Tuesday, November 24, 2009


Been in the new house a couple of weeks now, and I've been feeling pretty fine and mellow. So good, in fact, that a fall was inevitable. Now here it is.

Not quite my old unwanted companion depression, but still a familiar acquaintance: melancholy. But it's a gray, rainy day, and the coming of Thanksgiving reminds me that I really don't have any family to share it with. A sense of being alone has returned, the only company I'll have this holiday.

Surprisingly, though, I'm spending less time on the well-traveled boulevards. I'm not dwelling on the failure of my marriage to Sue Ellen, or the family I might have had with Tabbatha and Paul, or even my more recent assignations with Katie and Jessica. (So many names--it's kind of nice to know I have a past. How much better, though, to have a present.)

I'm thinking instead of the things that slipped by completely, the things that could have happened but didn't. Like the girl whose name I don't even remember that I spent some time with at a writer's conference I attended. She was maybe eighteen, I was only twenty-one, and we were much younger than most of the other attendees. She said she liked the story of mine that had been discussed in a group the day before, and I tried to play it cool, saying it wasn't even one of my better efforts, and I had plenty more, maybe she'd like to read them sometime. She said she'd like that, but no definite plans were made, and we saw each other only occasionally throughout the day's activities. At the end of the day, I found myself talking to some of the other attendees, one of whom I saw as a possible path to publication. Out of the corner of my eye, I saw the girl lingering by the doorway, looking in my direction. I continued talking. Finally, she left. The conference was over.

There were others, some of whom I knew better, more intimately, but who somehow failed to gain traction on my heart. (I'm busting out the overwrought metaphors like crazy today, aren't I? Must be the weather...) They all mattered a great deal to me once, but ultimately they were filed away into memories and mostly forgotten. Today, for some reason, they have chosen to visit, to pay homage to my own haplessness.

I thank them for stopping by, and I don't wish to be a bad host, but I can't wait for them to leave.