Good morning everyone! I know, it’s 2 in the afternoon now, as I’m posting this, but I slept in today. I covered my windows in thick quilts to block out the morning light, and slept until 12:30 today. Tomorrow: I’m doing the same.

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Diana pointed me to an essay in the Modern Love column at the New York Times web site. The essay is called May I have this dance? and is about a soldier dreaming about Natalie Portman while in Iraq. Whether you love Natalie Portman or not (I know there are some haters out there!) you should check out the essay. I like how the whole sweeping narrative comes together in the end. I envy the writer’s ability to pack so much (a bullet hole in his helmet, dead bodies floating in sewage, the whole atmosphere of being a target in Iraq) into his essay. Modern Love hosted a college writing contest and are now publishing the winner and four runners up. Look for a new essay every Saturday through Father’s Day.

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Last night I sat on the back stairs drinking a beer and thinking, when I realized how quiet Mankato has become. It used to be incredibly noisy downtown, especially on a Friday evening. All the college kids would hop from house to house drinking and partying, and the house across the parking lot from us would constantly have parties. If they weren’t having parties, there would be at least half-a-dozen random yahoos loitering around their back porch, smoking, grilling, and playing beer pong. Now, nothing. Silence.

I thought I would like the silence, and I kind of do, but there is something eerie about it. Maybe it feels extra quiet because Jessica is gone and school is over and I have a week off. Or maybe, deep down inside my gut, I actually miss those crazy college yahoos across the parking lot.

Maybe.

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Before Jessica left she hid 25 bite-sized Reese peanut butter cups around the apartment. I’ve done two searches thus far and here’s what I’ve found:

Thursday: blue coffee mug, Everglades shot glass, filing carrier, Easter basket, blue mixing bowl, cupcake tin, and among comp. books.

Friday: desk organizer, steaming pitcher, crock pot, coffee container, and ice cube tray.

On Thursday I just did a casual search around the apartment. I found the shot glass and filing carrier ones right away. I didn’t find the cupcake tin and mixing bowl ones until that evening when I was making cookies. I started to look in places I would hide peanut butter cups: in the teapot, at the bottom of my French press, behind the clock in the living room. What I’ve come to realize is that I wasn’t thinking like Jessica. I was thinking like Bronson, looking in all the places I would hide them, and getting disappointed when I didn’t find them. So I started to think like Jessica. That is how I found the one in the ice cube tray. I was working on cleaning out my closet when it suddenly struck me. Of course she’d hide one in the ice cube tray. That’s perfect!

12 down, 13 to go. Any ideas?

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