I was driving into town today, I had an errand that precluded me from riding my beloved MAX, and my i watch (is that what it’s called?) told me to get back to writing.
I DO NOT KNOW how or why my watch went into semi dictation mode, and relayed to me, bits and pieces of Jessie Klein’s YOU’LL GROW OUT OF IT, which I’ve been listening to.
Jessie was talking about fear, and writer’s block , and my watch, somehow wrote, on my wrist various words from this section of the book, and then wrote at the bottom, in a different color: “Who me?” (Does one place a quote from a WATCH in quotes? Hal, are you there?)
So, since my watch told me to write, I’m writing.
I love this watch, but I don’t wear it all the time. I am half convinced that it’s going to give me cancer, half convinced that someone will steal my identity if I continue to wear it, and half the time I just forget.
Yes, I realize that that is three halves, but that’s just how I roll.
I ended up downtown early and I passed MOTHER’S CAFÉ and I hadn’t eaten, so now I’m here at MOTHER’S CAFÉ. And there is just something kind of magical about eating alone at a restaurant. You can just look at anyone as long as you want because most people are thinking, when they catch you, “Oh, poor woman, she’s alone, she can stare longingly at me.” But the big truth is that I bet over half, possibly three halves of these people. are not at all happy with whom they are staring at across their tiny tables. There are the silent sitters, and couples, many of whom are both on their phones, business people splitting their check fourteen ways; you know the people I’m talking about. And then there’s the beautiful, old school, counter. The coveted solo spots. They’re chewing and looking, and I love that freaking jazz arrangement of people. And I’m just observing. And my waitress (server?!) comes and she immediately gets me thinking of my dad, because my dad was his most charming self with waitresses, seriously, you would want my dad to be your dad if you saw how funny and charming he was with them, and yesterday when I did my podcast interview, my interviewee mentioned what a fan he was of my dad’s and it’s so weird, when I’m talking to people who are fans of his they don’t necessarily want to really know the DETAILS of him as a person, you know the at home weirdnesses, anger issues, I could go on here, but why? Because it’s here in this restaurant that I remember one of the best hims. The him that makes tears spring to my eyes, and makes my breath shallow. The him that strode into a restaurant with the New York Times under his arm and me by his side, and his smiling and attending to EVERY SINGLE PERSON we’d come into contact with. A warm hello, eye contact , the whole shebang. He was SO sweet that way, it was like walking with the queen or something. (He did have a Corgi, my beloved Jack)
He’d order coffee and he’d stack four sugar packets between his thumb and forefinger and he’d tear those motherfuckers so hard that three halves of it would end up showering across the table, and just now, when I put sugar in my coffee and did the same thing I was achingly sorry that it opened so neatly. No shower at all, and I never thought I’d miss that. Oh my god he was so messy. He loved clothes and he bought lots of gorgeous clothes, because he didn’t wear very many things twice because they ended up drenched in sauces and juices and coffee, and thank heaven he was so wonderful out in the world, because he had an excellent friend in his dry cleaner. When I picked up his last order and told the man that he had died he was heartbroken. Because that’s how he rolled, walking his dog and saying hello, when he was in the world, he was IN IT. And he gave that to me, that gift. I love being in this world in all it’s beautiful and horrible incarnations. I love watching these people in this restaurant, hearing the crescendos and diminuendos of their voices, I love it with all my heart, all though I can’t quite let everyone see the tears running down my face right now. And I can’t ugly cry, even though I know that’s just below the surface; perilously close to the surface.
So thank you i watch, for telling me what I should do. The only reason I have you is that when i watches were launched, and I went to the Apple Store to get my computer fixed, I saw you, in all your technological glory, I wanted you, but you were expensive, and then I heard my father say; “Jesus Christ, you can afford it!” And I bought you. I wish he were here, because if he were, I’d be doing that cool thing that I don’t quite know how to do yet, but my daughter will show me how, where you can draw with your finger right on the screen, and it goes to another person who has an i watch and I know Dad would have one, although he’d have to have a special watch band because his wrists were so big, and a red heart would appear on his wrist, and he’d automatically know that it was from me, and it would be just like what he sent me this morning.