Sitting around the dinner table from me were two faces I’d known since 1994. They look the same and yet, so worldly. I’m thrilled to still have them in my life. Our conversations may have shifted from crushes to husbands, homework to houses, and babysitting gigs to (their own) babies, but the laughter, love, and respect are always present.

The first portion of the walk home, E called her husband to check in. Minimally aware of their conversation, I was acutely aware of having been here before. My first year in Boston, E and I were roommates and she’d talk to her then boyfriend, now husband every night at 11. Their plan to combat the long distance love affair. Then and now, I’d catch snatches of conversation, not intentionally listening, but knowing what I did hear was part of a grand story of love.

convos with strangers

conversations with strangers #122


Him: Good morning.

Me: Good morning.

A simple exchange, but you see, he’s a school crossing guard and I am neither a school child nor the parent of one. He presides there on the corner of two crosswalks every school day. A neon yellow vest, a handheld stop sign, and a penchant for small talk. I’m a pedestrian without a small child tugging on my attention, and so am able to check for cars/pass quickly across one of the crosswalks under his guard. He doesn’t need to raise that stop sign for me.

Instead, he offers me a warm greeting.

Maybe it’s that crossing guards are a rare breed of kindness or maybe this is a look into my future (kids, school days) via a crystal ball crossing guard?



The impossible can take on many forms, such as my Halloween inspiration:

pro spideweb makeup

I first attempted it on Halloween 2014 because I was feeling lazy and the thought of pulling together/buying various articles of clothing to form a costume was too much. I wanted to use what I already had on hand. A black dress, crazy patterned tights, a headband with a tiny witch’s hat on it, and a variety of makeup.

My look ended up more understated than the inspiration, but serviceable nevertheless.

This Halloween, I expanded my makeup options by borrowing some purple eyeshadows and nail art stickers from a friend. I gathered every form of eye makeup I had and added M’s stash to it. I knew the look was achievable (see: last year), but the crowd of liners and shadows and brushes and crayons and mascaras and fake lashes took my breath away.

My hands jittered as I switched from brushes and shadows to liquid liners and back. I swiped and dusted and pulled and wiped off and poked and stepped back and dabbed and traced and removed and added and squinted and shook my head and blended. I used eyelash glue for the first time. The blacks and blues and purples piled up, each layer thicker than the last. Nail art stuck to my face and my fingertips.

Q-tips + a smear of lotion were a formidable combination against the many mistakes and mis-starts and re-dos.

Focusing on one section of my face, one brush stroke, one minute at a time, my face transformed.

2015 1


My elation with the final product was tempered by the realization I had only 5 minutes until I had to leave. I still needed to divide up my and M’s makeups, clean up the spills and overflows, pack my purse, and get dressed in my official outfit.

My polished self locked the door, leaving the disheveled bathroom behind. That would have to be future Abby’s impossible task.