Saturday, November 19, 2005

haunted

last sunday, i was brunching with salimah and a friend of hers at the one world when suddenly she looked over my head and said, 'oh my gosh!' i asked her what was going on, and she said, 'mackenzie astin is right behind you.' i turned to see him, but the sun was shining so brightly, i couldn't make his face out, even though he was probably 2 feet from me, at the most. he then turned and walked out of the restaurant, and as he went through the door, i managed to catch the side of his face and realized that, in fact, it was him.

a few minutes later, he was back in, standing by the counter waiting for the order he had apparently placed. i was feeling distracted by our disengaged waiter and was more than a bit annoyed that i kept having to ask him for things that he should have been giving us as a matter of course. i had just asked him for some straws when a hand appeared around my shoulder and gave them to me. i realized in that moment that mackenzie astin had just handed me straws, but it struck me as so odd that i didn't really react - just said thanks and then went on about the conversation i was having with salimah and her friend.

suddenly i found myself being preoccupied with wanting to talk to him. okay, so a bit of background is in order: i faithfully watched 'the facts of life' as a young girl and was still a fan when he appeared for, i believe, three seasons between 1985 and 1988, along with a very young george clooney. i was an oddly sensitive child, and from the first time i saw him on tv, i always thought that there was something different about him...like he was very sensitive, too - or maybe lonely or sad - although i wasn't sure. and then, in the late 90s when he reappeared into my landscape in 'dream for an insomniac,' i remember being struck by that same feeling.

okay, so i'm sitting there feeling like i should talk to him, so i decided to say something particularly cheesy, in the hopes that he would find it somehow amusing and/or that it would make his day that someone remembered back to his early career. so i leaned over and told him that i appreciated him in the facts of life, to which he smiled, introduced himself, and then struck up a several minute conversation (including a really beautiful anecdote about 'dream for an insomniac,' which i also brought up). at the end of the brief exchange, he told us that he had to go and bring some stuff to his stepmother who was waiting outside, said he'd be back to town in the spring and that he might see me again, and then he was off.

okay, now why am i writing all this down? in truth, the fact that i met him doesn't really impact me because he's a celebrity (although for about a day afterward, i was feeling that 'wasn't that cool?' vibe) but instead because of that un-nameable thing that i sensed about him almost 20 years ago. it's still there. something about him seems alone and perhaps a bit sad - lost - i don't know. but i feel like he needs a friend, someone to lift him up in a way. this may seem weird, but i nearly invited him over for dinner before he walked out. i thought better of it, but now i wish i hadn't.

salimah saw him again tonight, smoking alone in the dark. she said hello, but he didn't hear her, and when she passed that way again, he was gone.

i hope i see him again. who knows if he'd remember my name, but i feel like there's something i have to say to him. maybe it's something he needs to hear.

Saturday, November 12, 2005



seattle’s best

i watched the lovers lean in
to tell their delicious secrets–
the capped man beside them
oblivious and lost
in a metaphysical how-to manual.
the girls beside me pored over
the latest rags and celebrity gossip,
convinced they would never become
“so gross” as those overpriced and
underloved starlets
they secretly worship.
and earlier, the light on the bottles
of green and hibiscus teas
made me think of the tropics
and how i’d rather be there
basking in the late-day sun
than sitting here,
steeped in suburban ennui,
trying to capture a photo
of the dark-haired, disco-chic barista
who danced seductively to the jackson 5
and stevie wonder
while he frothed the milk
for my espresso dream.
he was hair gel and romance,
the memory of my early 20s–
of foolishness and unfettered desire,
dead-end jobs and high-end cocktails,
of yearning echoing
through a marble hotel lobby
the night i got drunk on my birthday
and sang a love song to a bartender
who would later remember me
as “the best ‘my funny valentine’ i ever heard.”
-sarah hedges 12 november 2005

Thursday, November 10, 2005

somewhere behind the gray

as i sit at my desk and write this entry, the sky is filled with clouds. seriously, i look up and it is gray, gray, gray - so dank and depressing....but then there is this one small corner, behind which i can see that there's sun. the blue is peeking out, as if to remind me see? i'm still here. even if you can't see me, i haven't gone anywhere....

i'm reading this book right now, and i have to say: it's knocking my socks off. God is really using the words on these pages to speak to someplace deep inside of me, and i have to admit - it's hard to keep my eyes from welling up as i read each chapter. see, i've realized some things over the last couple of weeks, one of which is that i am on a quest to really find a part of myself that went missing about 26 years ago. that's a long time for something to be gone - so much so that no one would blame me if i just let it go and didn't stop to look back.

but it's not a matter of what i could do; it's a matter of what i WILL do. for the last five years, i've been looking for something, but i wasn't sure what exactly. now i have a vision for this un-nameable thing, a picture in my mind - if you will - so that when i see it, i will know it without question.

it must be this way. i am on a bullet train towards understanding, and even though there are times that get depressing and on days like today, it's looking like rain, i fully believe with my whole heart that the sun is gonna shine again....

Friday, November 04, 2005

summer's lease hath all too short a date....

okay, so it's officially fall. how do i know this? the preponderence of burning leaf smells and the fact that daylight savings time is kicking my butt.

i'm seriously tired this week. i'm not sure if it's because i got a flu shot on monday, or because of the time change, or because i'm just tuckered out from lots of thinking and feeling and being. sometimes life can just wear a girl out....

news flash: some dude from the hopkins annual fund just called me, and frankly, he was such a nice kid, i couldn't NOT give him money. we chatted for nearly half an hour about his first year at jhu, how he feels about the culture of the school, the urban legends on campus, etc. it brought me back to the days when i still felt like so many things were possible for me. not that i don't now, but 30 is a lot different than 18....

anyway, i've got the whole night to myself, so i'm going to eat some sushi and noodle salad from trader joe's, curl up with a book and some cooking shows, and ready myself for what i hope is a relaxing weekend. tomorrow i'm meeting up with an old friend, his wife, and their baby - who is, incidentally, so freaking cute, i could just die. i'll try to post pics if i'm able....

TGIF? oh yes, thank God indeed....