 wise cracks! |

Name: Fritz

Location: Detroit Rock City!
Where the weak are killed and eaten

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What My Brain is Eating
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    What I Live By:
    We shall not cease from exploration And the end of all our exploring Will be to arrive where we started And know the place for the first time. Through the unknown, unremembered gate When the last of earth left to discover Is that which was the beginning; At the source of the longest river The voice of the hidden waterfall And the children in the apple-tree Not known, because not looked for But heard, half-heard, in the stillness Between two waves of the sea. Quick now, here, now, always— A condition of complete simplicity (Costing not less than everything) And all shall be well and All manner of thing shall be well When the tongues of flame are in-folded Into the crowned knot of fire And the fire and the rose are one. -T.S. Eliot "Little Gidding"

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