The first time it happened, it was really unplanned. I was twelve. My best friend had thrown me over for cooler girls. There I sat at home on a Friday night, not at a slumber party with the rest of them. So, I invited Loneliness over to hang out. Always so obliging, so eager, that Loneliness. Unlike me, she never begrudged being the substitute friend when there was no one better or more interesting to fill the social calendar.
Being helpful and prepared was like a silent mantra. She yearned for the day when someone would need…something…and she would pull the (exact) (right) object triumphantly from her car’s trunk as if it were Mary Poppins’ purse. Yes, let us enjoy our spontaneous picnic with the blanket I have right here!
Treasure Maps is a pop-up, interactive, drive-in theatre! The Treasure Maps drive-in show will include live-local hosts, installations, and safe interactive activities. The roadshow feature is the film screening of Treasure Maps on the big screen. Treasure Maps showcases a collection of 10 Georgia Storytellers’ Life Maps which provide an up-close and personal viewpoint into what it’s like navigating the complex webs of life in our communities as a person with a developmental disability.
Did I have enough time to take a good shower and dry my hair before the call? If not, was I willing to go through the video call with wet hair? [Side note: I’m not one of those women who looks cute and dewy after stepping out of the shower. My face gets flushed from rosacea, and my stringy hair makes me look rather like a drowned rat. In other words, I generally try to avoid having people see me in such a state.] If I didn’t take a shower then, was I willing to spend the rest of the day feeling gross? [Another note: This is the pandemic, so you know, it had indeed been, um, a whiiiile since the last shower.]
What emerged was an essay, “The Garlic Epiphany,” comprised of short reflections on a world without him, a world where his voice was silenced, how I struggled to feel alive on some days spent stretched out for too many hours on the couch he’d left to me. The title came from the ending where I was struck with the very sensory experience of standing at the stove, stirring garlic in a pan, the pungent odors and crackling sounds washing over me…
I would never buy a bottle of water.
Many people who know and love me recognize that I have this kind of extreme hangup about environmental waste, carry my own water bottle pretty much everywhere. Given that water in this country is often free and clean, I always wonder why more people don’t insist on doing the same. The answer, of course, is that we’ve been marketed out of understanding and believing it.