Archive for August, 2015

conversations with strangers #118

August 7, 2015


I spent last night hooked up to an at-home sleep study machine which included tubes and wires and tangled bouts of sleep. Barely any sleep, actually. Having reached the Starbucks point of my walk, I decided my usual decaf americano wasn’t going to cut it. I was going to go big.

J: Good morning, Abby.

Me: Hi, J. Can I have an iced grande half-caf americano?

J: There are 3 shots in that. Do you want it 1/3 decaf and 2/3 caffeine or…?

Me: Oh, umm, I don’t care. Surprise me.

With the order paid for, I moved down the counter to wait for my drink. R was in charge of the espresso machine. He held up the marked up cup that said “1/3” under caffeine. “Do you really want it as 1/3 caffeine?”

Me: I’m not sure. There was math involved. Too early.

R: I sort of overheard your conversation with J and I can actually do this fully half caf. I mean, I can pull all three shots as half caf.

Me: Oh! Yes! That’s what I want. Please and thank you.

R: No problem.

Okay, so, I’m kind of a regular and neither J or R was a stranger, but it was an interesting lesson in espresso making.

outside lighting

August 6, 2015

I’ve been in the greater Boston area for 12 years now. City living pulses with neon and noise and crowds and you get used to it. It’s normal not to see the Milky Way or anything other than the brightest of stars. Knowing they’re there is enough. Seeing isn’t always believing.

Except for when an after dinner walk in NJ showcases the fireflies. Their bright butts twinkling in the smoky dusk left me breathless. I’m used to street lamps lighting the way, which, to be fair, is romantic in its practicality, but there’s something uniquely delicious in the impractical, infrequent, iridescent illumination of a firefly.

I must not go so long in between visits outside of a city’s borders.

conversations with strangers #117

August 2, 2015


Her: *turns on faucet* Oooh, that hot water feels so nice. I’m freezing!

Me: *smiles* *turns on cold side of the faucet* *soaps hands silently*

In the mirror, I could see a name tag pinned to her shirt, so presumably she’d been in the gloriously air conditioned shop for quite some time whereas I’d just come in from the scorching July temperatures. It’s amazing how perception works.

living on the edge

August 1, 2015

Looking out my windows, the cloud cover was thick, but white. I checked the app on my phone which said only 2% chance of rain. Knowing I’d be walking a lot I wanted my purse to be as light as possible, so I ditched my umbrella. It was a safe bet, I thought.

Don’t I know the house always wins?

For the second time this week, I was caught in a summer rainstorm. The first time was during a softball game. This time, though, I was consciously unprepared. I was mad at myself because I should know better than to trust some app, some radar vs. what I could see with my own two eyes. I’ve been here before in a very similar battle against my GPS. I need to put my trust in myself, not a machine.

As I trudged down Mass Ave, the rain pinged and sizzled against my hot skin. Relief, I thought. At least I’m heading home, I thought, I don’t care what I look like. Then the bus passed me, got stuck at a light, and I caught up to it without even trying. (And believe me, I’ve had to run for many a bus.) This was my exercise for the day. I didn’t want to get on the bus, besides the rain felt nice. I glanced at the sky. At the violet violence churning there. I got on the bus. As the doors closed, the rain graduated from sprinkle to deluge.

Me, a person who is always prepared, went out unprepared, but when the “worst” happened – the skies opened up – things worked out. It may not have been the best or smoothest or cleanest or driest, and it definitely was not the way I’d hoped it’d happen because bus = less exercise, but then again, dry > skinny.

I like those odds.