Pak’s Alterations squatted third from the corner, one of a handful of tiny businesses that butted up against each other, along the block. A rare books shop, a used-record store, a juice bar. Their doors opened right onto the sidewalk, hand-lettered signs on cardboard stuck in the windows. Curbside customer parking provided, except for a yellow loading zone at one end.
My white husband pulled up at the curb to drop me off in front of Pak’s. He grabbed his phone. “I’ll wait in the car.”
He’d stopped in the yellow. Maybe he hadn’t noticed. Hand on the door handle…
A girlfriend told me she loved to hop in her car and take day trips by herself, and she kayaked solo whenever she had the chance. She enjoyed her own company as much as she enjoyed the company of others. She called it dating herself. The whole idea astonished me.
Being alone on purpose was inconceivable. Whenever I had to be by myself, it meant that I couldn’t find anyone to invite. It meant no one had invited me. It meant I was a failure. The idea of dating myself snatched me off balance, like the tide sucking the sand…
I’m waiting for aspirin to dull the morning ache in my neck.
I’m waiting for my yoga teacher to let me into Zoom class.
I’m waiting for caffeine to turn my grogginess to zoom-zoom-zoom.
I’m waiting for my mind to get quiet. Time to meditate.
I’m waiting for my mind to get busy. Time to write.
I’m waiting for the timer to ding! the end of my writing session. Time to take a break.
I’m waiting for publishing jargon (formatter, distributor, retail outlet …) to vacate my brain — free up space for useful words, like do-dads.
I’m waiting for…
When I was a kid, it didn’t pay to get sick or have a toothache. Nobody was going to take you to a doctor or dentist. Health insurance? Are you kidding? Tummy ache? Suck it up and don’t whine.
When I became a working woman, the magic of insurance gradually taught me that attending to differed from whining about. I was learning how to take care of myself. Toothache? Go to the dentist. Pain? Go to the you-name-it.
Sciatica? Doctor. Chiropractor. Acupuncturist. Ice. Heat. Rest. Massage. Yoga.
Stiff neck? Ditto.
Screaming shoulder? Ditto. (Add orthopedist.)
There’s a fixer for every…
When I was in high school in California, I liked to stand at the shoreline, challenging the ocean. Waves rushed in and slammed against my legs at the same time that the sand was sucked out from under my feet. It was exhilarating, the sensation of slightly off-balance, the smell of salt on the breeze.
At seventy, I’m pulled inward and outward simultaneously. Inward toward quiet self-reflection. Toward acceptance. Smart enough to stop trying to prove it. Getting comfortable with my intuition, which has proven to be more reliable than my calendar. I’m slowly adjusting to reading for pleasure without…
Kansas City, MO
January 13, 2020
Report commissioned by: Dawn Downey, CEO of DD Inc.
Diversity Committee Members:
Dawn Downey, Blogger
Dawn Downey, Lifestyle Critic
Dawn Downey, Accountant
Dawn Downey, Readers’ Representative
Implementation assigned to: Dawn Downey, Public Relations Director for DD Inc.
This Report follows an investigation launched after Concerned Citizen Dawn Downey lodged an official complaint with the Dawn Downey Diversity Committee: Complaint #159, dated November 1, 2019. The Complainant (Dawn Downey) alleges that Author Dawn Downey practices and perpetuates segregation inside the Dawn Downey Friendship Circle. In fact, the Complainant alleges Author Dawn Downey has become color-blind…