My waiter, he asked how old I was in reference to the round of margaritas for the table of guac lovers, and so I replied, “27.”
My friends, they turned to me quickly and corrected, “Ash, you are 28.”
My years, I have lost them in my foggy brain, forgetting exactly how many moments have piled up to build me into this curl-embracing woman still on the hunt for the perfect frizz-ease mousse to tame the chaos.
My nurse, she told me I had shrunk at my last wellness check-up when I stood up straight with my feet together and head leveled. Or was it that I’ve grown? Either way, she informed me that I am not 5’ 5”, the height I have proclaimed for years, ever since my body decided to quit and just be who I am. Maybe years ago I knew the detailed measurement, but decided to round up or down, clinging to an even 5’ 5” for this brain that floats around in fog. I can’t remember.
My journal, it tells me dates to remember and dates to forget. Like the date when I cherished the Harry Connick Jr. cassette tape discovered at the bottom of the bin at the used bookstore. And the date when I flung Harry out the passenger window to sing to the weeds on the side of Route 1.
My family, they asked who this stranger was standing unexpectedly in their kitchen, waiting for a burger and a hug.
My smile, it went along with the joke.
My eyes, they found water that I thought had dried up.
My house, it has a key that still fits in the lock and opens my front door with chipped and faded blue paint that refuses to accept a match from a Home Depot swatch. Do you know how many options exist on the weather-resistant blue paint color wheels? I lost count.
My plants, some are dying, some are growing. Some want water, some want thirst. Some like sun, some like darkness. I wonder often, will plants always be a stumbling mystery to me?
My bed, it refuses to accept my new position, how I can only sleep on it horizontally now, on top of the down comforter, with a new soft blanket instead of sheets. It’s the only solution to the sheep crisis, how to count three or fifteen less each night.
My nightstand, it holds a new book called Come Matter Here, just what the doctor ordered, how to dig deep and plant roots and learn that we’re allowed to stay.
My coworker, he whack-a-moled out of his cubicle and asked, “Are you cycling?” about the squeaky stationary pedals that once provided exercise, lately a foot stool for the tired feet under my desk.
And so I replied, “Yes, I’m sorry, can you hear it?”
“It’s not bad. I’m just excited you’re pedaling again.”