Wednesday, April 26, 2006


This morning it rained. No, I mean really rained. I awoke at 5:30 a.m. to total darkness, punctuated by Kodak flashes of lightning -- the “dark and stormy night” of Snoopy novels, shifted to early morning. Reset my alarm for 6. At 6, I told Karl Kastle to shove it. Slept until 6:30, leaving time for only one cup of Community Coffee before Qi arrived for our walk to school. “Do you think we’ll evacuate?” she worried. “If we do, I’m not coming back,” I said. “What will you do?” Of course, I’d been joking. I think. What would I do, if I had to leave New Orleans again? “I’d move in with Mom and Dad.”

That’s Plan A.

Okay, Mom and Dad?

Surely there’s a severe-weather clause in the “You can never go home again” rule. You can never go home again...except in the event of tornado, flood, or hurricane.

Hey, thanks for not turning my bedroom into a second office.

I did return to Murfreesboro for Easter, and found things pretty much as I’d left them. By that I mean, the floorboards are new, as are several kitchen appliances - and there’s a square of duct tape where a marble-top island will soon be erected near the stove (islands in the stream, Dolly). But my parents are still my parents. After we all hugged at the airport, Dad handed me a thermos of coffee and proudly announced Bush‘s newest, bleakest approval rating. Mom referenced a key lime pie in the fridge: “I told your dad ‘No tidying up the edges. We’re saving this for Jesse.’” I have good parents. Damnit. No market for stories about functional childhoods.

I should have taken the Easter long weekend to bulk up on attachment theory and repeated-measures ANOVA, but I instead indulged the childhood routine. Friday afternoon, Mom and I read our respective juicy novels on the sunroom couch. Saturday morning, I browsed the Daily News Journal (still the Newsless Journal in some quarters). Saturday afternoon, Dad and I went to a Middle Tennessee State University baseball game. Go, Raiders.

If I wanted a time warp -- a Tennessee weekend circa 1996, or, why not, ‘86 -- I almost got it. “Almost” is operative. (Isn’t it always?) My book was Julie Powell’s Julie and Julia, not The Baby-sitter’s Club. I didn’t touch the comics in the DNJ. And in the third inning of the ballgame, score 3-1 Guest, Ex Who Shall Not Be Named joined my bleacher.

Funny, I don’t remember ever seeing Ex Who Shall Not Be Named before we started dating. This, despite the fact we went to the same church, used the same gym, probably ordered grape leaves at the same falafel joint off the Public Square. Since the noxious break-up, we’ve crossed twice. What’s that line from When Harry Met Sally? “In a city of over a million people, you’re bound to run into your ex.” (Well, Murf just has 100,000, but any chance to quote my favorite comfort flick...)

As in December, we both smiled the way infants sometimes do right before they throw up. He sat four rows ahead of me and Dad. Two innings later, Ex left.

Are you surprised by the lack of drama? I am, sort of. When I mentioned the encounter to Mom, she said, “Oh, I hear he’s getting married.” Ex Who Shall Not Be Named found a soul mate. Holy guac. That should get a response. Hold on to your cell phone, HTS (or W., or Jessica, or whomever has graciously gone on standby).

Nope, nothing. No sighs or tears or frantic IMing. A couple of gossipy emails. “Mazel tov,” I wrote HTS. “That poor woman,” she replied.

I didn’t think I’d recover from that relationship. It was, after all, my first. At least 50 crossword puzzles. We worked a puzzle on nearly every date. Like many romantic quirks, this one started sweet and got pathological. How was your day? 50 across. What’s on your mind? 14 down. The last clue we completed was “stir fry,” #41 in The New York Times Book of Puzzles for a Lazy Sunday. I’m certain, because I wrote it down in my journal. January 17, 2005: I’ll remember these things forever, and it makes me sick.

Only, I didn’t remember. Not until I reread old journal entries a few weeks ago. You can go home again, but things change, too. What a relief.

So, I’m ending the blog here.

No, just kidding.

I’m veering from journal-style for awhile, though (a month? Two?). Couldn’t leave you without an appropriate epilogue. If you want to know what happened to HTS, W., Jessica, Mary, Joelle and Paul, and a few other names I’ve dropped in the past year, I’m sure they’ll tell you. Um, actually, they are you. Hi, guys.

What’s the future for me? Errrr. New Orleans won’t be my final destination -- I can say that much. Nor will psychology be my ultimate profession, I think. Friend has started dating again (a meltdown you missed), so he won’t be my life-partner. Does uncertainty make me twitchy? You bet. Is this the end?

Is it?



Blogger Jesseanna said...

I just want to point out that the "whomever" should be "whoever." WHOever has agreed. Because it's a subject, not an object.

That's all.


8:19 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Glad you corrected that syntactical error. Was afraid you were just going to let it there.

6:07 PM  
Blogger Jesseanna said...

Oh, HTS, and Boston Posse, and Brian and Kelly, and everyone else who still checks this page once in a while....I'm sorry I haven't figured out a new topic yet! Coming soon. Much GM love to all of you (*here I am pounding my chest and making the "much love" sign, though you can't see me*)

4:47 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Coming soon? Yessssssss!

8:39 AM  
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12:03 AM  

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