Yes that’s a riff on “Tuesdays with Morrie” except Lee Lee is not a human, but rather, a very fuzzy cat. I also never finished that book because at 16, life lessons from the Fountainhead seemed a lot more appealing.
Sitting at my dining table, gently prodding my cat’s nose with a pen, I realized that I should probably start filling my time with words. If I must sit at the computer and refresh my bank account screen every 5 minutes, then I might as well blog about it.
I’m waiting for my $48.25 check (from the catering I did for a wedding last week) to go through so that I may pay for my $40 alcohol training course (for the job I’m starting this month). I guess loads of drunks have destroyed SC’s trust in humanity, for this is just one of many strange laws regarding alcohol. They used to serve only airplane bottles in bars! No, I don’t know of any other alcohol laws but I’m pretty sure that one’s terrible enough.
Perched on my plastic red chair, squinting through the morning sun’s glare, I feel like I’m still in college. Why else would I be in my pajamas at 11 AM? Why else would I only have $6 in my bank account? Every day, I waver between poignant stings of joy and despair. Driving to work at noon, donning a bright red camp counselor shirt, I wonder if I should be somewhere else.
Making dinner with my sister, bumping into her in our child-sized kitchen, singing the wrong words to all of our favorite country songs–I can’t imagine being anywhere but here. I love going to work because I get to work with dogs–what could be more rewarding than that? I loathe how quickly my apartment gets dirty. I love that lizards crawl under my bed because the cracks in my building are so old. I grow tired of the tedious moments of my underemployed life–the ones where I wait for new and fruitful opportunities. I cherish my moments of waiting, for they are full of an untarnished optimism.
Joy and despair. Both exaggerated in my dramatic mind, both played out in my normal life. That my life is made up of days, punctuated by moments, makes those bad moments just a bit more bearable. It’s hard not to want to life an exciting life. A stable life. A life full of money. A life full of love. But full? Who can possibly maintain full? Full would mean no parking tickets, no empty wallets, no overcooked turkey burgers, no litter boxes. Give me half full any day–for joy is nothing without despair.
Before I moved to Charleston my mother said: “You know, nothing’s irrevocable.” She wanted me to know that I could come home, if I needed to. She wanted me to know that it’s okay to change your mind. I’m not sure if she knew how important those words would become. I tug at the silver necklace she gave me for Christmas (sissy, of course, wears the same one). I repeat the mantra over and over again: nothing’s irrevocable.
George the lab jumps on my chest and pulls at the chain, nips at my face. I laugh and tuck the necklace under my bright red shirt. “Mr. George,” I say in mock surprise. He nods his head, wags his tail, stands patiently by my side. I am 22 years old. I am a camp counselor at a dog daycare. I am a server at a new restaurant. I am a writer. I am a twin. I am the proud owner of a small and fuzzy cat. And tomorrow I can be something else. I can change my mind. For now, though, my moments seem to balance themselves out. My check has still not gone through. But I’m sitting in a 150 year old building, drinking coffee with my cat. Half full’s not so bad.