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February 25, 2006

Wine and late nights and writing do not mix.

Tonight I went to the grocery store after work, it was a long day, a long week, everything moving so fast at my job and all around me, almost like I'm stuck in time or molasses trying to catch up with the whole world. Everyone just a step ahead.

The Trader Joe's parking lot was packed, but I got a spot as soon as I pulled in (I have good parking karma to make up for my distinct lack of actual driving karma. Carma?) I had the windows down on the Jeep even though it wasn't hot, because I just do that sometimes. The wind is so good when the music is loud.

And I bought blackberries, they looked ripe and fresh, and stuff for a quick dinner then one last-minute purchase: cabernet. I haven't been drinking much at all, but tonight...? It just looked good. I rationalized the price, "It's organic wine." I pulled my buggy up in line with all the other eleventeen hundred Los Angeles people at the store on a Friday night (no one but me says "buggy," though.) I saw him, I mean I saw him even before we got in line, because we were standing in the frozen foods aisle at the same time and he turned just so and looked at me, caught me right in the eye (even though I prefer to look away).

So when I got in line, I knew it was him behind me even before he asked me, "Have you tried that wine before? Is it any good?" Like he was interested. In the wine.

But when I get nervous, my accent gets real thick, I hate it. Then he says "Where are you from?" It sounds like such a teeny question but it's loaded. People from out here have all these ideas about where I'm from, and besides I've lived here longer than any other one place. And it puts me just a little on the defensive, because this is why I tried real hard to lose my accent to begin with. Except, now that I'm trying to be very honest about who I am (and who I am not) it's pointless to hide it and also, why am I feeling on the defensive? Probably just nerves. I got so used to being rejected by my own husband that having someone follow me to the checkout lane is making me feel ... ? Suspicious, I think. And a little anxious, and secretly happy because he's cute and buying vitamins.

I'm putting the bag into my car and he walks up to me and hands me his business card, or something, and he says, "if you ever wanted to... or, I mean, if you're not... married? I'm Scott..." and I just stood there, like an idiot, and I was baffled. It wasn't until I got home that I realized I had dropped the card in the parking lot, because I was so unhinged, maybe? And then anyway, it was so strange, because he went back inside the store. I guess to finish shopping.

I have no idea how to handle myself now. Single is hard after married. I want to be good at it, but I'm awkward and scared. Like I'm just one step behind everyone else. Stuck in time or molasses.

Posted by laurie at February 25, 2006 12:08 AM