Somedays I’d rather be a spectacular spectator

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The above photo was taken last Friday, while D and I relaxed on the steps of MLK Hall at UC Berkeley after the traditional post-jummah [Friday congregational prayer] lunch at Julie’s Cafe.

D was waiting for her housemate to pick her up, and I was waiting with her because when the sun is out in full-force like it was that afternoon, you can be sure there is nowhere else I need to be. I stretched out my legs and squinted into the sun. We talked about lots of things I can’t remember now, although I do recall regaling D with lots of stories about my childhood. I can talk about my childhood all day long, just so you know.

Once in a while, I would say, “The sun’s gone!” and we’d move over to another sun-splashed spot on the steps.
“You don’t have to stay,” D would say.
“No, I want to!” I said, because I was enjoying this – sitting on the steps, sitting together in the sunshine. And, besides, I had nothing else to do (as far as I was concerned).

Somehow, the photo reminds me of things I’m grateful for today, and, oh, everyday: My family, my health, (my relative wealth?), my friends who make such efforts to stay in touch even though I suck at returning phone calls or replying to their emails. All my jummah buddies – D, and my fellow headwrap fanatic M, and the crazykids W&F and their never-ending crowd of cousins – who make the Fridays spent in Oakland/Berkeley so much fun. The sunshine – and friends who will sit with me in the sunshine, and patiently scoot over with me when I obsessively follow the sun’s warmth as it shifts even if it means the sun will be directly in their eyes. Also, my brand-new super-flare jeans. (Yep, they’re so worth adding to the list.)

“When you were a kid,” asked D last Friday on the MLK steps, “what did you want to be when you grew up?”

After the slightest of hesitations, I answered, “A professional frisbee player.” D laughed and said that was the best answer she had ever heard.

I was completely serious. It’s true; that’s exactly what I had wanted to be. I remember throwing frisbees so far, and so hard that I would blister my father’s palm; he used to grimace in pain and drop all the frisbees he’d catch from my end. I used to dream about growing up and becoming a professional frisbee player and receiving accolades for my amazing frisbee skills. I had such grand ambitions, I laughed to D.

Since frisbee’s been out of the running for several years now, I seriously need to reevaluate what my next grand ambition should be once I grow up. This adulthood business is such a process.

[I’ve just gotten back from running errands. The girl at the bank wished me a “Happy Valentine’s Day!”
I almost rolled my eyes, but instead smiled and said, “Thanks! You, too!”
Besides, I was wearing red, so who was I to be making faces about Valentine’s Day? Must point out, though, that I was wearing red simply because it’s my favorite color, and not because I particularly care about St. Valentine and all this drama he’s created.

But it’s not worth antagonizing the Valentine’s Day-lovers, I’ve decided, because the bank was giving out free chocolates, and I’ve made it a sincere policy to be nice to those who have chocolate to offer.]

And a fitting end to this random post –
Just received an email from my other friend, D, who concluded with:
“One of these days we should just run away and do things we used to do, like look at a damn tree and start cracking up.”

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