Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Vineland, New Jersey

From a scrap of receipt paper, asked for at a wonderful Italian restaurant in Vineland, New Jersey on July 5th.

I never want to forget the way it felt driving down the E40 today in New Jersey. The sun was getting golden and I drove, for once able to relax without falling asleep. I soaked in slow jazz, let it roll around in my bones as I passed the most amazing cornfields, whooshing past the big white farms with flags waving high. Road that stretched long and just wide enough; greens and golds and sunwashed blacks and handwritten signs for fresh fruit that all made me want to drive a snail's pace and never leave the road.

I want to remember the colors I saw and the jazz I heard while they still ring in my limbs--they turn stale so fast, and I forget why I ever cared.

It's the 5th of July, and for the first time in my life I missed the 4th. It got lost somewhere in Baltimore, or airborne next to a man whose dad is about to die here. That's why he flew in. To say his last goodbyes to a father he doesn't live close to--does he love him, I wondered? There was sadness in his eyes that said yes. Very much.
I guess this is what I'd do if I were single, now--go to restaurants by myself and write and eat delicious food while people were weirded out by me--I'd be the person the people watched, like this table of loud east-coasters with Jersey accents next to me. They all have 'usuals' here; pastas and salads and bread and wine; they call the waitress by name even though she isn't wearing a name tag. Vanessa. She's kind and doesn't patronize me because I'm here alone and writing on her receipt paper.

I want to make time for this in my life: quality alone time with myself, mindfully eating and lolling the thoughts around. Sitting, with water pooling in my mouth; I move it slowly, let my tongue go swimming. Feel the life-imparting wetness over my teeth, seeping into my gums, finally swallowing.

So far away from my usual desperate gulps, this way is abundant. It knows there will be enough water to fill my belly and my life, full of oceanic treasure and a fresh spring of great ideas and ample opportunity.

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