Good enough

October was … anticlimactic. A bit of a failure. Rain, rain and more rain, accompanied by a gale that tore the leaves from the trees in record time, long before I had the time, inclination and opportunity to go gaze at them. The shops, usually packed to the rafters with skulls and pumpkins, stood bereft of halloweeny crap. Everyone anticipated a very flat all hallow’s eve, and they were not wrong: a total of zero children knocked on my door in search of treats, and they were right. Risk getting a virus for a cheap chocolate? It doesn’t seem like a good exchange.

I ate all the sweets I bought just in case, watched some horror movies, listened to my (ever wonderful) halloween playlist, didn’t carve a jack o’lantern, barely decorated the house and went to bed on a sugar high, low spirits mood.

The good news is we are alive and well. And that’s good enough.

What the living do.

“Johnny, the kitchen sink has been clogged for days, some utensil probably fell down there. And the Drano won’t work but smells dangerous, and the crusty dishes have piled up waiting for the plumber I still haven’t called. This is the everyday we spoke of.

It’s winter again: the sky’s a deep, headstrong blue, and the sunlight pours through the open living-room windows because the heat’s on too high in here and I can’t turn it off. For weeks now, driving, or dropping a bag of groceries in the street, the bag breaking, I’ve been thinking: This is what the living do.

And yesterday, hurrying along those wobbly bricks in the Cambridge sidewalk, spilling my coffee down my wrist and sleeve, I thought it again, and again later, when buying a hairbrush: This is it.

Parking. Slamming the car door shut in the cold. What you called that yearning.
What you finally gave up. We want the spring to come and the winter to pass. We want whoever to call or not call, a letter, a kiss–we want more and more and then more of it.

But there are moments, walking, when I catch a glimpse of myself in the window glass, say, the window of the corner video store, and I’m gripped by a cherishing so deep for my own blowing hair, chapped face, and unbuttoned coat that I’m speechless:

I am living. I remember you.”

– Marie Howe