That Ceiling Feeling Again
She goes to Greece tomorrow. I’m thinking; I’m watching squirming 12 year- olds write their vocabulary flash cards for unit three. I see myself typing, but I’m thinking how did I possibly forget my make- up? I know I’m preoccupied, but I look like a corpse- thank God for my girlfriends because we have each other’s backs, always, there seems to be a lot of that these days, and I have the black eyeliner and mascara at least so I don’t look like a day old corpse- no matter how I feel. When will she come to say goodbye to me? Will this be the absolutely last time I hug her? I said yes to this trip because I thought Hillary was going to be president. I didn’t think the fuckwad would be in the West Wing. God, I miss that show. I know it is on Netflix. I need to have her tell me how to work that again because I could watch it and pretend Martin Sheen is my president like I did through the Bush years, but Greece is close to Syria and the White Hats won the Academy Award for the foreign film category, didn’t they? She hasn’t come yet. I know I’m ridiculous, but at least she isn’t studying abroad- that is absolutely out now. I said yes to her sister to England and France two years ago with a small group of college kids and a teacher and now,of course, I painted myself into a corner and had to say yes to Greece. It is another small group with two teachers this time. I will try not to hug her too hard, sniffing her hair to remember her smell if I watch the plane disappear from the tracking thing online.
Crisis one averted today. Yes, the philosophy test was failed. Philosophy. I remember the macrocosmic vs microcosmic outlook from thirty-five years ago, but that is about it. Siddartha, St Francis, Crime and Punishment, what else did we read? We discussed in small groups in a small women’s college on a small lake A few of us in a room, unafraid to speak. I learned how to wire lights to a light board: Lekos and Fresnels, cool side, warm side. Lash flats together and the difference between an eight penny double headed nail and a common nail, a Phillips head screw- driver and a flat end, what an awl was used for, and how to drive a standard shift clutch on- the- steering- wheel- column old turquoise pick- up truck. I should sit up straighter when I type, my shoulders are curling forward and I’m slouching, I silently watch myself from my perch plastered against the white squared ceiling with the nine million dots.
Will she remember she is in a foreign country and not drink ouzo all night with her friends. Nobody would take an American girl, who is drunk, stumbling around Athens with her friends at night on a college trip as a hostage. Say that over and over. She will have a brain and she won’t do that. Natalie Holloway. Do NOT hug her too tightly. Don’t scare her; this is her chance, if you are too worried and it rubs off on her the terrorists win, but she has to pay attention and not be oblivious. Where is she?
I know this is the trip of her lifetime, like when I went to Scotland for six weeks and worked in the orphanage and wanted to bring an orphan home with me. Finally, I was a sane person, and I knew I couldn’t take care of a twelve year old girl when I was twenty years old. I still had to become a famous actress. I will put more money in her account because in case of emergencies. Is it going to be cheaper in Greece or more expensive because of their economy? I can’t remember. Have I taught her everything in the world she needs to know? She knows. She is smart; she’s going to be a journalist. Greece? What the fuck was I thinking? Here she is.