Sunday, October 4, 2015

Right Here

I wonder sometimes if anyone else feels like we’re all just a bunch of aliens. I mean, that requires there being other aliens, I guess, speaking strictly dictionary. Otherwise, we just are what we are.  But I look at us so often as aliens, walking around and driving and building things on the surface of some strange floating planet. 

And even though I might sound like I’m gazing out of the window of some psych ward, seeing the world like that, I guess it’s just what I do because I get a lot of time to sit and watch the world around me when I commute. Because at this one spot on my drive to work, the view feels like I’m driving over about half of the whole planet. Like the sun’s always in your eyes and the road wraps over a huge curve in front of you forever, and to get form here to there might take a week and you’ll end up upside down (or at least sideways). And there’s some weird all-you-can-eat fish buffet on one side of the freeway and a whole city peeking through smog far away on the other, but that road just wraps over a globe in front of you and there’s just weather patterns in between and endless space surrounding it. 

So you really see where you are. And it’s the proper noun planet Earth, right between Venus and Mars, the one you learn about in science class, floating in sky. And I’m on that planet. And that’s pretty much nuts. And then I look around at everyone else, and then that’s nuts. And then we’re all aliens. 

That’s how that goes.

Which leads me to wonder about what to do and what this is. Or what I am or who we are or what we’re all doing. Sometimes it’s a good thing. Since there’s not a whole lot of pressure being an alien on a planet. That sort of just means you get to be an alien and do what aliens do which is exist mostly.

And sometimes there’s kind of a sadness about it, but that’s more just when it feels confusing being alive in general, even if you’re not an alien, because you want it to mean so much and sometimes the world hurts and those days are hard. Because you feel lost. 

And then I remember something about my Papoo (which is the Greek name for Grandpa, even though he wasn’t Greek, but my Grandma was, she was a real Ya Ya, so we just called him the Greek version anyway). When he was young and clearly lost, someone came up to him and asked, “Are you lost, kid?” and he giggled and said, “No, I’m not lost, I’m right here!” 

Which means a lot to me when I’m feeling lost.

Other things that mean a lot to me seem to be the most simple things. Those make a lot of sense. Like when Z and I order Indian delivery, which is pretty much our favorite thing, besides Bossa Nova delivery, and besides making our own pasta and eating it out of the new pasta bowls that are basically perfect and anything tastes better in those big white bowls. Like the Greek rice from my childhood. And soup. 

And brunch with friends. That means a lot. And going to movies is good. And dancing around at work because you’re bored. 

And when we curl up and go to sleep. That makes sense. Then the world just holds us. This weird planet, we just lie down on top of it. We close our eyes, we breathe, the earth spins, the universe expands.

There will be commutes and sun in your face and Papoos who aren’t Greek. But no matter what we are, and no matter what we’re supposed to do, we’re really never lost. 

We’re right here.

Thursday, September 10, 2015


There’s a memory we all have and it’s of my dad and how he would come up right behind you and wrap one of his arms around you. Arms that built our home. Arms that chopped the wood to keep our two sweet fireplaces glowing all winter. Arms that plowed the driveway and made the best steel cut oatmeal every morning that mostly no one ate. Arms that made pancakes from scratch on the regular and whisked milk for cappuccinos and drummed on the tables and hung upside down on yoga ropes and dug out sled runs on the hillside and fixed all the cars and gave you presents and wrapped a scarf so cozy around your neck before you left the house. Arms that pulled on your toes to wake you up in the morning and waved to all of the locals when we would go downtown to get the paper and you could see in their eyes that they felt lucky to know him while you felt so lucky to be able to have him come up and wrap one of those arms around you and hold you close. And in that place, with his strong arm around you, everything was good and safe, and you were loved more than any single thing on the whole planet.