It was my only morning off this week on Thursday, and, as a person who requires free time in order to operate, I stole a little Saturday and reveled in being alone. Here’s what I did:
Was kissed by husband, then listened to him go.
Slept a little longer, with dim dreams and the dog’s collar jingling in the background.
Walked the dog, but he mostly just stood around and sniffed stuff.
Wore a hat, just because.
Ate part of a stale pastry that I got for free.
Made oatmeal to offset said staleness.
Sprinkled cinnamon sugar on said oatmeal.
Discarded rest of pastry.
Drank a beautiful single cup of coffee.
Listened to Spilled Milk.
Scoured the archives of Orangette (circa 2006).
Felt a STRONG desire to make a chocolate cake, but lacked the gumption to do it.
Found this cookie recipe and resolved to make them happen.
Didn’t sweat my lack of cake flour.
Put three sticks (!!!) of frozen butter on the counter to soften.
Hugged the dog, told him he is okay. (He’s been struggling with separation anxiety.)
Made a grocery list to delegate to Isaiah later tonight. (Thanks!)
Spent a few minutes worrying about health insurance.
Took glamour shots of the dog.
Tried to practice separation with the dog, which means that I pretend I’m leaving for the day but really I’m just sitting right outside the door listening to him cry and feeling my heart slowly break into 20,000 pieces because he truly thinks I’m never coming back. He lasted 3 minutes before whining and barking. Needs some work.
Went out to sit on steps again, still reading Orangette archives and listening carefully for tiny dog squeaks or scratches. But alas, scratching at 3 minutes again, and heart-broken once more. You see, he is visiting us for three months, Isaiah’s parents’ sweet 7-year-old pup, who until very recently lived in the same home in Pennsylvania for his entire dog life. Now he is in the big city with lots of new smells and sounds, awfully scary, and, most of all, different. I get it. I really do. I, too, have been suffering from a separation anxiety of sorts, wondering if comfort and calm will ever come back to me, lapping up goodness when we are all home safe together, and crying, panicked, when I’m all alone and terribly lost. So my heart goes out to Ferdinand and his sad, sweet, and well-warranted confusion, his wondering why we always have to go away, his discomfort, his fear. Soon he will adjust and learn that he is safe and that we always come back, and soon I will too. But it takes time. It takes time.
Dreaded having to go work at the coffee shop later.
Toasted a slice of bread. Spread butter on toast. Ate.
Turned on NPR.
Thought about trying lima beans for the first time. Added them to grocery list.
Whipped up chocolate-chip cookie batter and stowed it in the fridge to set for 36-hours, an impatient person’s nightmare.
Cooked up some quinoa to eat with feta, arugula, vinaigrette, and black pepper for lunch.
Packed myself up, put on my hat, and trundled back out to the steps to listen once more to our sweet weepy dog cry for help. All this sadness better be helping.
Heard a big, doggy sigh through the door, then lots of quiet, then subtle, subtle whimpering, a lone scratch. Couldn’t tell what to call progress. Came back inside after 20 minutes and some more emphatic scratching, afraid that Ferdie was ruining the door and losing us our little security deposit.
Wiped the small marks on the door with clorox wipes, which actually did wonders!
Watched the dog proceed to eat the peanut butter that I had meant for him to eat while I was away.
Ate my little quinoa arugula salad.
Listened to a review on Fresh Air of Jonathan Safran Foer’s brand new novel.
Read the first few pages while still eating my salad.
Switched back to Orangette archives, old pal. Ferdie sat at my feet, happy as ever to be only not alone.
Felt feelings, got sad.
Listened to cars drive past outside. Thought about raising the blinds. Didn’t.
Watched the time slither away toward my 7-hour coffee shift coming, coming.
Wished for fall to come quicker.
Wished for everything else to go slower.
Talked to Isaiah on the phone even though he was at work.
Did cookie dishes.
Went to work, poured coffee for strangers.
Oh, friends. What do all these days mean?