the little things

1. Coffee, in the morning, made with good beans that are
worth the money if only for that smell you don’t ever get from a tub of
Folger’s, and brewed in a French press gifted to me by one of my
favorite people in the world. I think of him every time I use it. It is
good to wake up, to stumble into the kitchen, to pour yourself a cup of
ambition and to be reminded–viscerally in the way that concrete,
physical things can remind you–of one of the gifts of your life.

2. Yesterday, my crazy landlord–who was working in the bathroom,
fixing the sink that had exploded spectacularly all over everything I
own in there and half the hallway–wandered out into the hallway and
through the living room door. He looked at me, sitting cross-legged on
the couch and working on my laptop, paused a moment, and said, “You
have a very fat cat.” Yes. Yes, I do. And I love this fat thing, who is
lying on my chest right now with his face butted right up under my chin
and purring in that weird, asthmatic, slightly retarded way he has.

3. What do you do? A friend of one of the roommates was over, to play
Rock Band. I was on the couch, watching the boys be rock stars, but had
my laptop on my lap, because it is permanently affixed there (please,
only one more week of this). A lull in the game. He asked what I was
doing (working), and then he asked me that. What do you do? And the
answer that immediately occurred to me–how do I support myself, you
mean? Oh yeah–made me laugh, and I’m sure I looked crazy, but
sometimes, you just laugh when you’re happy, right? I said, “I’m a
writer.” Pretty cool, Steve said. I know! I said. Totally cool.

4. Grateful, that I got so lucky.

5. Rock Band is the greatest game on earth. It is okay that I fail on
bass, and fail on guitar, and fail on drums. There’s still singing to
be done, and leaping to your feat to wail “SAY IT AIN’T SO-OH-OH-OH” in
your pajamas is one of the greatest feelings on earth, I think. It is a
game. It is really silly. It is so much fun.

6. Hot lunches. Made by me, with hands that I have. (Of course, it
means dishes are also left to be done. I’m still trying to incorporate
“doing the dishes” into my “being a grownup” plan. So far–well, it’ll

7. Running and running and running. Almost two miles the other night;
two miles tonight? Maybe. I am healthy and it feels good to go flat
out–on the treadmill for now. But the gym has a track; the boy has a
dog. I can run without mechanical assistance, inside up on the balcony,
outside around the park, with the Porter puppy by my side, ready to eat
muggers. And then I will give him a treat and he will climb on my lap,
because he is an 80-pound lap dog with all the love in his heart,
shining brighter than the sun.

8. Being around dogs. Sometimes, Porter listens to me! Usually he
looks at me, all “You’re not my real mom!” But sometimes, he actually
listens, and that feels like victory. I cooked an egg for the pug the
other morning and then he fell in love with me. He climbs on my lap,
and I can rub his little silky ears, and he makes his funny grunting
noises. His tongue is too big for his mouth. It makes me happy to be
Auntie Anne.

9. The sun is out, right now, though it’s setting. The light is golden
and low, in the room, and I am finishing up my work for today, closing
out PDFs, saving files, making notes on my to-do list, feeling
accomplished. Liking what I’ve done. I’ve got my feet up on the chest I
use for a coffee table; the cat has migrated down to my lap, lying
spread eagle on his back, waiting for his armpits to be squished. In a
half hour, E is going to be leaving work. He’ll come get me, and we’ll
go to the gym. We’ll have dinner, play Rock Band, watch Heroes, talk.
We’ll go to bed, and I’ll tuck up under his chin, the way Fang does to
me, and I’ll sleep. Tomorrow, I’ll work all day, and at the end of the
day, I’ll like what I’ve done. I’ll make myself some dinner, curl up on
the couch, and watch my Netflix movies and go to bed early to finish my
book. I’ll turn out the light, and lie there, thinking about my to-do
list for the weekend–cleaning the house, finally unpacking the office
area, maybe putting together a few story submissions, having breakfast
with E tomorrow–and I will become suddenly and abruptly aware of how
content I am.

10. I really am very lucky.

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