Friday, September 20, 2013

This is a Story About Nothing, Really

This is a story about a song that's running through my head lately.  It's called "Everlong" by Foo Fighters and it runs through my head all day lately.  It is the soundtrack for my life.

I've waited here for you.

This is a story about mac and cheese.  I was making some tonight and the water was already boiling when I realized I didn't have butter or milk.

Which, incidentally, means that the only ingredients I had to make mac and cheese were this box and, well, water.


This is a story about my neighbor's punk rock band.  Because happily, my baby sister lives across the street so I turned the water off and walked over to her house to borrow some milk and butter.  I took Cooper with me so he could get a little walk in.  On the way I passed my neighbor Chris, who was sitting outside and playing music with his punk rock band and I swear to you they were playing "Everlong".  Chris saw me and raised his beer can to me in a happy salute.  "Rock on!"  I yelled to them.

Sometimes I say something that I think sounds cool and then immediately hope the person didn't hear me.

I throw myself into
And out of the red, out of her head she sang

This is a story about real estate contracts.  My sister and her husband were reviewing one and their two-year-old daughter Bliss was sitting next to them on the orange leather sofa, happily playing with a laptop.  But my sister needed the laptop so she cleverly took the laptop away from the baby and handed her the iPad.  Which the baby cleverly tossed over the side of the sofa and smiled with great satisfaction when it hit the floor with a crack.

"Did you just throw the iPad on the floor?" my sister asked.

"No," said Bliss.

"But I'm sitting right here and I saw you," said my sister.

"No," said Bliss.

Did I mention she's two?

Bliss looked at me.  I looked at the floor, stifling a smile, which was mostly prompted by gratitude that my kids are not two anymore.

Then I remembered mine are tweens and I stopped being smug.

Come down
And waste away with me
Down with me 

"Are you smiling?" asked my sister.

"I need to go," I said.

This is a story about escaping.  I leaned in to give Bliss a kiss as I left and she swung her arms around my neck in a monkey-like embrace.  "Go with you!" she ordered.  Her parents said it was okay so I put her pink star shoes on her and she took my hand and I led her onto the front porch and away from any punishment that might have been related to that whole unfortunate iPad incident.

Slow how
You wanted it to be
I'm over my head, out of her head she sang 

This is a story about my dog being really poorly trained.  We untied Cooper's leash from the front porch but before we left he growled menacingly at my sister's 100-year-old dog.  My dog is so damn aggressive lately and I don't know where it's coming from.  My friend Glen said I need to get Cooper in this domineering hold and that will take care of everything in a matter of seconds but when he described the hold it just sounded like something you could get arrested for in the South so I settle for an overly-aggressive dog instead.

This is a story about the stars.  The three of us walked back down the street - a truly unruly dog, a headstrong two-year-old and a two-handed woman holding a dog leash, a plastic bag, a stick of butter, a small bottle of milk, and a sticky toddler hand.  My niece kept up a constant chatter as we made our way slowly across the blacktop.  Flag, car, sausage, grass, car, drive car, want drive car, want ride car, car.  Then she pointed up at the night sky and said "Stars!"  And yes, the stars were beautiful. 

Breathe out
So I can breathe you in
Hold you in 

Back at home my niece and Audrey and Grant giggled in my bedroom while I finished making the mac and cheese.  And the mango smoothie and the edamame.

And I wonder
If everything could ever feel this real forever
If anything could ever be this good again 

As I stood in the kitchen I really did wonder that.  Will it feel this real forever?  Will it ever be this good again?

This was a story about nothing.  About a day I walked down the street, and back.  And I'm sort of in awe of the fact that you read it, especially since I had such a non-compelling title.  But here you are and since you read it, you are also part of this story.  You are part of my story about nothing.  Which means you are also part of my everything.  Thank you for being here with me. 

Do you think it will feel this real forever?  Do you think it will ever be this good again? 

The only thing I'll ever ask of you
You've got to promise not to stop when I say when