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Too much summer this year.

Brutal, agonizing, lovely summer. Static rainbow-striped umbrellas. Kids. Another sunburn, another beer.

…slowly and suddenly, a shift.

The leaves crowd up the curbs, and the air dries up my lips. My spirits lift with the ends of my hair and the corner of my scarf.

Something’s brewing, somewhere. I want to know where it goes. I want it to stay.

The sun is the same, but brighter. And colder. The work is the same, but better. And shorter. The music is richer. The tea-making, constant. The people are warmer, closer. Hopeful.

One of these days, we WILL have Christmas. I know that now.

Sorry to cross-post, but…

I wrote about Good Friday and other things.

I grew up in a suburb of Miami, where sweating just meant that at some point between March and November you had stepped outside for more than five seconds. Humidity was a way of life.

I planned high school encounters with people I wanted to impress around whether or not I would have enough time to duck into the bathroom and absorb the sweet air conditioning and self-consciously dab my armpits with a paper towel.

But this is California.

Here pretty people wear UnderArmor shirts and matching legging-pants and jog around next to busy downtown streets just to show that they’re sweating and they’re good at it.

I didn’t get it.

In college I learned about things like “working out” and “going for a run.” They’re like sports, except not. No points, no teams, just lots of grunting and repetition.

But then I kept doing those things. And I started to like the part at the end. The part when all of a sudden you stop, and gasp, and feel the cold air. And realize how warm you are. And you’re sweating.

And you just kind of own the world for one gaspy second.

In this box.

That first awkward high school meetup that I agonized over whether to call a date.

That forgettable romantic comedy made all the more forgettable by the couple next to us making out.

That music festival in Orlando where we hung out and talked about EVERYTHING.

That other movie that was probably really good, but I can’t remember because he was holding my hand for most of it so I mostly had to concentrate on breathing.

That same music festival the next year, where we admitted to everyone in the church bus that we liked each other.

That senior prom with the awful Wizard of Oz theme where my mom made us take a million and a half pictures.

 

[That space of three and a half years.]

 

That invitation to his wedding in Australia.
…but I can’t afford the plane ticket.

Such a funny-sounding word.

Today the agenda is simple: reinvent myself. Become sophisticated. Grow up.

My Panera Bread iced coffee cheers me on as I research job openings and polish my resume until it squeaks. I flip through hairstyle magazines to see what I could do to look like a business-professional version of Katie Holmes.

I’m setting up meetings, coordinating projects, paying bills. I’m like the girl in that Cake song who “uses a machete to cut through red tape.” Almost.

And then it’s time for the simplest of the day’s business–redeeming my coupon for a free pastry. It’s a pumpkin spice muffin with sugary goodness on top. Keeps the same classy vibe as my coffee.

One bite and my new dress is covered in bits of goodness. One exhale and the powdery sugar topping decorates my laptop keyboard. One napkin is no defense.

Maybe tomorrow the sophistication will kick in.

What builds community?

It’s a question that’s been asked for centuries, with millions spent on research and incentives, community-building exercises and psychoanalysis. Which sometimes help and sometimes don’t. Getting people to willfully interact with one another and build relationships instead of “doing their own thing” in this day and age is getting harder and harder. Technology distracts us and gives us the ability to go through our daily routines in isolation.

We don’t have a formula for creating community. But sometimes you just need

a bunch of people

with a bunch of chips

and only one bowl of salsa.

Today is my first day as an adult.

When my roommate took off for her camp job, she left me what I can only describe as a white plastic rolly-drawer-thing. Today, as I prepared for my new roommate’s arrival, I gave it a shot.

Two hours later, it’s completely full of all of the junk that had been attacking my couch since the beginning of my last finals week ever, and even the junk that had been slowly swallowing my night table and the top of my dresser since the semester started.

I feel so contained.