Blogland Lane Logo by our own Tessa Edwards

Sunday, January 24, 2010

The State of Maine

A freeze is coming. I can tell. When my left knee is dialing the chemist's for prescription refill all on its own, it's time to break out the long underwear.

Not for me, of course. I have my own personal summer to keep me warm. For my partner, the one with three percent body fat. Eventually, I know she'll be tired of sleeping in hat and mittens.

A little hot tea, a little cuddle with the human furnace, and all is well again.

"Jennie? are you almost ready? We really should have left ten minutes ago. And it's
yourfamily after all..."

No answer, but I can hear the hangers sliding back and forth in the closet. Best not to interrupt, even though I know I'm the one who will get the over-the-spectacles glances from her father for making us late.

Outside the gray sky is low enough to touch. I hear a drip-drop-drip every few minutes as the last of this morning's rain finds its zig-zag way to the downspouts. Night rain is better. That sound is so soothing for falling asleep. Better than Ambien.

"Jennie! Any time soon?" I venture again.

Silence for a moment, I know she is rolling her eyes at me, then, "You're not hel-ping..." she sing-songs, "and relax, we won't be late, I promise. Don't we always make it on time?"

She's right, of course, but I'm driving.

And I hate family weddings. I have to spend so much time being...nice. An unnatural state for me. Not that I am mean. I don't think I am, anyway, just bristly. Prickly. Walking through the world with my elbows out. Here in Maine, that's not really so unusual. If you've never heard this before, take my word: Never ask a Maine native for directions. Oh, we'll give them to you, all right, and they may even get you where you are going. But if they do, it's probably by accident. Really, I belong here.

So, the wedding. When it's family, it's supposed to be different. God help me, I do love these people, it's just that I'd rather spend my time with Jennie...or nobody. Small talk has never been my forte, and I am reliably informed that I do a piss-poor job at it. If this were a celebration for friends, or acquaintances, we could make an appearance, then get the hell out of there.

Today, the wedding is Jennie's baby brother, David's, and since I actually kinda like the guy, I have decided to be on my best behavior. Whatever that is. I'm pretty sure it doesn't start out with me nagging Jennie to get it in gear so we can go. Anyway, she's right, we'll be there in plenty of time. Hey, I should be grateful, right? If we had left when I was ready, that would be fifteen more minutes meaningless conversation to smile through. Things are looking up already.


  1. Lol I loved your post.. I can really get a glimpse of your life!

  2. Yeah, I know what you mean. Those typical nice family gettogethers and all that blablabla... and don't forget smiling till your mouth aches while you want to sit in a quiet room with a good book listening to soft music. It is difficult for a human being to be nice if you ARE not so nice :-)


    the story is so good i fell into it one word, one image, one insight after another. GIRL! i am totally into your writing self! really really good, middle. i don't say that lightly.

    your narrator is so delightfully honest and aware of who she is, who she isn't. she's refreshing.

    more please middle, anytime. YAY!!!!!! ♥

  4. oh, and one of my favorite lines; what a total picture it paints:

    'Outside the gray sky is low enough to touch.'


  5. Enjoyed the narration. I felt as if a book fell open- and I was delighted to read a few pages of a reflective person's life.

  6. I'm keeping my fingers crossed we're over the worst of our bad weather here in the UK.

  7. You know, Middle, I love your narrator in this story. She's so honest and sees things for what they are...I don't think there can be any wool pulled over her eyes!

    Keep going...this is really good!

  8. I love weddings . . free food,free booze . . . excuse to buy a new outfit ..

  9. I think I would like to read the rest of the book which opened like that :)

    And, 'Hello' from a first time visitor to the lane!