Brushing past some jasmine after eating curry and roti, post-kayaking
For a few minutes, I think that I could write a poem about the smells in the city
Sour air conditioning
I finally figured out that a change in the weather legitimately makes me feel like garbage. If it’s sunny for a stretch, and then the rain rolls in, I feel like I’ve had too much coffee and not enough food.
Confirming symptoms is not particularly satisfying. It’s out of my control.
It’s also true that I’ve learned another thing about my body over the last six months or so: my skin is way better when I steer away from sugar and alcohol.
Also not satisfying information. It’s in my control.
I liked it better when I ate a whole thing of cookies and had a great roller derby practice, but I wasn’t 39 then.
There were three different lunch periods in my high school. At one point, I got first lunch, and all my friends had a different time. Not only did I not have anyone to eat with, but it also started at 11am or something stupid.
It was a big problem for a 15-year-old.
Eventually, I noticed something. Some kids in my math class would turn in their homework and then… leave. Just leave. And not come back. The teacher was too meek to say anything, and there didn’t seem to be any consequences.
So one day, I just turned in my homework and left. My friends were having lunch in the hallway in the math building.
One day, the teacher caught my attention. “You… left before I handed back tests the other day.” She was more nervous about it than I was.
Sometimes, it’s better to cut your losses. Just leave.
I probably got a B.
I know I’m not a particularly relaxed parent, but I don’t think I’m that uptight, either.
Like, I don’t mind my kids having a little sugar. They get a tiny bit of ice cream or a cookie if they eat their vegetables at dinner.
But I wasn’t expecting to walk into the cafeteria of my kid’s new school, see him with the school lunch, munching down on glittery fresh strawberries.
“Wow,” I said, neutrally. “Are those rolled in sugar?”
The lunch attendant brought him a plastic bag full of plasticware, so he could have a straw for his chocolate milk (second ingredient: liquid sugar).
I expected so much to be hard about this transition, but I didn’t expect that.
Kid lost his first tooth. I mean, he lost it. He probably swallowed it. What are you gonna do.
“Are you going to tell the Tooth Fairy?”
“Yeah, I’ll send her an email.”
“How do fairies email? They’re TINY!!!”
“They have tiny phones they can check.”
He accepted this. “What does the Tooth Fairy do with all the teeth?”
Me, solemnly: “We don’t know. That’s Fairy Business.”
When I was a kid, I had a special job.
When my parents were at a meeting at my elementary school — they went to PTO meetings, but this must’ve been a Cub Scout or Boy Scout thing — I helped clean out the lost and found.
I don’t have any memory of what this entailed, except that there were a lot of socks. How do people lose so many socks, I’d wonder. At school?
As my reward, Steve the janitor would treat me to a soda from the machine, which I’d enjoy with him in the teachers’ lounge.
A soda AND hanging out in the teachers’ lounge. Told you it was a special job.
Steve couldn’t read, or couldn’t read well, but he liked the “funnies.” So we’d chat a bit about the comics we liked best.
There was a rumor later that one of the janitors had a side job sharpening Tonya Harding’s ice skates.
I wonder what happened to Steve.