[ the examination ]Spence had an optometry appointment today so I drove him there and got breakfast at Cajun Kitchen while they put drops in his eyes and all that. I sat on the patio. By myself. This is notable because I rarely sit at restaurants by myself. To use the dramaturgical metaphor, I get stage fright if I'm up there alone, before a audience that I just know is mean and judgmental.
What I ate: hash browns, turkey sausage and two eggs, over easy. Bland breakfast. Typical breakfast. I tried to drown it in Cajun spicy sauce, but the effect was ultimately not as enlivening as the bottle's label led me to believe. Furthermore, I was easily the youngest person sitting outside. And the only person wearing a t-shirt and flip-flops. In fact, I was surrounded by two clusters of indoor desk types, all with cell phones clipped to their Dockers. Yikes. But I realized this whole situation, however unpleasant, was entirely indicative for this stage of my life. Me and the adults. The adults and me, conspicuously non-adultish in my appearance.
Whether I want to be or not, I live in a grown-up world. I'm not in college anymore. I need to get a job and some sense of stability. I'm finally finishing my Flash project today and will turn my provisional A into a real one. I'll have no other responsibilities from my college life holding me back, no excuses, no other alternatives to figuring out what I'm supposed to do with myself for the time being.
I live in a grown-up world now. I just need to find my place in it.
[ the unrelated anecdote ]In my art class senior year, the teacher had the class sit at tables. Every few weeks, she'd shuffle the seating arrangement so that by June you'd arted next to just about everybody in the class. Partway through the year, I sat next to a girl named Lufia. She was tiny and Hispanic and I think a freshman who had been bumped up from beginning art because she had actual talent. She wore caked-on make-up — chola raccoon — but was outgoing and chatty and nice.
One day, my curiosity got the better of me. "So that's an unusual name," I told her.
"Yeah," she said. "I've never met any other Lufias before."
"How did you get it?"
"Well, my dad's name is Luis and my mom's name of Ofelia. So they decided to take the first part of my dad's name and stick it on the end part of my mom's."
I processed this for a second.
"Well, then shouldn't your name be 'Lufelia,' then?
Lufia was quiet for a second. "Oh," she said finally. "I'd never thought of that before." She was quiet for the rest of the day, quite possibly because I had pointed out that her name amounted to a lifelong typographical error.
[ super surprise bonus third section ]When I took Prof. Corum's short story class, he told us that whenever authors write a collection of short stories, there's a reason why he or she groups together those given works of literature. He said the author might not even be conscious of the theme, but it's always there. I don't know if I agree with Corum. Frequently, I didn't, in fact. But when I decided to write this post, this grouping seemed like the most obvious one in the world. Now I don't know why I've yoked these two together.