Hejira

 

 

the other woman

January 14. 2001

new journal:

journal

bought for me by my dear one.

*

 

As we were walking to Olive's apartment, I felt my trepidation grow. "You know," I said to John, "this is like some kind of really bad movie where you get together with your ex-wife and you bring along your devastatingly beautiful and much younger trophy girlfriend with you," I smirked.

I was being a little melodramatic with that statement, but I was still very nervous to meet Maggie. And I really have no idea why. I've gotten along really well with all of John's friends so far, despite the fact that most of them are significantly older than I am. But there's just something weird about meeting someone who's held the position you now hold. Even if it was over ten years ago.

John and I were the first to arrive, and not long after that, Tony and Peggy, John's friends who are married to each other, showed up as well. We helped with dinner and then sat in the living room and talked for a while. Then the phone rang, and Olive said Maggie was here. I heard her come in, and John and Olive went to greet her in the foyer, and I sat with Tony and Peggy trying to look like I wasn't going to die of fright. I really don't know what I was afraid of...that she'd hate me? It was kind of ridiculous.

I wonder what I looked like to her when she first saw me. Stupid 20 year old girl desperately trying to look smart and be clever? I felt a bit out of my league as I shook her small, strong hand.

She was a very funny and interesting person. Very short and tomboyish, wearing worn jeans and hiking boots. She frequently tucked her legs up under her as she sat on the armchair. She had a great sense of timing in her speech and inflection, and for some reason, as I told John later, reminded me of Lily Tomlin. She didn't direct that many questions to me, the conversation centered mostly on the past shared experiences of Maggie, John, Tony and Peggy. Which was fine with me, really, because I wouldn't know what to say anyway. One thing about John's friends is that they've very witty. So mostly I just listened and drank wine and ate cheddar cheese chips and laughed at the jokes and enjoyed the company.

Dinner was very good, the conversation was great and at times uproariously funny, and the cheesecake at the end was to die for. Creamy and smooth, with this perfect crumbly crust.

When we got home to John's apartment, I gave him his (early) birthday presents, which included a picture of me (how original, I know. It was this one), a mixed cd I had made for him, a journal that I had made myself using the skills I had learned in 2d design class last year, and a new computer chair, to be picked out later, because he'd been sitting on a broken kitchen chair for too long. And for me, a new journal. We went to a Barnes and Noble earlier that evening and I managed to locate the one I had been eyeing up for while. A leather slipcase over a hardcover book, with a small pewter button to loop a piece of leather string around to keep it closed. I can hardly wait to use it.

*

Tomorrow my mom is coming down to Philly so we can spend the day together. So far, our tentative plans are to go to the famous Italian Market somewhere in South Philly, probably stuff ourselves and then walk it off. Then on Tuesday I start my 4th semester of college. Wow, how time flies.

One Year Ago:
I meet John for the first time.