Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Three Gold Stars

I gave away three gold stars today, all to one family. I had to. A toddler was actually prodding her mother to move faster. Rarely do you see that. It was a nice shift. "I know, I know," the woman said, as she started to move past the real estate listings that had engaged her, down the sidewalk to follow her pigtailed little girl, pushing her baby in the stroller. "Mommy's always distracted..." They each got a star and I heard the little prodder already planning where she would put it. She knew exactly what to do, where to go. She wanted to get there. And fast. I recognized myself in her but also in her mother.

I love distracted people. I'm highly distracted and distractable myself. Today, for example, I have done nothing but talk to people, in cafes, at the gym, on the street. It's because I have to write and I'm scared. Not writing for this blog (which is, by the way, another distraction) but for my memoir class, which reamed me last night both for being too honest and not being honest enough, for making them think about things they didn't want to and for not letting them in enough to know what I wanted them to. Hmmm. Confusing. Which is why I'm distracting myself today, talking, talking, talking, trying to figure before I try again. "You're halfway there," my teacher told me, encouraging. I guess, looked at that way, I've done some of the work. But there is still so much to do. It's not easy, writing. Better avoided much of the time if you want to get the laundry done and dinner on the table.

My Italian admirer at the gym, where I spent much of my morning trying to escape, made me feel better about it all and gave me the idea for my cover should the Gold Star project ever be turned in to a book. As I walked in to the weight room and, seeing him, waved, he yelled over to me across a crowd of guys, "I still have my gold star. I meant to bring it in, for you."

"Aaah, that would have been nice," I said. "I need it today."

He then shouted out, "I had a dream about you last night," he said. "You were wearing only three gold stars...strategically placed, of course."

I had to give it to him. It was funny. I kept thinking about it all through my workout and laughing. After last night's difficulty, I needed some good light relief. It's just a three gold star kind of day.

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