I tried to be anonymous today. I made my way into the 'city' and tried to be young and free like I used to be, in this same city. I failed to exchange both boys new jeans as they didn't have their sizes in stock and so I ordered some and decided to reward my efforts with 'proper grown up coffee' in the city. By the way, I don't even like coffee so much but I really like the ritual of it all. I get that from my hubby. I love his processes, his love of it. So I borrow this from him, plus, I like the shakiness of my hands that comes after I have indulged. I feel a little giddy afterwards, like the feeling you get when you take a long drag on a cigarette when you haven't smoked for a long time. I don't smoke, so I get my shaky buzz this way, today on a slightly chilled friday morning in my city. It may not be New York but it is my home, my city.
After my coffee, I took a walk. I smiled internally as I walked past the Starbucks where nearly ten years ago I told my dear friend Sarah that I was pregnant. I made eye contact with a middle aged man in a suit. We smiled. I wondered what his day would look like, and then carried on walking. Walking past my old place of work, I looked up to my old office, in that museum that I worked at for a time. As I continued, I walked past some shops and could see my reflection and I caught myself imitating again. I do this. My hubby has grown a huge beard that he constantly handles with his right hand, smoothing down moustache, bringing his fingertips together till he creates a point at the space under his chin. Then I see myself, I'm doing it too. I'm such a copycat! Well apart from the beard and moustache, if I do have them, I haven't purposefully grown them! I used to steal laughs and before that I would steal stories. I'm such a thief. No, those words are too strong. I'll call myself a collector, a storer of sounds and scenes, of things.
Over lunch, in a different cafe, I mull over the interesting conversation that I had with the nice guy at the gallery I visited. We talked about the exhibition, about our frustrations with the limitation of an elitist sub culture, about our interests, about how much fun it is to grow up with siblings and how dedicated you can be to the practice of finding new ways to annoy them. I liked his description of balancing on the stairs bannister when he was young, so that he could peer through the glass window just above his younger sisters door, where he would watch her talking to her toys as she pretended to be the headmistress of a school. I thought about some words expressed by Lee Bul, the showing artist at the gallery I visited today. She had this to say:
These words felt very comfortable, very soothing. I like process, I like this process. In fact I think these words are exactly what I do here, right here on this blog. I like to think that one day, I might just gather enough ideas to make it all more concrete and specific.