My general rule for myself (and many others), is that wearing button-down shirts requires an undershirt. There are, of course, exceptions, usually having to do with seasonal and geographical locations (e.g. a short sleeve casual shirt in the summer), but like I said, it's a rule. The new personal exception is the plaid cowboy snap shirt. It happened on accident one Saturday morning, when I just put it on to run out to the store or walk the dog, or some event that didn't require me caring, and then I saw myself in the mirror with the open collar and the chest hair revealed and decided this is a look I enjoy. And the physiological symbol of certain male bodies corresponds well in a way that doesn't so much sync with my image of a nice dress shirt in an office environment.
My shirt could use some ironing though.
On Friday I had brunch with drinkasyoupour
and because she is a therapist as well as my good friend, I of course shared some of my recent therapist thoughts and revelations and ponderings. After we ate and decided to go to Andersonville to poke around a little, I knew in my gut we would see him on the street or in a store. Sure enough, as we were waiting to cross Balmoral, he drove by us. I shrieked a little and told her about it, and my premonition, then she had to go and say, "damn, I wish I had seen him when he drove past." Because he of course ended up parking half a block away and was feeding the meter and appeared to be walking toward us and I totally panicked and made us duck into the bakery. Except we were mistaken, he never came our way. We left and went to buy shoes. I joked about my panicking. Then on the way to the bookstore, we passed him on the sidewalk. Of course. I didn't force us to avert ourselves this time, we passed and made eye contact and did the half-nod/smile thing. Its all ridiculously silly, both at the time and now, recounting it, but also valid because it is uncommon to have an intensely intimate relationship that happens in a controlled bubble and barely includes a handshake. DAYP helpfully pointed out, that being on the other end of the therapist seeing the client in public isn't always necessarily easy either.
That night I went to the reading at the Chopin Theatre alone and struck up a random conversation with a quirky stranger. It put me in a good mood, to interact with someone who foregoes all the boring trappings of small talk and instead starts conversations with things like: "Do you wear your glasses all the time?" Um, except for when I sleep. "Do you own contacts?" Yes, but I don't wear them all the time. "Oh, because there's this weekly dodgeball game in wicker park that's really fun and you should do....but sometimes glasses get broken, so you don't wear them." After the reading I met up with DYA and some friends and acquaintances at a gallery and then a drink and had a good time discussing movie adaptations of novels, Sharon Stone, quitting things, rock band rivalries that involve guerilla vandalism, and earl grey cigarettes.
Yesterday was a run in the rain, writing group, then meeting up with my former mentor for wine downtown. I took her to Bin 36 which was sort of like eating inside a Crate & Barrel and the cheese was extremely overpriced given the portion size, but the wine was only moderately overpriced and worth it because you could get all these flights. I would definitely return. And I am in love with their Pomelo Suvignon Blanc. I am happy to have found sufficient options for white wines this summer. The conversation included losing large chunks of time to depression, stage zero cervical cancer, brain tumors that are really "mexican worms", screenplays, making a living writing, bad book reviews, choosing which novel to write, and the familial impact of your mother dating a sex offender. She didn't disapprove of me shelving my novel and I even broke my vow and talked about the details of my new novel and she was intrigued. (Oh yeah, have I mentioned I'm starting a new novel?) She was thrilled by the writing retreat we're doing in Ojai. And she gave me a specific editor of a well-known literary journal to whom I should submit a story, with permission to also use her name in the letter. Sight-unseen of what this story is, just on faith of having read my other work. Oh yeah, this was part of the purpose of going to grad school. The connections. Also, to find mentors who challenge but also have faith in you. Also, to meet writers who are making it work and we can just drink and talk about existing in the world together. It was good to be reminded of it all.
By the time I came home last night, I was perfectly sated in regards to all my social time and extroversion. Besides, I've been itching to finally do some writing. See, on Thursday night, on the train ride home, I managed to conceive an entire new novel -- main character, secondary characters, plot, ending and all. I'm not entirely sure about POV and structure yet, but that can come. I'm mostly just happy to not be loathing the thought of tackling it, the way I have been so extremely disinclined for the past year. Today was going to involve some wandering, some sitting, some writing. But now it's raining and I'm less interested in just hitting the street and finding a place to land, especially since I left my umbrella at a friend's house. But who knows, I might do it anyway. My shirt and chest hair deserve it.