Saturday 10 September 2005

like saltines

It is a lot like saltines.

I am fine- good, actually. Going along my life here in Cambridge -- gym, library, coaching, making dinner, doing laundry, swapping e-mails with pals, reading good novels, hanging out with Mark, going to Sainsburys -- normal, living, going along things. Fine.

Then I see a picture of saltines in Real Simple magazine. Light, fluffy, salty-topped simple crackers... the kind you need when you feel sick or want to eat soup. They don't have saltines here in the UK. They have many other kinds of cracker-esque things -- biscuity, tea-dunking things, or Ryvitas or buttery Ritz types that rqauire a hunk of cheese. But nothing that resembles a saltine.

Saltines are necessary. You don't CRAVE them, but when they are gone, you really notice how simply perfect they are and when you feel like you are going to throw up, nothing else will do.

Now I have met some really nice folks here. Excellent new pals and one or 2 exceptional humans who help me keep that fine balance of waking, walking, and working together. I learn from them. I am really lucky to have them. They are my biscuits. New and necessary. And satisfying.

But I miss my saltines.

I don't know if it is that I am coming up on a year here, or that the novelty of the new place is now settling, or that I am finishing my coaching certification and that big goal is almost met. But it is finally hitting me. I've missed people -- family, friends, the city. But this is different. More acute.

All it took is one recent exceptionally perfectly funny, quippy, newsy e-mail from Mary, detailing the tos and fros, the plans and the daily happenings of her and hers, news of the gang, and beers drunk, the plans made, followed by one perfectly timed overseas phone call from Helena that had me picturing myself in her kitchen, easily chatting in my PJs, petting LuLu and playing peek-a-boo with Oliver while reading the new Spices catering menu and the latest People. And the ache of missing my friends was loud.

This time here is valuable. I am clean and clear about that. I am learning about my own ways and my own rhythms - sometimes quick and lively, and sometimes missing a beat.

My friends make me more interesting, I am convinced. And their quirky, human humour and personalities help mine relax and come out to play. Together, things made sense somehow, even if they were eternally fucked up.

My head and heart are here in Cambridge but I think my funny bone might have osteoporosis and my heart is homesick for the ones in the Girl Scout friendship song that we are reminded to keep -- as the new ones are silver and the others gold.

Especially with tomato soup.


Anonymous said...

um, hello, and i quote: blah blah blah: "along my life here in Cambridge -- ..... swapping e-mails with pals , >> snip << normal, living, going along things. Fine."

uh: WHAT pals? i post to your blog and i send off notes. what do i get in reply? not so much as a mention in the "like saltines" notice.

and, by the way, you do know that barb underbate intend to sell saltines in her speciality shop?

hope all is well with you.

and another thing: what about hob nobs?

Anonymous said...

attention charming gardener readers:

i was a terrible brat complaining about my lack of email from carol. yesterday afternoon, in my new suburban mailbox, i found a sweet handwritten note from none other than miss carol.

here is what i have to type: bless that chick.