Making Up for Lost Time

by

Today I got it on.

First, after leaving the house to go get groceries, the cupboards were bare, I did the usual.

Pray.

Eat.

Drink coffee.

Write.

Meditate.

I also posted a blog here about the hideousness of the migraine I had yesterday and I actually found that I had taken photographs of the neighborhood I was in yesterday, the 16th arrondissement.  I thought I had not, surprise.

There were more surprises in store for me today.

An e-mail from my dearest sister.  I have not been in contact with her for years.  It was such a wonderful surprise, it brought tears to my eyes.  I sent her some recent photographs I have taken of Paris and shared a brief bit of what I am doing with my life.

Slow to re-establish contact, I may be, but grateful for that contact nonetheless.

My sister and I have never been close.

But she is my sister and there are things we share and things, like this blog, that would never be without her influence.

“Meet your Auntie Bubba,” she said to my eldest niece, handing over the bundled baby I had just watched be labored into this world.

“Aw, Pooh,” I said, using my own family nickname for my little sister, “can’t we let the Bubba thing die?”

“No.” She replied with conviction.

There was no arguing with her.

There usually never was.

Oh, I tried.

Yet, in the end, I usually gave up.

I lost contact with her frequently over the years.  The last time I really talked with her was about seven and a half years ago.  The last time I saw her was nearly nine years ago.

My baby sister.

We were extraordinarily close at times, though, especially between my 19th and 21st years.

We lived on and off together during those years, I helped her with my oldest niece, we shared many experiences, many challenges, a lot of moving around the country, and some crazy ass parenting, or lack thereof, from our mutual mother and father.

We were unspoken rivals.

She dated.

I did well in school.

She was the pretty one.

I was the smart one.

Or so goes the story I told myself.

I was jealous of her, and maybe she was of me.

I cannot always ascertain the truth of things any longer.  It, whatever it was, was so long ago.

“Mom!  Carmen dropped acid with a bunch of strange guys.”  My sister ratted me out.

I remember certain things.

I remember the way she smells, and how strangely ugly and devastatingly beautiful she was when she was giving birth.  I thought I would never be so beautiful.  I thought I am in the presence of something so fierce and god like it could be shattering to look on for too long.

I remember how amazing she is as an artist.  She could always draw and paint.  I never held a candle to her talent.  I also castigated myself for not being an artist.  Or as smart as she.

In the end, she was always smarter than me, with herself, with people, with my mother.

It may have been to her demise and I believe she had a longer, uglier, wilder, and much weirder journey than the one I have been on.

We are bound, though, I will not argue that, never deny that.

I wish, hope, pray, what have you, that one day I will walk with my sister along the banks of the Seine and all the old malice will drop like diving birds into the water and we will start anew, afresh, with light, and love in our eyes for each other.

And maybe a modicum of compassion and a little empathy too.

I miss my monkey.

She may have been my original love.

The first face to draw my attention, so like me, so unlike me.

Then, another surprise.

Aside from the revelation I had this morning doing my daily writing.

Daily writing, morning pages, pen to paper, how do I love thee?  Let me forever count the ways, one page at a time, one letter at a time, one word at a time.  I am finding more and more of myself in you.

It came down to the migraine.

I was stressed.

I let the stress build up.  I let myself get too anxious, too worried, too much in the constant action of trying to figure it out.  Too much in my head.

My head rebelled.

Even my head can only take so much of my brain before it too wants to explode.

I resolved, while writing, to let go, to surrender, to just be ok with what is happening, or not happening, in front of me, or behind the scenes.

Where will this matter in ten years, ten months, ten days?

It won’t.

Get into it.

Get into being in Paris.

Have fun being broke.  Get silly.  Be wild. Be free.  Enjoy it.

Act like the broke student doing the European tour.

I never got to do that in college, I am now.

So what if I am 40.

I am never too old to learn, to discover, to have an experience.

Don’t mind the lack, my words, my definition, of success, just get into the mix.

I am successful, I am.

I am a writer.

I am a writer that got a response from an agent.

!

That was the next surprise in my e-mail.

I got a response to a cold query I sent an agent last week.

She said she was interested in reading more.  Would I send the first ten pages?

I did.

She responded back in less than an hour to that e-mail.

52 minutes to be exact, but who’s paying attention?

Me.

I just about peed my pants.

I certainly teared up.

The second e-mail asked for the whole shebang.

She wants to read the book.

She wants to read the book!

SHE WANTS TO READ THE BOOK!

Breathe.

Ok.

She also wanted a full summary, chapter, by chapter.

Fuck me.

I have never written a summary of the book.

Ok.

Internet.  Google.  Research.

I opened up a new document and I opened up my book and chapter, by chapter, by chapter, all fifteen of them, I wrote a summary.

I introduced each character.  I outlined the action.  I breathed.

Jesus, there’s a lot of crack in this.

A lot of violence.

Rape.

Abuse.

I got teary again.

I am no victim.

But I am a survivor.

I paused, I finished the outline.  I knew it was too long.  I knew, as well, that I did not have to respond immediately.  In fact, I did not want to seem too eager to the agent.

I let it sit.

I went and did other business.

I filed my taxes.

Yup.

Taxes done.

I am getting a small return.

Enough to live on for another few months, supplemented with the odd baby sitting gig or two.

I got dressed.

I had been in my pajamas all day long.

That is the nice thing about working from home, you can wear your Hello Kitty pajamas until 5 pm and nobody knows the difference.

I went to the American Church and paid a visit to my fellows.

I came home, no nausea on the Metro, thank God.

I made dinner.

I made tea.

I re-opened the summary of Baby Girl and I revised it, edited it, and made sure it was clean and direct.  I also made sure that it was not longer than the industry standard.  Which meant editing it tighter than the original draft.

I opened up my g-mail account and drafted a response to the agent.

I thanked her for her further interest, attached the summary, attached the book, and sent it out to the Universe.

I took action and let go of the results.

That is the best I can do.

That and love myself to bits for taking the leap.

It does not matter if she picks up my book.

Oh, of course I want her too, but it does not matter.

I have been making the effort and I made the leap and I let myself come to Paris and dream.

I loved myself enough to follow my bliss.

Even when I doubted and doubled back.

I stuck it out.

Yes, I can say, I am here to stay.

In Paris.

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