Ten.Four Hundred & Eighty-Seven

1. Maritza was a ticket agent but she couldn’t help me. No one could help me get the rest of the 5 boarding passes. I just wanted to get home.

2. My phone says that it’s a planning day. Meaning, I have to schedule the transport of the car and prepare the other for sale, call the new school to see if there’s room for my kids and decide on a start day, wait for boxes to be delivered, arrange funds, pack.

3. Hot water with lemon in front of the fireplace. The sound of something clinking against the dryer drum, rain drops on window screens refracting the light.

4. The school secretary seems dismissive but then I realize that I called her right at the beginning of the school day.

5. Maybe it’s adrenaline but I’m not hungry at all.

6. She’s late but also on time. I wish that it hadn’t had to be like this for all of these years. I still mourn what could have been.

7. It’s really the most perfect kind of weather for Halloween. Last year was so cold; the year before that I think was a little rainy. Or maybe that was the really warm day? Today is really beautiful and I don’t mind standing outside in the line to watch the parade.

8. Everyone seems to be a little out of sorts. She gives me a hug and apologizes for talking back. I tell her that it’s okay. We’re all a little stressed and tired.

9. The kids want to trick-or-treat with friends. I try to explain that in the old neighborhood we had friends and those kinds of plans but that I did not hear anything from anyone about groups and so, like last year, we’ll walk together as a family and then see what happens.

10. He says that maybe in the next city I shouldn’t talk so openly in my social media posts about my discomforts or observations about where I live. That maybe that kind of honesty creates distance. That people don’t understand me. I try to think about all the things that I might have wrote 1.5 years ago. “You’re warm,” he says, “but only after you get to know someone.” I tell him that friendships also take time and that we were barely here. But I am feeling judged.

10.1 He opens old wounds. I’ve spent a lot of my life learning how to belong. And I did try here too. Two dinner parties, an herbal workshop, an attempt at a wine and poetry reading. I did try. And if nothing else, I was just being myself. I am spiraling into all the ways I might have offended my neighbors with what I perceived to be openness that could have come across as judgement. I am reminded to mind my words. I’m also reminded that this is the danger of thinking you can know someone through this digital realm only.

10.2 I’ll try again and do better or differently in the next place.