Friday, April 29, 2005

mary janes

Yesterday I taught my last class, or what may be my last class—real, all mine, all semester—for a while.

Walking to the bar, on Wednesday, the regular night with my friend the mathematics professor, my drink was waiting out on the table, the way the bartender leaves out cards and a notebook for the weekly games. Kir—which I may be misspelling—white wine with redness descending. I saw it from the window, sitting on a square napkin.

Someone remembered. I am remembered.

I am here. I am in this dress. I am in this world of paperclips and postage stamps, and I start to wonder, seeing my last student out the door…what if this is all there is? What if this was all I got? A messy house, a white cat, a bicycle, a book in pieces? Would I be okay with that? Would it be all right if I never was famous, if the novel never finished, the heroes never kissed, I never baked a perfect soufflé or any soufflé at all? If I never wrote anything that anyone read, would it be all right?

What if I was just a teacher? What if I didn’t have a secret life?

When I was twenty, I met someone that changed me. I tried. I cut my hair, bought leather pants. But that wasn’t who I was. The other day I wore my black cat glasses, jeans skirt, long-sleeved navy tee with a button-down print underneath, khaki trench, bag slung across my chest. Black Mary Janes.

Black Mary Janes haven’t seen the outside of my closet for years. These are just clothes, but it felt right. Maybe I’m not sexy heeled boots. Maybe I’m not big city. Maybe I like library books and peppermint tea and pencils and naps.

I’m not thinking of the future. I’m not making big plans. I’m thinking of this afternoon, will it rain, what will we have for dinner. I'm thinking, this breeze is nice. I'm thinking, I like your hand.

Think of that: to be content. To be here in this moment, in this town, not to wish for more or other.

Think of that. Then be enough.