Friday, May 30, 2014

Cheerleading's Dangerous

This place is impossibly green. I keep rubbing my eyes and wondering why it seems to much greener than any other place I've lived. Washington is the Evergreen state and Vermont is the Green Mountain state so surely I've seen this before.

Maybe I've just forgotten, like we all do every winter. But I think it's more than that. In Washington the green is tempered with grey, in New England I remember there being colors everywhere. Flowering trees and lilacs and fields full of orange. Here, in the piece of woods where I walk every morning with the dog, it's just green. Green leaves with green vines twisting like a jungle.
I watched the whole thing this year, the forest shoot up alive after the winter, the lime frost on the branches thickening into yellow fuzz, and then one day, 80 degrees and sun filtering through leaves. Every day I've been in those woods, for hours on end. My two best friends in this new place continue to be my dog and my bike. This might indicate that I've been avoiding the sometimes-tiring work of making real, people friends, but that's only a little bit true.

During the school year I had these weekly bursts of social interactions that always left me buzzing and happy. I sat in the front of the class in Anatomy and Physiology, between two girls who I was friendly with. One of them would crack every bone in her body and then lean in and whisper, "Cheerleading's dangerous." The other one loved bees. 

Between these two and the enormous amounts of coffee I would drink during each class, and the fastidious and color coded system I developed to take notes, full of stunningly complicated mnemonics and indecipherable diagrams, I grew quite fond of school and the effortless social high it left me with.

The panic of a Friday night yawning before me with no real plans was blissfully lost on me, as I could always hide behind my text book and the highlighters with the liquid ink that I love so much. I could fall asleep early and feel like a responsible person, not a lonely one. 
Every Monday night Dave and I go over to our friends' house and watch Game of Thrones. After the episode we watch the trailer for the next week, briefly discuss the agony of poor Theon, agree that Daenerys has bitten off more than she can chew, and then it's off to our houses and to sleep. 

Tuesday I work at the Cider House, pouring out little flights of cider and talking to the men who sit at the bar all evening, and Wednesday I play a game of frisbee with my team on the Asheville Spring League. We always lose, usually by one, and again I go home giddy with the buzz of adrenaline and lactic acid and the charm of that certain awkward, athletic crowd that ultimate draws, the one that's so familiar to me it feels like family. 

All that studying paid off in the end. I finished the class with a 99 and endured the teacher, who would often stand in front of me, knock his fist against my desk and tell the class, "Some people don't think their grade is ever good enough. Some people will never be satisfied." And the girl next to me would whisper, "He's so mean to you!" Then she'd crack her neck and add, "Cheerleading's dangerous." 
Then one day I woke up with nothing much to do. School was over for the summer, spring league was over, and even my bar tending job sent me home one day because it was too slow. I called some friends but nobody was free. You know that feeling when you're suddenly aimless. When you've been very busy and wishing for a long stretch of free time, and then it hits you and it feels kind of like a crisis. 

I'm just a little anxious is all. It seems like I always am. 


Andrew Takahashi said...

I literally dropped what I was doing when I saw this was posted. Totally worth the bent box and (thankfully not!) bent toys.

Cheryl said...

I know this feeling of aimlessness. Of having empty hours to fill like empty bowls, and nothing to put in them.

I'm a new follower and have loved reading through your past entries. You write beautifully :-)

Heather Goodell said...

I hate those feelings! I feel like am always wishing for a day, a week, a month with nothing to do and when it comes, I feel crazy for not knowing what to do with myself.

meg bird said...

I love all of the little details you cleverly weave into your writing. Real people friends are tricky.

Jona said...

Does this mean more blog posts?! Every cloud...:-)

Rachel said...

I'm visiting my home state, Minnesota, right now, and it's SO GREEN here too. Like...ridiculously neon, everywhere. It's been especially hard for my eyes to adjust because it's been an eternity since we've had any rain in Los Angeles, so greenness there is practically nonexistent.

Craftysquirrel said...

Love this piece, when I feel like this I knit - meditative, occupies my mind and I make something as a bonus - not really a summer activity but in those moments of not knowing what to do fills the gap.

Anonymous said...

I adore the way you write. You suck me into your stories and I'm never quite ready for them to end.

Karen said...

Thank you, thank you for writing again.

Sian said...

oh I've missed your posts, your writing, your lovely life. And yes I know that feeling exactly xxx

meghanssj said...

I am so happy when you are able to post. Your writing is so great. You are in that narrow category of 2-3 bloggers who could write about things that I don't do or totally understand, but I don't want to miss a word. You are a skilled. I hope you always find time, now and then, to write. This was straight-up truth for me: "You know that feeling when you're suddenly aimless. When you've been very busy and wishing for a long stretch of free time, and then it hits you and it feels kind of like a crisis." This is me and my husband after work, especially on Friday, when we have no plans. We're so used to being booked, and in demand. All we want is free time and freedom, but when we get it, then what? It is a crisis, as you said. I don't want to waste the time, but I might not have the energy to make something productive and beautiful with it. Okay, I'm over-commenting. But I found, and fell in love with your blog right before you got so busy... I am over-responding, but really, I meant to just be encouraging!