Last night I went out with a friend and we talked about the things we used to do to amuse ourselves and why don't we do them anymore. Mainly I feel like my time should be spent on something Useful and I now know that the raindrops don't really care if I moderate their races, no matter how intense they seem to be. I did officiate on the bus window today, for old times' sake, and yeah, I still got it.
I used to imagine that somebody might be interested in my every thought. I imagined biographers following me about, intent on capturing the very fascinating nature of me. I developed the habit of speaking aloud as I did things if I was alone, in case the biographers were there but invisible, and I still have that habit even though obviously nobody is there, no biographers and probably not even Bruno Ganz. It has been largely a relief to realize that there is not and will not be anybody with a microphone curious to know how I wash windows or why my closet is organized in a particular way or any of the other things I've caught myself narrating aloud in the last while. I think at this point it's just habit, and maybe it's also to ensure that my mind doesn't wander off mid-task, as it is wont to do without some guidance. But I don't really think anybody's interested, even if somebody were there.
In fact lately I have been thinking about attention and interest a lot. I am deeply and sometimes awkwardly interested in people. Partly it's just cause people are super interesting and partly because I believe that people enjoy and rarely get that attention so if I like someone I like to pay attention to them as a kind of gift. In the love languages TIME is my number one and so this is what I give out, time (sorry if you like presents; I just can't). I read people's facebook pages if I know I will see them so I am caught up on what they are presenting and I also will re-read emails so that they are fresh in my memory. Apparently this level of attention can be a little... intense? ... but whatever, I'm closing out my 40s and I'm not wasting time changing anything I don't actively regret.
Sometimes I feel so much that other people are interesting that I can't really say much about myself, nothing meaningful and definitely nothing meaningless. I can talk about how my day was but that's not what I mean. I mean I have all this crap in my head but how do I work it into a conversation. The closet is organized by color and then subcategorized by type of garment. In drawers, I roll socks, underwear, and pajamas; I fold jeans and sweaters. The Shack is one of the worst books I ever read but I kept a copy of it in case I ever meet somebody who wants to hate-read a book. I have not yet repaired the thresholds in this apartment because it's the last thing to do and once that's done I am afraid that I will have to move. I almost never kick the covers off no matter how hot it gets, because of, you know, monsters. Is this interesting? I'm not sure. There is a part of me, a small arrogant ugly part, that is a bit hurt when someone doesn't find it so, and covers my mouth with its greasy hand so we don't get hurt again. On the other hand, there is a better, growing, nobler part of me that has learned be pleasantly surprised if you read it and leave it at that. Hello, you, reading this. Thanks.
Next week I am going with one of my dearest and oldest friends to Corfu. I plan to eat basically a pound of feta drizzled in olive oil every day, and if I don't get relaxed enough to start writing interesting things again it won't be for lack of trying.