Wednesday, September 28, 2016

Never Black or White

I think about how he made me laugh
then remember how he didn't

I think of how he was there for me
and then of the ways in which he let me down

For every positive, I try to find the negative to make it hurt less. To make it not feel so bad that even now, after four months have passed, his car is not outside my house when I come home from work. And he is not inside waiting to have dinner and watch a movie. 

He left a confusing sliver of hope for the future that day many months ago. I see now it was cowardice, or trying to "be nice", or simply not knowing for sure what he was thinking. What followed was an indifference which expanded like spilled molasses. Slow and steady. So slow and steady. His actions said one thing, his words something slightly different, none of it quite succinct. All of it confusing.

It was slow and agonizing, until suddenly I finally opened my eyes to that "actions speak louder than words" thing.

I have shut the door now and I know that's for the best. I know this is where the real pain comes in, and it has. All the nice memories are coming back, uninvited, unwelcome. I am especially uneasy about these emotional landmines which I know will explode without warning for the unforeseeable future. But for now, I observe them, react to them, and move them along. 

Today wasn't so bad.

Until I arrived home, and I stepped up to my porch and got a waft of fall air, the first of it's kind this season, along with the scent of a burning wood. This is where I lose it as the first landmine explodes and I remember; getting lost in a corn maze, sitting by a bonfire and sharing cider donuts, holding hands like dorks.

I enter the house, sit on my step, and Harlow takes her spot, under my face, to catch my tears in her wiry fur and tolerate my blubbering. I know I have to let it come. It's the only way it will leave. 

And I really want it to leave.

“The opposite of love is not hate, it's indifference. The opposite of art is not ugliness, it's indifference. The opposite of faith is not heresy, it's indifference. And the opposite of life is not death, it's indifference.”

― Elie Wiesel

Thursday, September 22, 2016

It All Started With a Waxing Job

This is TMI but it's relevant to the story so I need to share. I don't shave my armpits, I wax them. Shaving has always hurt my skin and waxing last longer. So, it's what works for me. I was do for a little clean-up, so before getting in the shower, I waxed. I put the strips into the sink to soak off the sugar-based wax and hopped in the shower.

When I got out later -my shower was a bit longer than usual because I decided to clean the tub a bit since I was in there already (don't judge, it makes sense!) - I stepped out of the tub and into a puddle. Or, at least I thought it was just a puddle, at first, but then I realized that in truth, it was a very shallow pool, like the the kind you find in public areas of Boston so kids can cool off in summer. The only difference being that mine didn't suddenly spray a fountain into the sky at random and oh, the one's in Boston are OUTSIDE!

The culprit? Here's where you guess - you were cleaning your tub like a responsible home owner and the water seeped out! Yeah, that's what I thought, too, but no, I'd left the sink faucet on. I scrambled to shut it off and stood there, naked and wet, in slight shock and struggling to process. The water wasn't running over the edge of the sink so why the pool in the floor of the bathroom?

I heard Harlow getting in to something downstairs and hollered "What are you doing!!??" and as the sink drained I realized the water was coming from under the sink. The "safety" drain couldn't keep up with the rush of water and it was just spewing out somewhere underneath, drenching my trash bin and accessory shelves (soggy cotton balls - ew).

I heard Harlow messing around again downstairs "STOP WHATEVER YOU'RE DOING!!!" I was surprised because she doesn't really get into things anymore and she's never been a dog who climbs up on counters.

I realize I'm still naked and wet and as such merely contributing to my own private wading pool, so I grab the only towel on the rod and begin to dry off a bit, which feels weird as I am standing in a half inch of water. I slosh my way out into the hall, get my hair up in the towel and go downstairs, pale-ass naked, to get a mop. Don't ask why I did it this way, I literally couldn't think through the proper steps to take at this point and covering up somehow didn't seem like a priority in the moment.

As I headed to the kitchen to get my mop to clean up the bathroom, I grab another towel hanging at the bottom of the banister (what luck!) to wrap myself up. I hear a pop, and realize that Harlow "getting into somethingwas actually the lights over the island in my kitchen popping out because there WAS WAS A WATERFALL IN MY KITCHEN FROM THE DAMN SINK FAUCET BEING LEFT ON ONE FLOOR ABOVE!

I'm talking torrential downpour. As I take all this in, wondering where the hell to even start (SHUT OFF THE LIGHT!) I absently dry myself with the towel I grabbed on the way downstairs and wander around the island, dumb-founded and slightly paralyzed. I mean, the water is off, and the waterfall continues!

As I assess the situation, it hits me -  the towel I am absently drying my body with is the same towel I use to dry my dog off after her outdoor bath an hour earlier. GAH!

I start by throwing the crappy dog towel onto the island to soak some water and catch what's still coming down and head back upstairs, get my hair up and out of the way, put on some clothes and oh yeah get that insulin pump I forgot about (silly 'betic), and return to the kitchen to mop, put out pans and cookie sheets depending on the angle, location and severity of the dripping (which is continuing).

Now it's later. The lights are off, I have put tape over the kitchen switch to keep myself from turning it on absent-mindedly, the breakers have been turned off, counter, floors, trash bins, accessory drawers, dog items stored on the island and various other collateral damage items have been dried up, cleaned or pitched. By the way, NYC brand make up may be cheap, but their compacts are crazy water tight!

And now I'm going to have drink.

The Elephant in the Room

Tuesday, September 20, 2016

Feeling Impotent

When Shannon posted this intelligently and sensitively written piece for the New York Times on Facebook, the voice sounded fairly familiar. It was only once I got to the very bottom that I realized it was written by my coworker.

To find out that she was diving into the new adventure of medical school as a mother of two, ages 8 and 10, was so impressive and inspiring to me.

Today I had a photo shoot which she attended. Once we finished, we chatted outside on the curb where the auditory study lab we had been visiting stood. I asked her what the news was of medical school. "Oh, I didn't get in" she answered. Much like when another coworker of mine confided in me that she'd come to terms a bit with her mother's death during a writing retreat and added "My mom actually killed herself" I was speechless.

I knew this was a huge dream of Barbara's, and I was so flustered. Her grades were perfect, she told me, she aced the MCATS. She had friends in pre-med or medical school who looked at her paperwork, and they saw nothing that would cause her to not be accepted. "I'm too old" she determined. Of course, as there is no way to prove this is why she was not accepted at the two places she applied, there is nothing further she could do.

She told me that in one moment she feels like she's OK with it, and then in the next she bursts into tears. I told her how I find that completely understandable, and how much I could relate to this. In my life these days, I felt the same way for different reasons. I have evidence of not quite being myself - I have formatted (deleted) three (camera) cards this summer before emptying their contents into my computer, losing the images they held. I have locked my keys in the trunk of my car, and caused substantial damage to the side of my car by not being extra attentive while backing out of a space last week and as such, hitting a support beam in the garage. Worst of all, I almost put my ice cream in the cabinet the other night. I mean, clearly I am not at my best.

When I told Barbara about how I'd been a little out of it these days and why, she said kindly, "You always seem to have it together!"

But I am still flustered by Barbara's news, and I can't help but compare it to my visions of women of the 1950s, daydreaming of being something other than a housewife and mother, at home baking casseroles and attending Tupperware parties. Of course, this is not exactly Barbra's case, but I feel it's so unjust that she has been denied this dream. This passion she discovered and decided to bravely pursue.

So much for being an "older" person and wishing for what our hearts' desire.

Monday, September 19, 2016

Entitled Little S*&t

This is from a few weekends ago, but I'm sharing it anyway.
Dad and I left Scott's End to run an errand. As we started to pull up the driveway, Harlow jumped IN FRONT of the car, because she wanted to come along. I sprung out of the car and started screaming at her immediately. I wanted her to make the connection between jumping in front of the car and being in trouble. I kept hollering, telling her to "go home!", and that she was a bad dog "Bad Bad!" until she was almost back to the house.

I got back in the car but when we were about two houses down the street, there was Harlow in my rearview mirror, running like a psycho after us. I really didn't want to cave, but I really didn't want to walk her back to the house, either. So I let her in, scolding her the whole time and reminding her periodically during the outing that's she's naughty and I don't like her right now.

She didn't care. She was very proud and smug.

Friday, September 16, 2016

Not Locking Them In Is Key

At the beginning of the school year there are many events and dinners we have to cover for the President's Office. Last night I was tasked with covering the professorship dinner. Part of this entails setting up lights in a side room so that those who received professorships could be photographed with their benefactors. In the past, we've also made a big group shot of all the recipients from this year, and then another with all the recipients from last year with this year.

This requires a lot or batteries and organizing. I went down to my car in an underground garage around 5 and opened my hatchback to put all the freshly charged batteries into the radio slaves and flashes. My ETA at the President's house was 5:30. I shut the hatchback and heard the car lock.

With my keys inside.

I pondered this predicament quickly, then ran up the stairs, out of the garage, and across the street to the BU Police Station. I'm fairly friendly with these guys since they've seen me around for years. Two were standing outside and I ran, out of breath, up to them.

"Are you ok?" one asked.

"Yes, totally fine, but I locked my keys in my trunk and I'm a photographer for the university and I'm supposed to be covering an event at the president's house at 5:30...well, actually 6PM...and do you have the thingies that can break into my car or can you break my window for me?"

No, they don't have the thingies, and they will not break the window for me, but, they did call parking and security for me. That was not helpful, so Sgt Nuzzi popped his head out into the lobby and advised me to call a nearby towing company. I did that.

Then I texted the event planner over at the president's house to fill her in.

And then I waited. I called tow company again at 5:30, impressing upon them that "I'm sorry but I really am on a time crunch".  The driver was stuck in traffic, I was told, and by this time, Sgt Nuzzi had left the station and returned again, and he stood outside with me waiting for the tow guy while I paced back and forth and practiced deep breathing.

I texted the event planner again "Can you have the crew move the couch away from the wall in the green room, remove the coffee table and get the plush chair on the right out of the way?"

"Already done"


When the giant truck turned the corner, Nuzzi waved him down and helped us into the garage by using a card pass in the elevator that only fancy people can use.

In a second, my car was open. It was 6PM at this point, and the event I was supposed to be at a half hour ago in order to set up my lights was now starting. I realized I owed the towing company payment, and asked if I could give him my card and could they send a bill to that address?

Nuzzi took the card and said "I'll deal with it. Are you OK on time?"

I wasn't, but I told him I was anyway. I'd been enough of a damsel in distress for one night, though I did later wonder if I'd turned down a police escort! I hauled ass over to the President's House and set up with no issues. The staff there has been working with me for years, and I think they trusted that I could pull it together. Plus, with guests requesting vegan, gluten free, almond only meals at the last minute, I was the least of their concerns.

The evening went fine, and I headed home, breathing a sigh of relief. As I drove along Memorial Drive the moon was rising, and I pulled over to photograph it. When I got back in the car, I checked my email, and found one from Sgt Nuzzi. The subject line was "car Keys Incident"

Cydney Scott

This is Sgt Nuzzi who was with you regarding your mishap with your car keys at the Agganis Arena. You are all set with Stadium tow. I have taken care of it. Hope the rest of your evening goes well.

Sgt Pat Nuzzi   

I stared at it for a moment and let that settle in. I pulled out from the curb and welled up at the thought of a man (a man other than my dad) being nice to me. While I probably could have expensed the bill from the towing company to BU, it was still a really nice gesture that he handled it for me. 

I bought him a gift card to the nearby coffee shop (the BUPD is a block form my office) and delivered it this morning. 

I didn't get an in-process shot because he opened it so fast!

the moonrise over Boston

Saturday, September 10, 2016

Watercolor Class

I took a watercolor class for six weeks at the Cambridge Center for Adult Education. There was a class taught in Wednesday night's and Thursday nights. A toss up for me but when I saw the work of the instructors, I went with the artist whose work I liked more.

It was a really fun challenge and I learned a ton! To see something with your eye and not know how to translate it on paper until you're taught how to look at it differently is pretty cool. I'm hoping I can keep it up.

I painted this peach and leaf at Scott's End once the class had started.

The white object was probably the hardest and my least favorite attempt.

This was from the last class and I think it's my favorite!

I had painted a bucket and Reeli saw it and really liked it. I thought it was crap, so I tried to paint something else for her. It's not totally awful but I think it looks like a middle schooler did it. It was still fun to do though.