Arundhati Roy pointed out, “There are things that can be forgotten. And things that cannot-that sit on dusty shelves like stuffed birds with baleful, sideways staring eyes.”
And she was right.
If I were to summarize my character, it would be with this: recently, I sat on a bench in my favorite book store waiting for my friends to finish up and buy something, already. Eventually, one sat down with me, and the other made his way to the register.
And then I decided I wanted to find a cookbook for myself.
In process, I spotted a different-kind-of-book cover. And some words: The Ministry of Utmost Happiness. And underneath, there she was. The author of my favorite book of all time. Roy wrote something new.
The sticker read, “Signed Copy.”
If I know anything, it’s this:
coincidence both is and isn’t.
I think, in that moment, I needed to find a piece of this thing that touched me long ago. I was so different then. Yet, I have carried memory of my time spent reading The God of Small Things with me for years. I remember thinking of the twins while at a haunted Florida theatre concession stand. I recall weeping in bed reading the romance. I can still see those blind eyes as I envisioned them years ago, reading. And now, I am the me I have come to know, and I have a new book.
I wonder two things:
1) What if I hadn’t gone back?
2) What if I didn’t have people who would wait?
It feels like a privilege, because it has not always been this way. And let’s be real: it isn’t always possible. Sometimes, someone can’t wait. Sometimes, you won’t wait, either. But when you find it, do not take the love in your life for granted. Also, let it change you. And change with it. And grow with the ones who are willing to stick around. And don’t explain to people who demand. And don’t overthink it. Let it make you better again.
I don’t know, something shifted recently. And surprisingly. Like, it really didn’t seem like the time. And it took a really long while to get here. And I didn’t ever expect to. And I think that’s why it feels real. Because it took time. It didn’t masquerade as something else. In fact, it occurred when it seemed it wouldn’t. But I think maybe it was happening all along.
Memories of time spent at a huge dining room table with cats and a sweet little dog and my best friend in the whole world. Finally calling the doctor about something that Google later helped me to heal, after all. Cackling about feelings. Bags of coins and settling for PB M&Ms instead of mint ones. Grated zucchini mixed with cheese on top of crispy crust. It seems too simple, even though it isn’t. A lot went into getting there.
[but also, it took two more tries afterward before I realized that lemon and chives taste pretty great and sugar on pizza dough is totally neat and also yes please to parm shavings on top]
You live, you learn.