Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Another Sort of Daughter

As I've mentioned, just before Sam and I married, depression really sunk me, made me suspicious of everything good, easily broken, easily frightened, hard to reach. I continue to feel like I’m surfacing, but disappearing from planet earth for several years makes it hard to get to know anyone, to establish connection. I think my in-laws have thought Sam married an alien. He sort of did.

They visited recently, and one night we went out for Italian. On the way home, rounding the glitter of Boston’s night skyline, my mother-in-law and I shared the backseat, our husbands sitting in the front. My seat belt hadn’t been working, and we finally figured out I could plug the silver clasp into the buckle near her, meant for the middle, which made me sort of lean over to her side of the car. In the back while Sam steered us over a bridge, we felt like friends, like I finally wasn’t too submerged in my own skin to have a conversation. Mint tea on my breath, an after- dinner cappuccino on hers, I think I told her about old boyfriends and how I always forget family birthdays. But it doesn't matter what we were talking about just then. It matters that she leaned over and put her hand on my knee, and we giggled. I felt, finally, like a daughter-in-law, like another sort of daughter, like I wasn’t trying to speak lines I didn’t know yet, like I belonged in that car.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Well, Wow.

After three full days of outrageous, pummeling, constant rain, the sun is out today. It's nearly 60 degrees, which feels nothing short of a miracle.

So after eating my lunch, I decided to walk down to Copley square to drop off some film. I listened to my iPod, watched all of the people taking pictures and eating their lunches and wearing pretty shoes, and felt so happy I thought I'd burst. I was literally just grinning (as in last post) like a fool, giggling occasionally for no reason at all except that life, at the moment, is good.

Reasons to rejoice:

a. Sam's parents are in town, and they're just lovely people. They take us to dinner and tell me stories about Sam as a wee boy.

b. After over a month of searching, I am the swooning owner of a new work bag. See below. I got it on etsy, and probably paid too much, but what else can one do when they see it and gasp and know deep in their heart that they are beholding the bag of their soul? See the pretty insides? Sometimes, as I walk, I slip my hand in the bag and touch the lining, and feel happy knowing it is beautiful.

c. We're looking to buy. Like, a house. Or condo. Or something. I've been sneaking glances at real estate sites all day, dreaming of a new life in rooms with taupe walls.

d. I'm drinking mint tea.

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Spilly Heart

For the last day or so, I've been a little spilly. It's felt like something was sloshing around in my heart. What I mean is: I've been sad. But that silly sort of sad, where nothing is wrong, you just feel like crying at everything. (Not pregnant--honest.)

Example: listening to The Writer's Almanac podcast this morning while walking to the T, Garrison Keillor was describing Ira Glass' career, and this made me feel like weeping. Why? He followed his dream? Many doubted the success of This American Life, and now the world agrees it a was a spot-on, brilliant idea? No good reason, see?

So I was crossing the Whole Foods parking lot, getting choked up every ten seconds, when this suddenly seemed very funny, this weepy self. And then, walking down Washington Street, passing bus stops and dogs out on their walks, stray snowflakes hitting my lips and chin, I couldn't stop laughing. I was just giggling out loud, grinning. Everything seemed funny, especially my own self. It was like someone flipped the funny switch. I wish I knew where that switch was ... I don't mind that sort of mood transition at all.

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Fast as Molasses

(photo source: here)

Last night, at a lecture my friend gave on lesser-known Boston history, I learned about molasses. Apparently, in 1919, there was what is known as The Great Molasses Flood of 1919. Yes, I said flood.

Apparently, over 2.5 million gallons of molasses came rushing through Boston in a tidal wave, which measured at a height of 50 feet (!) and a speed of 35 miles per hour. People died, buildings were pushed off their foundations, a train was pushed off its track.

Can you imagine this? I've been trying to imagine it ever since I heard the story.

Why did they have so much molasses, you ask? Apparently, it was a big trade item for Boston. They would sell it, and people elsewhere would turn it into ethyl alcohol and make explosives out of it. So weird.

Anyway, they had this giant silo-type thing in the North End, and it was pretty terribly made. Instead of fixing it, the company just painted it molasses-color so you wouldn't see it leak. (Brilliant!) But leak it did.

It wasn't like, yummy molasses. But poor kids used to come every day and let some drip drip drip into wee cups. When the silo-thing exploded (remember, explosives?), those little kids were some of the casualties. Poor kids.

Also, poor Bostonians who had to clean up. In some places it was 3 feet deep. It was hard for me to even clean up the few drops that spilled in my pantry. Some people say that on hot days, the city streets still bleed molasses.