Sunday, January 18, 2015

Not the Red Caviar

Nothing to say tonight. Nothing.

Well, you know how far that goes, don't you? I'll come up with something to tell you. I don't see you too often, after all. I'd love to know how you are right now.

The thing is that when I sit down to write, you're a friend I don't see all that often. You're a friend I can tell anything to. You don't mind if I'm not quite normal. You laugh when I tell you how things fell apart today, how all the mugs fell into the sink and only your favorites were broken. How is it that the ugly mugs all survived? What are the odds? You think my strangest thoughts are okay. You don't roll your eyes when I tell you that there's a whole universe in that drop of water hanging from that leaf or when I tell you the trees feel time differently than we do. I think they look at us the way we try to look at hummingbirds. Hummingbirds move so fast we can't feel them sync with our breath. You don't mind the altered me, the one who was accidentally caffeinated by the coffee shack in town or the one who's so tired she can't come up with the right words for ordinary things.

I appreciate that, you know.

I wanted to tell you how the lady at the salon was reading the ingredients for her hair color to her client. Do people do that now, look at the ingredients for hair color? Well, this one did and I woke up from my stupor holding People magazine only to laugh out loud, to snort audibly when she read, "black caviar and truffle oil." Did I tell you that already? I imagined that she was some crazy woman who had been invited to the party. You know, that party, the one you can't afford to dress for, the one that's all get-up and little black dress, the one where people there ask you how you haven't read their book yet as if you're an idiot because you don't recognize them. I went to one of those parties once or twice. One of them was put on by Bell Labs and I went and they served black and red caviar and people were standing there talking down the red caviar as if it were generic beer and Hostess Ding Dongs on the platters. I thought the red caviar tasted almost identical to the black caviar, though most people had had enough to drink, I wasn't sure anyone could really taste their food any more. I always felt like a dandelion in the rose garden at parties like that. Couldn't they see that my white polyester slacks were from 'the rack' instead of 'Macy's' proper? I was always sure they could. I didn't spend $100 on my hair cuts and I never colored my hair.

So, for a moment in that salon, I felt all over again like I was a fraud and I'd been caught. That I laughed out loud at the ingredients was their clue. They didn't need to look at my torn Levis, stolen from a boy who is taller than I am, or at my beat up hiking boots. No matter how many times I brush the dirt off them, I just replace it the next day on the trail. These two didn't have to look at my worn LL Bean t-shirt or my comfortable LL Bean hoodie or my slightly overgrown hair cut. They just knew, because I snorted slightly when I laughed. They knew that I didn't belong at this party.

If the heavens broke open and I were to be invited to the Academy Awards for some odd reason, I'd be better off wearing those muddy boots on the red carpet because you could dress me up in blue velvet and I'd still have this crazy hair and I'd still snort when I thought people were making a joke about smearing black caviar and truffle oil into their hair. I'd expect them to go on about how the red caviar would never do. Never.

Because the red caviar is just so common.

Thank you for listening, jb

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