Suppose I’m Crazy…

Like a light switch.

That seems to describe my decisions as of late. I was awake late last night, thinking. Just thinking. Changing my mind about one little decision, and then another. Asking myself questions that I thought I had answers to. Eventually I just started pacing, my mind spinning like it did when I was so infatuated with Josh. But over so many little things.

Until the first of June I’m afraid I’m going to have to keep a secret from all of you. Part of the reason I couldn’t sleep was because I knew I wasn’t going to write about it here, I couldn’t. I can’t. Because this decision will entirely alter where my life goes from here, and I haven’t even told Heather my real reasons for doing what I’m going to try to do. Because it’s complete and utter insanity.

I’m not going to go jumping off of a bridge or join a cult, I can assure you that those would make for far more interesting posts than the one that will be posted June 1st, but it’s still something I can’t get off of my mind, and you can’t blame a teakettle for whistling a bit under pressure. I’ve flung various rants throughout little notes in my books and blogs, because the fact is that last night I discovered there is no way I can stop writing how I truly feel. It is part of my very being. I need to tell the world what I think, know and learn. I suppose we all know what this means:

1. I can never join fight club.

2. I can never be trusted with matters of national security.

I react too strongly to people, to their presence in my life. Everything they do and say I take into account, I think on it, a lot. I tell people who I care about that I care about them, it feels unnatural not to.

But I react much too strongly. Like the presence of the earth in the cosmos, the fabric of space and time being steady and flat, until the existence of the planet causes the fabric to bend in compliance, forming a valley around which the moon dances. That is the effect that every person in my life has. A massive impact that changes my life in an instant.

I suppose this is just me trying to explain to myself why I’m doing what I’m doing.

_______________________

I think about how emotionally open and vulnerable this blog has made me. I’ve decided that I’m ‘over’ Josh, it hurts to think about him, but I have decided this, he is my past. And no matter what it takes, I am leaving Texas. My future isn’t here. My life will not be here. And for the rest of my time here I won’t be pursuing a relationship with anybody. I’m tired of being an adoring puppy, clinging to every word they speak, aware of their every move, losing sleep over them. There is someone worth it, but (and say what you may about this) I refuse to find him here.

I know that this post is senseless and I must seem at least a smudge crazy or unstable. I feel crazy and unstable at the moment. An increasingly familiar feeling of just wanting to run away from it all has returned stronger than ever.

This is just the way things are, and I know that it’s going to pass. I know that it’s all going to work out. My mind is simply spinning nonstop, as it does in times of stress, and eventually I’ll reach the light at the end of the tunnel.

I don’t know if any of this made any sense, I suppose I didn’t try very hard, but I needed to say all of this. I’m feeling so overwhelmed, I just want to walk outside right this second and go for a walk in the wonderfully cold air to the little playground down the street, and sit on the swings while staring up at the stars. That is truly what I want to do.

I try to avoid posts like this. I do write impulsively, and I do write when I’m in an emotional frenzy, but I’ve never written in this sort of state of mind before. And I have no doubt that tomorrow I’ll want to delete this. But I won’t, because it would be the same as lying.

I suppose, in a nutshell, the entire point of this post was to say that for the first time in a while I am really not alright. I’m young and I’ll ‘get over it’, but it doesn’t make my present feelings less real. I don’t like the word ‘feelings’, at least not when I use it, because it seems so immature and petty and it seems to threaten to take away any weight that my words hold.

I’m going to try to get some rest.

Until I Write Again,

–Hannah-Elizabeth/Classic

Advertisements

Better Than I Know Myself

“It’s quiet.” I whispered. Everyone had wandered into the study hall, leaving me and Kyle alone in the cafe. Show tunes could be heard being sung by Claire (the world’s greatest barista and an old friend of mine.)

He grinned and took a seat nearby, “I know. Theatre people.”

“They’re grand fun, though.”

“They are. So,” Piercing blue eyes looked in my direction, “Why are you here this evening?”

“Anatomy and physiology.” I realized I was resting my head against the wall and sat up properly. “I suppose it’s obvious why you’re here.” I gestured to Kyle’s name tag, he grinned again. Today was the first day that an opportunity arose to have an actual conversation with the fellow. Eighteen or nineteen if I had to guess, and a former boy scout if I had to guess. Blonde hair of a sensible length, broad smile, strong jaw, symmetrical features. Overall nothing notable, except that he was wearing a gray v-neck long-sleeved shirt with the sleeves rolled up to the elbows and casual pants (my previously mentioned favorite look on a guy.) Oddly enough, when I noticed this I almost laughed out loud. I was so accustomed to seeing Kyle in his signature white button-up shirts and robot-like stiff movements that seeing him dressed so casually was enough to make me double-take.

We spoke for about half an hour before my mom pulled up in the Fit (on a side note, I drove us to The Center today and I managed to not kill anybody!) As she was walking towards the door he suddenly stood and opened it for her.

I smiled at her, “Hi, mom!”

Kyle looked over at me, then my mom, then back again. I grabbed my things and made my way to the door.

“Nice meeting you, Kyle.”

“You as well.”

We shook hands and as I stepped out he added sincerely, “Have a wonderful evening!”

I glanced back, “You too!”

As I shut the car door I realized this meant I had a new acquaintance, I smiled the rest of the trip home.

The rest of the day has been rather dull, tea and cappucinos with mom, reading an old Star Telegram (I personally prefer The Dallas Morning News,) and catching up on a few favorite blogs that I’ve missed out on as of late. I’m currently plotting how to make my mother play chess with me. I love chess, but mother madame finds it too tedious.

I honestly don’t know what I’ll do if I end up staying in Texas. I’ve started having dreams about the drive out of state, and writing down potential playlists for a long trip whenever there’s a pause in activity. It’s my petty impatience, I just know it. I could never wait for Christmas morning before opening at least one present, and I was always the annoying child who always asked ‘Are we there yet?’ In my defense, those drives to Disneyland felt like they never ended, the drives seemed so long that it feels like a part of me is there still. Clapping and yapping and bouncing around in anticipation.

I suppose, whatever the result, it will be a lovely state of existence when I at least know for certain what the future holds.

I must say, I’m rather disappointed in this post. ’tis a rather dull one.

I know, I know, a writer (even a simple blogger) is supposed to never be disappointed in that they write if it’s from the heart. But folks, let’s face it, this wasn’t exactly prime entertainment. It would be lovely to always say that I’m proud of what I write, but many times it’s an embarrassing, teeth-pulling-esque process and I know that my writing at times is downright crappy. I don’t say this with pride, I just say it so that I know I’ve said it.

The general mood of my posts as of late seem to be inching further downward, as though I’m notably unhappy. Obviously there have been positive posts nestled in between the (for lack of a better word) stale ones, but, skimming through the past couple of months through my posts, I can’t ignore a pattern that seems to be forming.

Now, I have no idea what any of this really means, or what should be done/if anything should be done, but allow me to play this thought out.

Everyday I still decide on something to be happy about, sometimes it’s a person, sometimes it’s something to look forward to that day, and sometimes when I can’t come up with anything, I just settle with ‘Today is going to be a good day.’ This has lightened my overall mood considerably, I’m an entirely different person than I was when I posted my decision to try to be happy. It has changed me completely. But it’s starting to feel as though the steady tension in my life as of late is turning me back into the person I once was. Serious, overly focused, selfish and impulsive. Alannah said something to me in a comment once upon a time, because I had mentioned that I felt guilty for being too sensitive. She told me that she had always seemed to ‘feel too much’ as well, and said something to the tune of ‘When we feel so strongly for so long, selfishness is only natural, because our focus is only on ourselves.’ An invisible tug of war seems to be going on between me and the people I care about. Because a part of me does want to stay because Heather wants me to stay and I could see myself going after Josh again and meeting more new acquaintances and not having to read my mother’s face when I bring up leaving. And then the complete and utter uncertainty regarding whether I’m leaving at all being decided entirely on where I get accepted.

I’m a control-freak when it comes down to it. I love being in control of my environment and knowing that I can create order where disorder so annoyingly sits (often rather crooked or on the wrong shelf, I might add,) I love being in control of my surroundings and my future and my actions and my plans. But I can’t control the approval of Heather Madame and my mother, I can’t control where I’ll get accepted, I can’t control whether it will rain or shine and the bossy little child in me doesn’t like it one bit. All the worrying is doing is about as much as pushing against a steel door. I can wear myself down trying to shove it open, but until it opens or locks on its own, nothing will change.

I’m truly happy when I’m here, telling the truth, at least some of the time. But something that this little website has proven to me, is how blind I can be to things right in front of my face. Right in front of me. I’m sincerely afraid because of this fact. It’s part of why I’m afraid of making somebody miserable. Because I know how foolish I can be, how thoughtless I can be. I know I have a lot of love to give, but I know that, while I’m trying so hard everyday to hold back from doing anything to hurt anybody, the battle is one that will never end. We hurt people. It’s a part of life. And heck, my heart hurts even writing that. It’s my worst nightmare. I am so entirely full of faults that I know it’s inevitable. I don’t know how or when or who, I just know that there will come a day when the thought will run across someone’s mind that they will wish they had never met me.

I know I can never stop making mistakes and I can never stop being blind to obvious things until later introspection, I need to get over any sort of notion that I will somehow condition myself against human nature. The battle will never be won, because everyone is battling something, and suppose that fight dies out, another is waiting at the threshold of the morning to take its place.

…Well, alright then.

Until I Write Again,

–Classic/Hannah-Elizabeth

My Meeting With Batwoman

Bat signal

Image by goosmurf via Flickr

Olga has come to be something of a superhero. Like a bedtime story.

Listening to mom describe various superpowers and bullet-proof invincibility, you sit there. Doe eyes, perked ears and slacked jaw, you marvel at the fictional figure being presented to you in the form of one miraculous tale after another. Someone you’ll have dreams about and aspire to become, showing your undying alliance in the form of plastic bat ears and foam biceps when Halloween rolls around, knowing all of the cool kids will recognize the image you portray.

If I hadn’t seen her with my own two eyes one dark night in Addison, I would believe her to be fiction.

Olga is a strikingly beautiful, unbelievably intelligent Russian my mother went to beauty college with. And today at 2:00PM, she is going to be my unofficial physician.

Yep. Still sounds like fiction, doesn’t it?

It’s 5:29AM, I haven’t slept for a single minute, and I have no idea what today is going to involve. For the first time in months I’ll be going to church (church sanctuaries trigger my panic attacks so, I suppose we’ll see how I work that one out.) And, as mentioned, I will be meeting Olga. Addison (where she resides) is a bit of a drive, but it is worth it. It’s apartments are beautiful, the streets are clean, the public art has a fresh, modern appearance to it. I certainly wouldn’t mind living there one day. And it is the location of hopefully a new chapter in my life. Starting with a hair sample being snipped and sent off to a lab somewhere in Arizona to be sliced, diced, boiled and analyzed. Hopefully holding some key or other to my panic attacks (though I still believe my anxiety symptoms to be predominantly psychosomatic, I have a family history of anxiety, which leads me to want to seek more organically medical roots – pun not intended.)

I shall write more later on. After a quick early morning meal I suddenly feel rather tired, and I’ll take any sleep I can get.

Until then,

–Hannah-Elizabeth/Classic

Subject #01110

Tester: Here’s card
one.

Subject: An
animal.

Tester: Okay, card
two.

Subject: Mmm, I
see a cat face.

Tester: Here’s card
three.

Subject: A coyote
face.

Tester: Okay, here’s
card four…-

The audio recorder beeped as I paused the playback. The recording was from April 13th, in the midst of my Rorschach inkblot experiment on-campus at The Center. And yet, here I am, in August, still trudging through the material and profiling my subjects.

The one featured above is Subject #01110 (numbered in binary – it translates to subject fourteen), she was shy from the start. Around seven or eight if I had to bet money on her age. Golden hair, bright eyes, and a lot of animal sightings in her responses. I could tell when I started on her profile last night in the wee small hours that Subject 01110 has a loving, supportive home and she’s predominantly introverted, but chica doesn’t let it get in the way of her social experiences. A good kid. I liked this subject from the start.

I can get a personality profile done in 10 hours or so (if that sounds like a long time- it is), but something seems to be holding me back. Freezing my feet in a particular brand of symbolic cement that was best buddies with gravity in college, now paying back some absurd frat boy loyalty bit by remaining tight with him to this day. Friendship is grand and all that, I support the alliance between laws of nature and non-hydraulic binding substances, especially the metaphoric kind. Just not when they are the anchor to whatever Freudian subconscious malady is keeping me from bringing my beloved experiment to a close.

Maybe because I don’t have an emotional need for it anymore.

I created the Rorschach experiment because I was furious at my psychology class. No, not furious, I suppose I was just tired of talking and reciting more about psychology to the class than my teacher. Stuck in a classroom-sized cage, I wanted to be out in the field like my favorite psyche-gurus that I had been reading about for three years. So, solo, I spent two months planning and making my own inkblots (because some bafoon posted the real Rorschach inkblots on Wikipedia along with the “right” reponses for each blot) and then approached the main madame of the school, who would quickly show herself to be my greatest advocate and encouragement, showing faith in a scatter-brained 16-year old gripping her blazer and a manilla folder containing a month-long plot that, if accepted, would give me permission to a private classroom that would allow me to lock myself in with little children and examine their innermost thoughts by showing them splotches of ink and saying “Tell me everything you see!” (moo-hoo-hoo-ha-ha….ha.)

I will always feel gratitude towards that woman. More than once my mom had me in silent tears because of not only her dismissal, but her disapproval of the one thing that gave me such indescribable joy, and this main madame would see me come into the campus main building for one of my inkblot interviews and in an excited tone ask me how it was going and how proud she was. She would then call over to the barista in the cafe that I had ‘cooler privileges’ and anything from the tea/iced coffee fridge by the checkout I would get for free because of the long hours I had been putting in for my experiment. I thank God for her, because in that instant when she pulled me into her office and presented me with a chart showing when I could use my classroom (before I even gave her my plan explaining exactly what I was doing!) she showed faith in me that I never had for myself until that moment.

The only thing keeping me up now until the wee-small hours, listening to the innocent soprano intonations of Subject #01110, is the undeniable need to finish what I’ve started. And so I will.

Type to ya’ll next week,

–Hannah-Elizabeth/Classic

You Only Go Around Once

I’ve been thinking a lot. Which is a good sign, from what I hear. Other breaking news: my heart is beating, lymphatics are draining, and the Hindenburg went down in case you haven’t heard.

I’m scared about the next year. My mom has avoided the topic of the impending date of our separation when I turn 18 next year. I’ll be going further south to the University of Texas Pan American, and she and my father (and most likely my older brother) will become neighbors with Canada on Mackinac Island in Michigan. I’ve tried hugging her more and telling her how much I love her and expressing how proud I am of her success as an aesthetician, but I want to talk about goodbye.

Ever since I was 13 I began counting down the days to life on my own, making one scheme after another to get out quick. Some days because the fights were just that bad, and others because I was aching to try my hand at the dreams I had formulated while staring at those purple walls that I’m grateful I never had to paint over when we left.

You only go around once – that’s the line I’ve heard from toddlerhood onward, and only recently has it hit me head on what it means. You have choices to make every day, and once it’s gone, it can never be so again. My favorite philosopher and psychologist, William James, said that we never feel the exact same emotion twice. That’s because we feel different emotions for different reasons every time, so we can never feel the precise way we did the last time we felt it. In other words: you’ll only feel that brand of happiness once, you’ll only get kicked with that guilt in one swing.

I want to sit and talk with her a while about what inevitably will come to pass. A part of me is scared of when she does allow me, because now when she talks about her future, it’s no longer about dreams and ambitions and ending sentences with “One day I’ll get there.” Now, instead, they end with, “I may do that the rest of my life.” As though the day is so impending. But then, one cannot deny, it is. With my best friend’s wedding on the horizon, I’ll no longer have my Watson to rip the lenses off of my rose-colored glasses. When I’m at Pan-Am I will know no one, and be entirely alone for a companion who I can so entirely trust as I do with Heather, and the last thing I will do is call up my newly wed best friend in the wee small hours for one of my petty rants or paranoia episodes when things go bump in the night. No, I have to learn to always look reality in the face and consider all options and explanations, for once, learn to do such a thing alone.

At least I know I’ll only feel this brand of dread once, only get kicked with this regret in one swing.

It has been said before me, and so it will be said after. The reason stories of UFOs give us nightmares, goosebumps rise at the sound of invisible feet upon the floor, suspicion and fear arise when we think too long about the many monsters in the darkness, heck, why shaking hands give people with OCD a spike of terror, is because we do not understand. We fear the unknown. Where are the shoes that cause the echoing click? Where are the lights in the sky coming from? What could there possibly be in the darkness? Could this outstretched hand give me something deadly with a swift movement of greeting?

When we feel a dreading ache in our stomach, hearts and bones it’s that overprotective part of our mind sending signals that say very obviously “I don’t recognize this, I don’t understand this, therefore, I do not like this.” The past year I’ve come to see such an ache as a good thing: it tells us that we care about the outcome. But sometimes I feel this ache and overawareness of time and it’s passing make it difficult for me to enjoy the time I have left. Yesterday I suddenly asked my mom if she would like to go to Blueberries (a modern-styled frozen yogurt and boba tea place) if I paid for it. And as we sat and laughed I kept noticing lines on her face that I didn’t remember being there, I furrowed my brow in frustration that I didn’t perceive it earlier. Lines marking her cupids-bow upper lip and stretching from the sides of her nose and framing her mouth. Etchings near her eyes and on her forehead. When did my mother turn into a person? I wondered. A wise woman once said that there is a key point in life, where we stop seeing our parents as parents, and see them instead as people. My bubbly, Disneyloving, hardworking mother turned into a bubbly, Disneyloving, hardworking human being before my very eyes. And my heart broke a little.

Life is but a vapor, so says countless philosophers and the Bible itself. And what a beautiful vapor my mother is. I know I will wake up one day and she will be long gone, but, goodness, I can look into her eyes and hold onto her as long as I wish, it’s nothing but gripping falling sand in one’s fist. How can any human being properly love and cherish another in a way that stops time? I feel like this should exist. I feel like if I were to fight hard enough with nothing but my raw will that perhaps I can bend the cosmos in this way, that I might hold time in my hand and demand that it cease, and that it would. But the human will can only extend one’s reach so far, it can only do so much to hold the sun in one’s hand or the stars with one’s gaze. I can’t be the only one who has felt like this. Or perhaps William James would say I am. But then, what does he know? He’s dead. Where did his wisdom and ambition and raw will get him? All that is left of him is ink on a page. All that stands of Mr. James are quotes and requotes until sometimes words are said so often we don’t even care about what they mean anymore.

I wish that I could suspend the lives of the people I love for a while, but I know this would never be enough, it could never be enough. Because I am human, and so I fear the unknown of a world without them. But yet I still look into their eyes and hold them as tightly as I may, the sand continues to fall, the lines in the sand and the lines around her mouth are drawn by time, and nothing can be done to capture such vapors, what is done is done, what has passed has passed, and I am comforted only by the fact that I will only feel this brand of grief once, only get kicked with this fear in one swing.

Live On,

–Hannah-Elizabeth

Talk Therapy

My life is currently surrounded by therapy. My father is in anger management, my mom is an aesthetician, and I am going to be a psychiatrist. Never placing aside the therapy of talking with Heather Madame, though when it comes to the role of patient and therapist the roles are comfortably constantly changing.

About a month or so ago I finally convinced my mom to let me see someone about my anxiety. The bad news is that the someone I was able to see wasn’t a therapist, it was a naturepathic doctor. I remember being impressed at first at the modern and professional appearance of the place from the outside, it looked like a stylish two-story office building. When we stepped in we were met with sparkling granite floors, light grey walls and complete and utter stillness in the air. Our steps echoed as we made our way to the doctor’s office. As we sat in the waiting room, I was convinced an attack would hit me (after a while one starts recognizing the signs from the room suddenly feeling distant and an indecisive heartbeat), I told my mom I had to use the ladies room and the receptionist directed me to one down the hall. I kept finding myself shaking my head, perhaps from denial, perhaps that little kid in me insisting I don’t wanna go, I don’t wanna go! I walked over to the sink and washed my hands longer than necessary, my every move, breath and step echoing. As I dried my hands I realized they were shaking. I don’t wanna go, I don’t wanna go… I felt like crying for a moment, but a quick glance in the mirror made me straighten up and toughen up. Funny how reflections do that. I’ve been furious and yelling before and one flick of the eyes to a mirror or reflective piece of glass and I was silenced. And we’ve all been crying when we have caught view of ourselves, fighting (and, for some of us, surrendering to) the impulse to throw or cover the surface, blinding ourselves of how others might see us.

About a minute after returning to my seat the doctor’s door opened and a tanned, large, rather round woman walked out wearing a lab coat.

“Sorry about the wait, please, come in. I’m Dr. Sanchez.”

After sitting down in her office she explained who she was and advertised an AM radio program she hosts. Her office smelled of B.O. She asked basic questions about my eating habits, repeatedly expressing approval at my homemade-dominated diet. She then had me fill out a piece of bright yellow paper entitled “Is It A Yeast Infection?” I kept waiting for the stepping onto the scale, the listening of the heart, the checking of blood pressure and the usual doctor looking me directly in the eye and talking to me because it was I, not my mother, who was the patient. But instead her and my mother spoke about the benefits of eating healthy and what a shame it is that America is going downhill. They chatted for a while, making the appointment go over by 30 minutes (to which the doctor said that she would ‘let us off’ without having to pay for the extra time used) she suggested a list of supplements and sent us off. Only once did they directly discuss my panic attacks, it was also the only time I was able to speak directly about my anxiety.

“Can you do it?” I surprised myself by asking my mom, “I don’t think I can talk about it without breaking down.”

She shrugged and looked uncomfortable, “I don’t remember that much.”

I cleared my throat, though I could feel a lump forming. For six months I had been waiting to tell someone who could help me exactly what happened. I explained the first attack in church and the one the following week, along with the dissociation and feelings of general anxiety, periods of agoraphobia and the nightly sense of impending doom. Within three minutes I had explained everything, though, as I expected, at the end the waterworks had started up. My mom joined in to give her side as to why she didn’t take me to the ER when I had my first attack. I had been sobbing and begging her to take me to a doctor that day to tell me what happened, but once I could breathe normally she became very irritated very fast, glancing around the foyer of the church as we stepped back inside, knowing that social appearances are too important to me to make a scene.

“I know she thinks I didn’t handle it the right way…” My mom explained, “But a doctor would just write a prescription and send us away, and it would cost a fortune-”

Cue sob.

Dr. Sanchez looked over, she too now entirely unsure of what to do. She started talking to my mom with clear intent of me hearing it, “You know, that is right, a doctor wouldn’t have been any good. Modern doctors now have forgotten the art of healing.” To which my mom added another bit and Sanchez had another turn. I had gotten out my handkerchief and tried in vain to make the detestable tears stop.

“Do you wish we hadn’t come?” My mom asked as we pushed through the double-glass doors to the outside world.

“It’s too late to do anything about it now.” I said, feeling drained, helpless and betrayed all over again after reviewing my attacks anew and due to the river I had just cried. She just stared at me as the car pulled up, uncharacteristically silent.

Heather Madame has an aunt that happens to be in the nurse profession. After sending her a timeline and a long list of my symptoms she confirmed what I had suspected this entire time. My mental problems began two years ago, in the first mobile home (also when bulimia made its first fierce comeback), and have simply sprouted and manifested in increasing ways ever since. My physical symptoms are all psychosomatic. I remember when I became rather desperate for a therapist, and my symptoms became more extreme. It was only when I thought about why my symptoms were suddenly worsening that I realized that something in me was reacting to my want to see a therapist, that I know I have things I want to talk about, to discuss with an actual doctor – at least the brand of doctor I know I need.

The reason for any of my blogs is so I can be completely honest and have this outlet for everything, because I have so desperately needed it. WordPress has become a safe haven. Blogging has helped me keep my head, writing and reading what strangers and friends have to say has given me new perspectives on my own life, and more than once has redirected a choice I was going to make. I want to remain honest here. That’s right, ya’ll, Classic is a bit of loon.

Yesterday I received my mineral supplements, and I’ve officially started on the regime. It can be slightly inconveniencing, and I tell you that a homeopathic cure is using a stick to unlock a door. I know it won’t work, because minerals cannot silence the past two years, and it can’t erase the fear, the anxiety and the helplessness felt the past two years. My plan at this point is to save up for a few therapy sessions on my own and go to whomever I need to. Heather Madame has stood by me and will provide any transportation I can’t get myself. Again I thank God for her; truly, everyday.

Here’s to the day of the talk and the cure.

–Hannah-Elizabeth/Classic

French And 5K

“Perhaps we should try to introductions again?” I suggested. Heather Madame nodded and sat upright on the bench on the back patio of the library. I closed the French conversation guide and followed suit.

Bonjour,” She began for the fifth time.

“Or salut if it’s a friend,” I reminded her.

Oui. Salut...wait…”

We both started laughing. “If I’m just meeting you than why would we have the friend greeting?”

“Yeah, that would be rather odd.”

We referenced back to the little handbook again and for no reason again suddenly sat upright.

“Okay,” Heather said, folding her hands in her lap and dramatically flipping her head to the right, “Two strangers meeting in a posh french cafe!” She whipped her head back around, her honey-shaded hair flipping back over with a suspicious, suave look on her face.

Je m’appelle…” My name is…I thought for a moment, “Marc Anthony!”

Heather broke into chuckles again before returning to composure. I continued:

Comment vous appelez-vouz?” What is your name?

“Cleopatera! Common allez-vous?” How are you?

Tres bien, merci! Et vous?” Very well, thanks! And you?

Tres bien, merci.  Ca va?” Very well, thanks. How is everything?

Ca va.” Everything is fine.

We paused for a moment, empty of anything but bare-essential introductory dialogue from our first french study session in both of our lives. She suddenly grinned and started singing the french part to “Labelle” by Lady Marmalade before we both started laughing again.

We woke up early this morning for cross-training (we’ve decided to dedicate the Summer to getting fit and ready for the 5K in Fort Worth this February, which is going to be one of the first things slashed off of our 20 Before 20 List). Thursday was our first official day of 5K training, and what  pitiful sight we were; huffing and puffing and struggling to take oooonnnneee mmooorreeee ssstepppp. All the while middle-aged men and women (and upper-aged while I’m confessing my lack of jogging skill) passed us up like a hot-rod against a tricycle in mud. Today wasn’t much better.

“Hannah,” Heather said as a group of grey-haired women chatted and sped past us, “We’re being passed by the walkers!”

“Well,” I said as I shook my head in shame, “It’s not as bad as that snail that passed us up a half-mile back.”

Tomorrow we are leaving earlier than usual (around 6:30AM) to get to the park early so we’ll have enough time to stop by our favorite Cafe in the downtown before another couple of hours of french.

Au revoir, a tout a l’heure!

Classic/Hannah-Elizabeth