Today I knit from 4 – 5 pm. The sun is shining again after two days of rain and clouds. J. came by with turmeric in his eyebrows and under his fingernails. He had been cooking cauliflower in turmeric earlier in the day. “Wasn’t that a great time last night at the block party?” “Yeah, it was great,” I lied. J. is such a sweet man, seeing goodness in everyone whether or not it’s there. For example, I told him how nice it was that people had stayed behind to help Jeni clean up, but he credited me with reminding him to go pick up his gluten-free flour from Jeni who runs a company out of her home. I didn’t even know he needed to pick up flour! He told me he really liked my roommate, The Green Tea man. I told him there was a misunderstanding–when GT Man said he lived in “Christen’s apartment,” he meant my former apartment…I lived there from 2011 – 2012, and there was a woman who lived there briefly after I moved out, before GT Man moved in. Awkward. Later, I saw J. walking home, two bags of flour dangling from his hands and a measuring tape.
Later, C. walked up and said, “Wasn’t that a wonderful time last night at the Block Party?” and I lied again.
Finally D. drove up and asked me the same question, and this time I mustered the courage to say, “I was in a bit of a funk last night but I’m glad everyone else enjoyed themselves.” And he said, “Well, God bless you!” And I said, “Thanks, I need it!” Last night, at the block party, I felt over-exposed and inauthentic. It was like a bad dream in which I glance down and realize with a panic that I’m topless, while everyone else at the party is dressed to the nines.
One of my mentors used to say, “Spiritual growth does not feel spiritual.” As D. drove away, I found myself laughing. Riding my bike home, I salvaged a fish bowl from a pile beside a FREE sign. I hope to get myself a new roommate as soon as the chlorine evaporates from the water–a fighting fish.