I've been reading about a woman who, in the wake of failed-relationship heartbreak, learned bellydancing and (says the cover) found true love. It is, of course, making me want to learn bellydancing. It's even set in my hometown, and written by a friend of a friend. Kelly and I are on our way to Jimmy and Missy's house for the annual Highland County Maple Festival, and reading on a drive sometimes suddenly and unpredictably makes me carsick. Before deciding to try typing I leaned my head back on my seat and watched the greening Allegheny countryside recede from my visor mirror.
Today has been a pretty good day, all told, with allowances for my own recent heartbreaks--a breakup and a fight, both of which I fear might be the end of each respective "us." I've been working to accept the fact that these things are not really in my hands, and that obsessing about each will only keep me awake at night and give me headaches, nausea, and ulcers. On the other hand, they might also make me lose weight. But I'm telling myself that it's probably not worth the ulcers.
I didn't wake up particularly happy this morning--I've woken up angry, sad or upset most days since David and I broke up, and especially since I learned I was in the shit with a friend--but the new breakfast cereal in the cabinet, for which I had very low hopes, turned out to be rather good. I got an email from a college friend during breakfast saying that she's going to try to meet me in Louisiana for the Festival International. I enjoyed talking to my dad on our drive to our respective workplaces. There was easy and nearly stress-free conversation between myself and my boss as we got ready to open the store. A driver whilstled at me as I put out the sign. A Spanish couple buying ingredients for a seafood paella made me smile. And one moment stands out above the others thus far today: as I waited for my weekly paycheck, Brian suddenly said,
"Hey, I was looking at those dates you're going to be gone in April..."
Uh-oh. Oh, my tortured stomach.
"And you're only going to be here Tuesday and Wednesday that week. You're going to be out almost a whole week."
Shit, here it comes. I am twisting in on myself. Brian, unconcerned, is taking his time and multitasking.
"So I mean, you might as well just take that whole week off if you want."
I'm sorry, excuse me? Did I hear that correctly?
I fairly danced out to my car. I drove up Patterson with my knees, arms outstretched, reveling in the warm, free air. I wanted to sing. This "five days off in April" business had been the bane of my existence for weeks before my actual relationships started falling apart. To have that stress lifted, particularly in such a comical way, felt nothing short of miraculous.
Speaking of carsickness, I just had to cover my eyes with both hands to stave off overpowering nausea in the face of the 170 degree switchbacks on a 45 degree decline on one of my favorite hills in these mountains: route 250 midway between Churchville and Monterey. Kelly laughed at me, and wanted to take a picture. I'd have laughed too if the onset of decrepit old age weren't so sudden, soon, and freaking obnoxious. I had to lift my knees in an alternating pattern to keep my laptop from sliding off my seasick lap.
When I can keep my eyes open, the setting sun is blindingly beautiful wherever it cuts through the still-bare trees.