Feeling like I'm being watched as I eat cookies at the kitchen table, I look out the window and see a bird gazing in my direction. Repeatedly hitting the window and failing to shoo it away, I move to the counter and continue to eat my cookies hidden from view.
Having trouble sleeping, late one night, I decide to go out front and clean out the gutters. I end up falling to the ground on my back from the top of the ladder, and laugh at what a sight I'd have been had a neighbor been watching from their window.
In a Pensacola taxi cab taken from the airport, the driver shares with me his musical ambitions and even starts singing to me, showcasing his talent. As we arrive at the hotel and I'm paying my fare, he takes out paper and pen and asks me if I'd like his autograph.
I sit in the backyard swing for hours, admiring my bare, sunlit feet and observe the moving of shadows.
Out of my mind, I take a knife and slash up my leather recliner - then drag it to the dumpster.
I cover my bedroom wall with framed black and white photographs of karmic friends I've had throughout my life - one by one, all together, and loved.
My mother and I make Rice Krispie treats for a school Christmas party, formed in to wreaths with green food coloring and Red Hots.
In the early morning darkness, on a bus ride to work, I sit next to a homeless man and listen as he tells me his troubles.
While working at the dining room table, my grandmother brings in a gardenia for me to smell, freshly cut from the backyard bush.
Two of my best friends and I lie on the ground under a cold night sky and we see a shooting star - two of us for the first time.
Somehow I lose my wallet at the park, and not two hours later, the man who found it - someone who lives a few streets over - calls me to return it.
I join a gym and am assigned a personal trainer who likes to call me "Hoss."
Craving a smoke, with no money to waste, I habitually rifle through ash trays at the entrances of public places, picking out cigarette butts not completely smoked to the filter, that other people have left thoughtlessly behind.
In an impulsive, ill-conceived plot to run away to Mexico, my friend and I take the bus downtown. After coming out of a McDonald's restroom and discovering that my friend has gone, I wander the streets wildly upset, crying and yelling out. Passersby behold me with more curiosity than concern - but someone does approach me and I'm grateful for their kindness.
On New Year's Day, in the restroom stall of a grocery store, I spy an email address written on the wall in ink, which I memorize. Later on, I send the stranger a message wishing them a happy new year. I get a reply back in which he tells me his stats, that he's married, and that he would need to be discreet. I reply back asking what his wife would think if she knew her husband were leaving his email address in strange restrooms. I ask him how many times he has met people this way. I ask him if he is unhappy in his marriage. I ask him things completely none of my business just to see what all this stranger would share with me. And then just for fun, I give him my stats, too. When I don't hear back from him, I assure myself that it was my curiosity he found unsexy. Yes, it was my curiosity, I say.
I smoke some weed that I get from a co-worker I hardly know, which is apparently laced with something unbeknown to me, and I spend the next twelve or more hours hallucinating and terrified.
When I see my paternal grandmother for the last time, days before her death - lying in bed, ill - I kiss her cheek and say "I love you." She asks me if I think I'll get to come and see her again. I know that physically, in this lifetime, it isn't going to happen - I live too far, her illness far too advanced. But without hesitation, I say "yes" because I know that outside time and space, we're "reunited" already, before either of us could even experience the other as being "gone."
Mistakenly assuming a co-worker to be gay, I ask him for confirmation - as regardfully as possible - and he tells me that he's straight. Very surprised, he anxiously wants to know all the reasons I would have thought that. I decide that I probably should have kept my mouth shut, remaining curious from a distance.
Taking my container of change to the Coinstar machine in the grocery store, I am slightly irritated when twice the machine shuts down during the transaction. While again waiting for an employee to assist me, I put a dollar in the nearby lottery machine and buy a winning $50 scratch-off. Having won that, my issues with the Coinstar machine and box of change feel slightly less urgent.
My friend and I volunteer to answer the phones and take contributions during a PBS member campaign. We have a good time, and we end up on live TV for a fraction of a second - or so we're told.
Outside a pool hall, I lay my head in a friend's lap and she sings to me, reassuring and kind.