Friday, September 23, 2011

Oh, I don't know, let's call this one: RAIN

Yeah. Rain!
East-coast, September rain!

It's raining today, and it's wonderful! Sure I'll be moaning about it in no time, but today it's amazing and different and new and not even a little bit frustrating or depressing.

It's the kind of rain that we foolishly wish for in Colorado (foolish because it's impossible). It's a straight down, enduring, emotionless rain. It's the kind of rain that makes trees grow tall and moderately packed together with heavy, scrubby underbrush. It's the kind of rain that stretches pinecones out from the baseball shape I'm used to into a more scale-y bannana shape composed entirely of shake-shingles. It's no downpour, it's no fitful tyranny of hyperactive Colorado machismo. It's no temper-tantrum of flailing thunder and whipping, icy winds.

It's just rain. Solid and enduring as if it were sunshine. Even. Smooth. Unperturbed by even the slightest breath of wind - of which there won't be any.

Just rain. How exotic! How coastal! How soon, do you think it will be when I get sick to death of it and start crying out "IS THERE NO SUN IN THIS CURSED COUNTRY?"

In other news, I have had a few outings into my new world. Some have been disasterously awkward, some have been decidedly less so. Mostly, however, the needle is still pointing at "agoraphobia" and my inner 12 year old is still hiding under the bed somewhere hoping I'll never step outside again.

It's hard to interact with people here. Even at the glimmering shores of our nation's capital where the population density will be about ten thousand times what it is here... I feel that there are so many more people than I'm used to. Because - newsflash - there are. They're everywhere. Constantly. Always.

Back home there's "going to work" time, and "mid day lunch-ish" time, and "going home" time. Here, it's just do-time. All the time. And let's face it, I don't know the half of it. I'm just pressing my ear to the wall, as it were, and listening to the creaks and bumps next door in a mysterious, black room full of activity and business that does not stop. Ever. For anything.

People don't readily make eye contact here. I'm used to using my eyes offensively, it's an easy trick to learn, but now when I go in for a casual "hello" I feel as though if I linger just a picosecond too long then I'm being REALLY aggressive. Or naive. There's that sensation too. I'm resisting most of my urges to wave at strangers and say "good morning" or whatever... and it's getting harder.

I shouldn't resist. But the urge to release my Colorado mountain-girl grins is being held down by my much stronger urge to at least pretend to blend in. When in Rome, you know?

Now don't fret, I'm not going to walk around grousing all the time and I certainly won't lose my flair for saying "hello" to people I probably shouldn't. And I'll never lose my ability to use words like "fret" in common conversation. I'm just in a new place right now and my chameleon instinct is kindof taking over for a little while until I can really get my bearings and figure out exactly when and where it's appropriate to be my version of "me" again.

If I don't, you see, I end up in a CVS trying to laugh at someone's clearly not laugh-worthy joke; the result of which yeilds a KJ braying like a donkey at a pharmacy full of silent strangers looking at the floor. Oh yes, gentle reader, it was bad. No help though that the scrip I had gone to pick up was complicated by the relocation, compounded by the time-difference (can no two pharmacies communicate to eachother directly?) and confused by the fact that my name changed like three years ago.

I was so nervous by the end of it I left my credit card at the pharmacy desk, filled out the rewards card application as "m" and not "f" and mis-signed my name on the receipt using my maiden name. Not a soul in there would have been surprised if I had immediately crapped my pants and sang Gilbert and Sullivan show tunes as I pranced out the door with a lampshade on my head.

Maybe that's why they weren't making eye contact?


No, I noticed the eyes thing long before I outed myself as someone who rarely interacts with humans.

The good news is that my cloisterous life here in the apartment is going to be whittled away starting tonight. We're going to see a movie with friends up in Maryland. Then tomorrow, we're going apple-picking. Forecast suggests sunny weather... so I'm thinking of wearing my diving bell. You know. For the humidity? No? just a t-shirt and shorts you say?

SHORTS? in PUBLIC? Have you LOST your mind? oops... there she goes under the bed again. *sigh* Now look what you did.

Regardless, getting out and meeting some friendly faces should do me a world of good. I'll try my best to leave the lampshade at home.

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