I’ve been carrying a stranger’s phone number around in my pocket all week. I doubt that I will ever call it, but it’s presence is comforting—like a foldup map to the subway when your cellphone dies.
The phone number belongs to one Ms. Desiree Jeffers. I met her during a brief foray into Brooklyn, my first real individual endeavor into a new borough. Brooklyn is beautiful, but the part of town that I was in was difficult to navigate. It didn’t have street names on every corner, leaving me constantly wondering if I was as lost as the little blue dot on Google Maps seemed to think that I was.
This post has been sitting at the bottom of my brain basin for a long time, waiting to surface at the right moment. I actually wrote the majority of this post before the Mormon Facebook Apocalypse of 2015. Still, I’ve held onto this post. I think the time is finally right, as I confront the painful, vulnerable fact that I’ve been spiritually wounded. This is a loaded admission, one that opens up your soul to further misunderstanding, judgment, and (perhaps most terrifyingly and only in a few extreme cases) ire.
Last Thursday, I walked home from classes and saw traffic backup piling into an intersection. It wasn’t Times Square Status by any means, but there was a bit of kerfluffle, since it’s not an intersection that is usually very busy. It was easy to peer ahead and see the source of the commotion was a row of ambulances (ambuli?) huddled around a storefront, pulling someone out on a stretcher and loading him or her into the vehicle.
There is a dog dreaming next to me. Her muzzle is nuzzling my thigh. Her paws are intertwined and her back is hunched. She is not a small dog, but she’s made herself small so her presence on the couch is less assuming. As if somehow I won’t notice that she’s breaking the rules about being on the couch.
I told my students they were not allowed to start their essays, presentations, etc with a dictionary definition. I gave no such dictum about starting with an Urban Dictionary definition. As such, here we are:
Jeremy (halfway conscious, in his sleep, circa 6:00 AM): So… how did you find out that everyone in the building was ticklish?
Sierra: I didn’t sweetheart, that’s assault.
I think I am still a little too doe-eyed to be an official New Yorker, or so the pleasant, yet barbed Uber driver seemed to imply. “Your husband will do fine, but you? You’re too nice.”
It was my official New York Welcome. Taylor Swift was dead wrong; New York does not wait for anyone.
Utah Valley experiences something called “Inversion.” It has something to do with the Great Salt Lake and pollution. Scientifically, I can’t explain it to you, but imageistically, it looks like you are peering into the distance with a pair of glasses covered in soot. Inversion feels like crunching six or seven flecks of sand between your teeth. Inversion is like bugs on a windshield hiding a really great view.
I think if a member of the Hufflepuff house were to reach into the sorting hat in a moment of need, they would withdraw their hands in slight surprise, having just reached in to find my hedgehog coming to their rescue. They would have, of course, roused her from a nap, and so she would naturally be a little miffed, and thus, a little spikey. But a true Hufflepuff, seeing the good in everyone, even a perturbed hedgehog, would reach back in to find my hedgehog quite forgiving, her quills now laid flat. And in that moment of need, my Hufflepuff would offer the greatest support in any Hufflepuff’s moment of need. She would give a good snuggle, and all trouble would vanish.