Amanda

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I’ve Finally Found Home

I was in a funk earlier. Last night I puked up crab cakes. (Oh my god, they were SO good going down.) I don’t think I’ll ever be able to stomach them again. So I woke up this morning, Nick’s last day, and felt queasy from the purge and in a head-achey bad mood. Then we took him to the airport, had lunch, I bought a new ugly cell because my razor drowned in the ocean, then to sleep only to awake just as pissy as I was before. The weather matched my mood and I was feeling over-extended and crowded.

But then I made an email and spied my friends via facebook. I read Mary-Allison’s blog and saw that she quoted me. I’m quotable? Now I’m beaming and I want to gush about Nick because it’s my new favorite happy thing to do. Friends, god, they’re such a beautiful, vital life force. They can bring me to life from even so far away.

30 minutes later and I just got off the phone with Nick. What uncanny timing. I feel so “met” by him. He’s kind, extravagant, unsheltered and not a people collector. He’s a seasoned critic and SO much fun. His favorite thing to do while he was here was ride waves on the boogie board. I love his energy and playfulness. I’m completely smitten. I’m going to visit him in Kentucky in 3 weeks.

Things with David … well, we’re good friends. We can love each other and want the best for each other but as it turns out, he’s going to nest in Cali. Good on him. I’ll visit at some point and we can camp and fish and muse. For now, I wish him the best and I’m grateful to know him and to have known him so intimately. He’s smart and engaging and passionate and I know love will work out in his favor.

About me. I’m excited about Nick- yes, so very excited. He’s perfect. Completely wonderful. But Lexington as my home is something I’m so desperately in love with. Breaking news: I’m moving back to Lexington in October.

I want to own a home with my sister and her baby and various pets. I want to be a part of the Lexington community, to show my art to my audience and to at some point, write my book, open my store, to make real advances on my creative dreams. I want to run on the Henry Clay estate, have out of state visitors and show them how beautiful Kentucky is and I want to have real holidays with family. My heart is bursting.

At the Library

I’m at the library today. Dad took me yesterday but I had another one of my panic attacks- so he decided he might need to bring me more frequently so I can get things done- like communicate with my friends. I didn’t even have to ask. I’m having freak-outs more often lately. I need to figure out how to remedy this because they come at awkward times, they’re uncomfortable, embarrassing and they make me feel like I’m not where I should be.

I started my new waitressing job. It’s actually a lot of fun so far. It’s a small place with a huge turnover so the staff is big and diverse.

I’m anxious to check out a new book before Dad pulls me out of here so I’m not going to say much more. Vampire Weekend is stuck in my disc drive and Water For Elephants is the best book I’ve read since McCarthy’s The Road. It’s about the circus… but so much more. I think you’d love it.

Goldmine

My dad gets even cooler the older I get. He’s not had the most conventional life which keeps him from being the classic amazing father but he’s brilliant and you can tell he loves his family though he’s often not physically present. He does what he can… and if you’re a sister of mine, you’ll cut him some slack.

He quit his job at a grocery store recently to clean condos for a living. The way he describes it, you’d think he was the richest man alive. “Me and Kathy can work together. I make 2 dollars more an hour and the best part is that we’ll never have to grocery shop again! These people leave everything!”

He says there’s always stuff in the freezer. Last condo he cleaned had a pizza, a loaf of bread, 1/2 a gallon of milk and a bottle of wine. A week ago he found a beautiful kite that looks like an airplane. “Everyday is like Christmas!’

Now that it’s basketball season, he likes to have the sports channel on in every room. Beginning in May there’s a cookout every Saturday for the staff where they swap their findings- beer mostly. I think Dad might try to swap some beer for an inflatable mattress for my stay this summer since he doesn’t really drink.

Phone conversation with Memaw

Angel: Hey Memaw! How are you?

Memaw: Well Happy New Year! How are you Angel?

A: I’m good. I’ve just been really busy this week. Winter Camp was crazy. The kids were great. I’ve just been all over the place. Sorry I never called back this week.

M: Well that’s fine. Just glad to know you’re not stuck outside in a hole somewhere in the snow. Is it sunny where you are?

A: It was but it isn’t right now. Is it sunny there?

M: Well, no. How much snow do you have up there?

A: A lot. It’s really hard to say how much there is at this point.

M: *laughs* Well, I bet it is.

A: How’s Gala?

M: He’s good. You know Gala. He’s top cat around here. He’s been staying inside since that night he had an accident. He just curls up in Pappaw’s chair and meows when he wants to go out. I came downstairs earlier and he looked at me like, “what do you think you’re doing coming down here bothering me?” He’s a funny cat. He’s figured out how to get into the garage on his own so he sleeps on Pappaw’s old orange chair a lot now.

A: He’s a funny cat.

M: Has David come back to camp yet?

A: No and I hope he doesn’t.

M: He might not come back to camp. His girlfriend might not let him. They might be engaged! *laughs*

A: *chuckles* Probably.

M: We’ll be leaving here pretty soon.

A: What do you mean?

M: IRELAND HONEY.

A: Oh yeah.

M: Oh YEAH. *laughs* And I’ll be in Costa Rica.

A: When do you leave?

M: Next Tuesday, the 8th.

A: Oh man. That means I’ll be leaving week after next… Is that right?

M: Well if I’m leaving on the 8th… and you’re leaving on the 16th?

A: 15th.

M: Then that means you’re leaving… the following Wednesday. Yeah, week after next.

A: Man, I need to get my ride sorted out to get to the airport. I hope I don’t get snowed in to where I can’t go. I should have bought the insurance.

M: Yeah, I guess you should have.

A: It was like, 25 dollars. I guess I should have… but I can just delay my flight for a hundred bucks if I need to I think.

M: Well, get it figured out. Now that you’ve bought the ticket, it’s probably too late to get the insurance.

A: Yeah.

-pause-

M: Well, have you decided how you’re going to get back for Christmas next year?

A: No, I need to know where I’m going to to be next year before I can decide about that. Have you already told people about the plan for Christmas next year?

M: *laughs* Yeah, I told everybody!

A: Well even though I don’t know where I’ll be, I’ll figure out a way to get back for Christmas next year.

M: Well honey, you could be in Kalamazoo with a husband and 2 or 3 kids by then! *laughs*

A: Memaw, I can’t have 2 or 3 kids in a year.

M: Twins or triplets you can!

A: Ugh…

M: *laughs hysterically* You sure are funny Miss Adele. UGH! *laughs hysterically*

A: Are there evern twins in our family?

M: Why yes! (names 4-5 sets of twins in her family) But you haven’t got to worry about that. Your clock will run out before you ever have to worry about that. *laughs hysterically*

A: What do you mean Memaw?

M: I mean just how you responded Angel! UGHHH! *laughs hysterically* You’re too afraid to ever settle down and start a family!

A: No, I just want to travel around a bit while I’m young. I need to figure out where I want to work next year.

M: So you’ve decided you don’t want to stay up there?

A: Nah, it’s too comfortable.

M: Yeah, you shouldn’t stay isolated up there in those woods your whole life. You need to put yourself out there. Maybe you should come back to Kentucky.

A: And what? Fry fish? That sounds terrible.

M: No, you could work up front with my new manager and fight things out.

A: No way Memaw. I’ll get things figured out but I just don’t want to live in Kentucky.

M: You talked to Ben lately?

A: Not since Christmas.

M: You and Ben, just wanderin’ all over the place.

A: No, I think he’s buying a house in Lexington.

M: Well that’s what you said last time. Has he done it yet?

A: I don’t know. I’ll have to ask him.

M: Well you travel around a bit and let me know when you’re coming for Christmas. I just finished taking down this years Christmas at the restaurant. Didn’t do anything for Christmas here. I just put it all up and just wait to take it all down again.

A: You should start decorating early this year. July maybe? You can do your Easter tree and Valentine’s tree and all of that.

M: Honey I’m not doin’ all that this year. I had three trees up in the restaurant and we’ve already taken them all down.

A: I was just kidding anyway Memaw. You remember when you did all those crazy trees down at the restaurant?

M: Oh I remember.

-pause-

M: What are you going to do today?

A: I need to buy a camera off the internet, do some laundry, go to the gym, take out the trash… I actually should probably be getting off here soon.

M: Yes, well, it sound like you have a busy day ahead of you. I’ll talk to you later hun.

A: OK. Love you. Bye Memaw.

M: Love you too hun. Bye bye.

*I left out a part about my paintings, a part about Valentine’s Day and a part about chocolate covered cherries that she says I bought for Dad and Vaughn knowing I’d never get around to sending them- that I’d have to eat them myself. She’s probably right. Also, She doesn’t like chocolate covered strawberries or bourbon balls. She had her first chocolate covered strawberry at Martell’s 50th wedding anniversary.