In between home and where I’m going, I have landed in a very pink room where a suspiciously calm (but sneaky-eyed) Victorian girl stares furtively at me. This morning, I was home, working in the office and brushing the cat off the computer so I could type. Tomorrow I’ll be reading from my memoir at a conference, then visit good friends for the night. Both there and here are places that swallow me up in routine or connections, but between the two is this night, where I have the luxury of not being on tap for anything.
At dinner tonight, a cafe where I ate pesto-encrusted flounder, I looked out the window, through the pale mesh of the curtain, to see the bank of clouds edged in blue. I listened to two women perform, one singing and playing guitar, and the other on violin. I considered the elegant shape of the salt shaker. Not having people to visit with or a book to read, I had no choice but to be where I was, enjoying the lime in my ice water and listening to conversations spill over from other tables.
There’s a spaciousness and ease in such in-between spaces, a way to enjoy the adventure without any stake in what to expect. Even when I locked my keys in the car, I knew it was fine, nothing to worry over, and after a phone call and handing a man $40 for his minute-long popping open of the car door, I felt a kind of equanimity. Listening to the train in the distance, watching the big floral wallpaper juxtaposed with the big floral bedspread or drinking water from a crystal glass in this room, I tried to just breathe it in, enjoy the nuances and gesture of being rather than doing, and wonder if my dreams tonight will be sweet or ironic.
Whatever happens, I know in-between places are the spaces in which little signs and wonders most often find me, in great part because I’m listening better here (at least when I’m not rushing through), so when, during dinner, the women performing broke into “Somewhere Over the Rainbow” as the sun began to set, I leaned back, smiled and even considered clicking my heels together, but then there are surely flying monkeys of surprise, tin men of love and lollypop kids of sweetness to meet, and I know the way home when it’s time.