A talented girlfriend made me a necklace a few months ago. It looks a little like an abstract blue whale, and a little like a feather. It's copper, with a tiny rose quartz stone where the eye of the whale might be, and the copper rubs against my skin, releasing a metallic scent reminiscent of car keys or loose change. Handstamped into the copper are the words Flight Risk.
Just the fact that I own and wear the necklace, makes Stone uneasy. It's a talisman, a visual and verbal reminder of my total inability to commit to anything, live a predictable life, to settle down and be a good wife and mother. Stone, my Husband, my best friend, my keeper, and the father of my children... Stone knows better than anybody that I've always been a flight risk.
I was at the park the other day with Jim, whom I sometimes seek out when I want to run ideas by a certifiably sane individual. I was talking about how I seem to be having a hard time making friends at the country club we joined, and why can't I fit in? I have the right clothes, the correct socio-economic standing, a bland midwestern accent, and the correct skin color.
Jim looked over at me and said something along the lines of "Jesus Christ, Sarah... Look at yourself, look at what you drive, I mean, have you ever heard yourself try to have a conversation? You are never going to fit in there. Why are you even trying?" He didn't mean any of it unkindly, you see, he was just stating the blindingly obvious. Jim was absolutely, totally and completely correct. Far from crushing, this realization was like having a hundred thousand pounds lifted off my shoulders.
When I really think about it, I've never done anything remotely normal. How fucking lucky is that? In my entire goddamn life, I have never once, until recently, been bored. So maybe I should do something that isn't boring, instead of drinking cocktails at an overpriced club with people who don't like me. And this little idea that has been rolling around in the back of my head since we moved to the states blossomed into a full-scale plan. I will become a Paramedic.
I went home and said to Stone "I want to go to school to be a Paramedic" and Stone said "hell no". A little while later in Calgary, I said to Stone "I want to go to school to be a Paramedic" and Stone said "hell no. You should get your real estate licence" and then one Sunday two weeks ago I said to Stone "I really want to go to school to be a Paramedic" and Stone said "Hell No!" and eventually, sometime early Monday morning, after a night of intermittent screaming and tears, I emerged with permission and blessings to go to school and do my EMT basic certification, in exchange for a promise not to use my newfound powers to live up to my flight-risk reputation and leave him and the kid.
Because you see, I'm pretty sure that man loves me more than anyone else in the entire world has ever loved anyone. It's like the truest, most unconditional, most unquestioning love you can imagine. I am the absolute WORST example of a housewife, and yet, he loves me anyway. We're coming up on Ten years soon. Here's hoping he still loves me this much in another Ten. The future looks gorgeous from where I'm standing.
I got drunk a couple of weeks ago at Thomas McGee's in Eastern Market. It was the absolutely perfect drinking with strangers sort of night, intense, funny, weird. I watched two increasingly wasted Detroit Hipster Cliches' get more and more outrageous in their attempts to attract attention to themselves. It was perfect. On the way home, right around midnight a came across this:
Despite the perception that most of Detroit is on fire, all the time, this is the first actual fire I've come across in person. You could feel the heat from the street, and hear the crackle and roar. You forget how loud fires are in person. I stood there in the middle of the street for like 20 minutes, watching the firefighters, and not another soul passed by.
This morning I watched an airshow from my back garden, arms draped across the shoulders of my pajama-clad neighbors. Plans were made for drinks tonight, BBQ on Sunday, and a Houseparty in the East English Village on Tuesday.
Everything is going to be alright.