Give me a day that starts out with me falling asleep around 4am.
I'll tell you that it's not going to be a good day. There's that midday social obligation. There's articles to read. There's all those bike miles to add up. There's that class I'm not interested in, talking about that book that I didn't get much out of with that group of people who bore me with that nutty professor. That's going to happen.
I'm going to wake up a little grumpy.
And things are going to add up.
That toast is delicious. And that music? It's music to my ears.
Those people outside the liquor store?- yes, I'm there at 11:30am- the ones who always heckle me for cash when I pretend I'm not listening?-- dollar bills all around, not really thinking about it. It's windy, get some coffee.
Let's get on that bike, the one I fight with, the one that carries me through Center City as that van honks at me but I miss all the potholes. Bake some cookies, my favorite thing to do. Baking with the girls who are like my Relief Society, making our own group just like the Relief Society would've told us to. But give us mimosas- the idea they scoffed at, drinking at noon- give us mimosas and chocolate chips and snickerdoodles. A few hours of much needed sisterhood and that bread! Something you could only find in Philly, that bread!
Breeze through those articles, the ones we won't talk about, and on to dinner. Leftover spaghetti noodles somehow transform themselves into some proto-yakisoba, pan-fried noodles, onions, garlic, pea sprouts, soy sauce. And we have that conversation, texting back and forth about that UPS guy who likes you. I look forward to that, you know. Coffee, yes, at 6pm, class tonight, what a bore! But I'm glad we talk- a different we- when we meet in the kitchen. I'm glad when you offer me some of that soup and when you tell me you liked the latkes I made, the ones you ate without asking. Going to that talk tomorrow, getting an advisor tomorrow, class tomorrow.
Let's not think about tomorrow.
Let's talk about going to OAH in April, tenement style, with everyone. Or you- the other you- call me and squeeze in that five minute conversation while you walk home and I race out the door. Headlight, blinkee light, helmet, lock. Green lights and minimal traffic, easy parking and not even late!
Allow me to bust out every strategy in the book to get through that class. The instant challenge to a viewpoint that you tell me later will make me that professor, the one people are afraid to take and who challenges them to learn! The notes to the person sitting next to me that inspire discreet smiles and solidarity. The discussion's dragging, please, let me ask that question- the one about how this book would look if we wrote it from a different methodological perspective. Let it be 9 o'clock when the professor starts answering that question, when he lays out how the book would be called "Spain on the Brain: Anglo Anxieties in Hispanic World, 1500-1800," and tells us the who thesis and sums up the class just perfectly in spite of repeating the phrase "Spain on the Brain" five, eight times. Who cares if the monologue lasted 35 minutes? It's the second time I've made this happen, that question, this monologue. I've already forgotten I don't care about colonialism. What a time we had with those guys! The ones who drive us crazy, the ones who tell us they enjoyed our comments and that they like our folding bike. The ones who exist only as types and never come out with us afterwards.
Beer, glorious beer, finally! Let there be the favorite usual waitress who we always overtip at our favorite usual bar, the ones where people's eyes twinkle as the pitcher gets emptier and the light reflects off the yellow glass lamps and the dingy wood paneling. Oh, that laugh that reminds me of my cousin, and please, tell me again that twenty-five isn't that old.
Oh you guys! You don't have to wait. Headlight, blinkee light, helmet, lock. I'll try that smaller intersection, just right, an easy left turn. Why have I never taken that route before?
Give me third gear all the way down the Parkway, wind on my face, no cars, dim lights glowing against the Art Museum. I'm on the folding bike, it's not as blissfully cruise-y as the other bike, but wait, it is. Sublime propulsion along the usual unnoticeable route. Don't let the cat in, he comes in anyways, but he's home, I'm home, he's happy, I'm happy. I'm headed up the stairs, happy because I'm leading this life that I never planned to lead, happy that I enjoyed this day that I didn't expect to enjoy.