People keep saying time is meaningless now and I guess what they are talking about is the flattening of experience. I think about the details of my day, the things that I could write about and there are no big stories, just things that happened or keep happening, at some point in the recent or distant past, any of which may or may not be worth mentioning or remembering.
I hurt my back, pulled something on a bike ride, and then couldn’t walk for almost two weeks. But yesterday I went for a bike ride and marveled at how much stronger I feel recently. I spoke to an old old friend last week and she sent me her resume to review. Yesterday at work a coworker who I have never met asked if he could send me his resume to review. I liked a recent episode of Strange New Worlds so much I watched it twice and disliked a Tom Cruise movie so much I fast forwarded through it, essentially watching it at 2x, determined to get to the end only to verify its badness.
I texted in all caps and exclamation points with a former coworker now friend. I texted in emoji hearts with a different former coworker now friend. I talked about the emoji differences between Teams and Slack with a third former coworker now friend. I made a new recipe for dinner that came out really well and another one that came out not great but not as memorably terrible as another one I made, and I don’t remember the order these things happened in.
I keep lists of things that I want to do at some point, and it’s things like “go to Uniqlo” and it just stays there on the list in my phone, for weeks, a thing I don’t do. And then one day I go to Uniqlo and wander around for 6 minutes and leave wondering why I thought I needed to go there. We went to the Paul McCartney concert and parts of it were so fun, life long memory-making in real time, and parts of it were so un-fun that we wonder if we shouldn’t have gone at all. The things I end up liking the most (the fireworks and pyrotechnics, the friend of a friend who told us about a secret parking spot close to Fenway, the people in the row in front of us having the best time of their lives) have nothing to do with whatever was happening on stage.
And: we went to an art show a few weeks ago and more than the art for sale I remember the setting, the weather, the people’s outfits, certain families. One of the artists asked very politely if he could ask me about one of my tattoos. We went to another art show the following weekend and another artist wanted to talk about the same tattoo. While we were there I thought I saw someone I knew in the crowd, and it reminded me that the last time we went to this same art show, 4 years ago, pre-pandemic, I saw someone I thought I knew in the crowd. Both times I made no attempt to talk to the person. And, one time, deep in the first winter of the pandemic, I went to Target, and saw someone I knew there and didn’t say anything. I was likely completely unrecognizable in a hat & mask. We stood in the men’s section, side by side, looking at mittens. This is someone I text with, someone I have hung out with socially on multiple occasions, someone I have selfies with on my phone. They didn’t recognize me and I was not moved to say anything to them. I also remember not finding the mittens I wanted. Other times I have been to Target and found exactly what what I was looking for, and stopped to say hi to people I only vaguely recognize. Sometimes after I go to Target I get emails asking me to review my experience and I enjoy filling them out.
Every night at dinner I ask my younger son about the highlights and lowlights of his day and he says, Eh, nothing. I ask him for 2-3 details about his day, big or small, important or not important, and he says, Eh, nothing. I ask him if he saw anything cool or interesting or different or weird on his walk to or from school. I lean towards him and say: I demand to hear about the poetry of your day, and mean it.
I find a screenshot on my phone of Lindsey’s idea for a tattoo that just says “the first verse of coyote” and then I think “No regerts Coyote” and can’t stop thinking about it. I almost use it as the title for this post but decide I want to keep it buried in here.
Every morning I write down my dreams and wonder how much of them I am forgetting. As if it matters on some level that I am otherwise working hard to avoid. So there.