French Instead

I want to write about the conflict that was on my heart this weekend – because you know, there’s always something? I peddled to this dim-lit coffee shop through the cool rain, falling like dust over our Portland neighborhood, to find inspiration. It felt near-freezing, but I’m sure that’s an exaggeration. The leaves, bustled up, popped in exuberant color against the wet gray asphalt.

Exuberant? Exuberantly? I can’t recall what that word even means.

Scratch this.

I’m struggling with writing today. I can’t seem to articulate the maze of thoughts streaming every which way in my mind. Most deep, rooted hard against motives, reinforcements, and behavior learned decades ago. Some fleeting, whipping in for a moment, slapping their tails erratically, pollinating those other thoughts with anxiety, desperation, and fear. It’s only when I consciously STOP. and focus on something other than myself does the sprinkler of rationale turn on, cloaking my internal chaos with a gentle mist of clarity.

This weekend I have not been on my relationship/giving-a-shit-about-another-person game. I can blame it on external sources, mood swings, female problems, whatever. I felt as though I was playing a constant game of Whack-A-Mole, only the “mole” here was really “the nagging partner as played by Erin”. I felt extra imperfect as a significant other, and I let those thoughts snare me and run off with my sanity.

I woke up this morning and we were at it again: pushing against one another. We had a shared vision of dry land, but instead of offering each other help out of the pit, we got stuck wrestling in the mud. This is typical for us, and dare I say, many couples. Wanting the same thing, but letting micro breaks in the wavelengths of communication blur that mutual goal. Someone feels misunderstood, cheated, left out, or undermined, leading to that first shove into the mud.

This morning we got out of the pit pretty quickly. He took off for his coffee shop and I to mine, where I planned to sit down and let this weekend’s events transport me to the Egomaniacal Writer’s Land of Philosophy and Profound Thinking.

I opened my laptop as the barista brought me my matcha latte.

It was so green. Like, vibrantly, deliciously, earthy green. Steam rose slowly off its surface like a fog leaving the city. Hot liquid rolled underneath the thin veil of foam, a seal which only my lips would break as I took the first sip. The drink, esconced in a heavy mug the color of the sky before a storm, was completely distracting.

I couldn’t think of anything negative to write about after seeing it! That’s the truth. Trust me, I tried. The latte tastes even better than it looks. Bookended between my laptop and my phone, it was beauty beside utility. So, I have little machines that are here to help me produce as best as I can, right here on this table. I have beautiful coffee that someone made into art, just for me, right here on this table. What will I gain today by dwelling on the negative?

WIll it help me reach my potential as a writer or a partner? Will I feel better? Will I feel justified, righteous, worthwhile for having dissected this weekend?

No. No. No.

Instead, I’m going to post this blog, and only edit it once.

I’m going to get second-hand satiated on the aroma of this onion bagel two tables away.

I’m going to practice my French (elementary).

I’m going to check in on my stocks and pretend to know what I’m checking for.

I’m going to google vacation spots.

I don’t think this matcha latte will be the only beautiful thing I see today. And I don’t want that maze in my mind being fed anything to distract me from beauty.

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