I sit here. Alone. Plugged in. In the back of a big coffee shop. With the other lonely souls and their screens. I sit on a tall stool. At a tall table. It is round and rickety. Blanketed in my stuff. My blinking BlackBerry. Always blinking. A small stack of books. A wrinkled sheet of paper on which I scribble notes. Plans. Things I hope to do. It’s a mess, this table. And I’ve only been here for ten minutes. Empty Splenda packets are scattered. My oatmeal is finished. And now.
And now. I will write. Today is one of those days where the ideas are everywhere. Lurking. Bubbling. Fighting for expression. And they all seem lovely and I’m having a hard time choosing. Do I write about the theory that we can’t know ourselves until we know our parents? Do I write about the fact Baby is saying words, actual words? Do I write about the fact that I dreamed about shopping at Abercrombie drunk and buying countless pairs of jeans, jeans attached to nets holding chirping birds? Do I write about the precarious childcare dance between wives and husbands during the newborn phase? Do I write about my magical dinner out last night with Mommy Friends where we shared stories of first school days and then dared to talk about life B.C. (Before Children)?
So. Many. Ideas. Good ones. And, cloaked in a thin veil of indecision, I divert my muddled mind. The beauty of the Internet. I pop by a new and favorite blog. And I read my new friend’s latest entry. And suddenly all of my ideas fizzle and float. All of a sudden they seem indulgent and academic and made of sugar. All of a sudden I feel lucky to have these ideas hovering around me and not something else.
Nic is a new friend. Our encounter was ruefully random. Somehow, I stumbled upon a piece she wrote about women and alcohol (a fertile topic these days). And then, because I liked her feisty voice, and her brazen way, I shared a link to that piece with others. And then Nic and I started chatting. In the Twittersphere. And then over email. Our emails were wonderful, stuffed with bits and pieces of who we are now and who we want to be and why we are blogging. Very quickly, we realized that we are very different creatures. Nic lives in Annapolis and has tattoos and eschews capitalization and her husband is in the military and she is, not by choice, an expert on newborn feeding issues.
And yet. Through that tapestry of difference, some compelling sameness snaked through. We both love our kids. We both love to write. We both are blogging for reasons known and unknown. We both like wine. We both cling tight to our maiden name, but also have our husband’s name. Her maiden name? Self. Now that is a good name.
This exchange confirmed for me another reason why I am doing this. Why I sit in dim corners of coffee shops and pound the keys of my keyboard and write. I do this to step outside of myself, my world, my lovely and little world where, frankly, so many of the people with whom I surround myself are just like me. Sure, we went to different schools and we have different colored Bugaboos and some of us live in high rises and some in brownstones, but really we are cut from the same cloth. And this is life. This is not a bad thing.
But something in me has an urge to reach out beyond the little snow globe that is my existence. And learn. About others. About different places – geographical and metaphysical. About different people. People with different pasts and different presents. With different experiences and emotions and struggles.
I relished in the uniqueness of my new quasi-friend. And then. I learned that there was more. Nic is a rape survivor. Nic is not only a rape survivor, but she is a brave soul who has decided to share her story to help herself and to help others. And she has opened up about the euphoric aftermath of telling that story. Nic has been through things no one should ever go through. And she has the heart and humility and honesty to talk about these things.
I don’t know her very well, but I hope to get to know her better. Because she seems like a wonderful person. And she’s certainly a wonderful writer. She’s different than I am, but not entirely. No. We all have stories. They have different characters and plots and beginnings and endings, yes. But we all have stories. We all have things, some bigger, some smaller, to process and piece together. Nic has something bigger to deal with and I hope, perhaps foolishly, probably foolishly, that I can, in some small way, help her.
Hey Mom/Grammy/Husband/Me/World – This is why I am blogging. This.
I’ll be honest. I try to play it cool and pretend I don’t care, but your comments make my day, so please leave one here. But also click here and stop by Nic’s site and read today’s poetic and heart-wrenching entry and if you have a moment, leave her your words of encouragement. Can’t hurt.