Mom and Dad have me over for soy ice cream and I am dead dog tired, almost falling over as I walk in the door at 9:30pm – the time I finally got home tonight. I cannot write when there are loose ends in my life and I have always been this way. Since Friday I have spent seven hours on the phone with Delta, purchased two plane tickets, cancelled two others, bought a car, changed a flight, switched phone companies and renter’s insurance to the new house, switched car insurance to the new car, and practically gone insane.
But still, the writing will not flow and it is now, after three weeks of work and MFA and failing again and again at the desk that I have to say to myself, Now, now it is time, so we are eating ice cream and I remember the advice that Viv gave me and I just start to say it:
“Well there’s another reason why I haven’t been writing and why I haven’t been sleeping well and it’s an exciting thing,” I say to my parents.
“Did you miss your period?” Dad says.
I laugh, more to myself than at his words. “Um, not quite, actually. Far from it. I’m uh, I’ve been falling in love lately. I mean, for like the past four months and I’m very happy.” I say this but still, I won’t look them in the eye.
“Falling in love. Ooh!” Mom is happy already. Dad is too, I look up long enough to see them smiling, then I look away again.
“And it’s with a woman so no Dad, I’m not pregnant.”
They don’t flinch. They are all ears all happy all the time and wanting to know who and for how long and Honey Don’t Ever Worry About That With Us and We’re Happy You’re Happy and I still can’t look up from my ice cream bowl but now I’m smiling too, but I’m still worried and I have to say more:
“So you’re not scared that I won’t make babies or grandchildren for you and you’re not worried about my life or that I won’t make you happy and you’re not going to be stressed out just when you’re trying to get your lives straight and stress-free again and…” and I keep going and going until they interrupt with gentle laughter, saying No, No, No we are not worried, never would be. Don’t worry about us worrying and finally, I can look up from my ice cream bowl and into their faces and maybe, just maybe get back home in time to
But first I have to tell them more. That Cass is a poet and smart and funny and affectionate and that she’s already been to visit me for a week and that we met in grad school and that she’s coming back for another week in May and oh, she’s going to take me to the reading in Eugene for the essay contest I just won and also I’ll be staying with her for two weeks this summer. I have to tell them that I am not gay but I’m not not gay and I don’t know what I am and I even need to know right now and I just read Angela’s Ashes so I keep talking in run-on sentences and in fact, even just tonight I had a lovely dinner and hour long walk with a drop dead gorgeous blacksmith from Florida who’s been flirting with me all week over single shots of espresso and he is kind and gentle and wants to trade hats and he showed me his sketches for a commissioned sculpture and he looks me in the eyes when we talk and so “Dad, you might just get grandkids yet” which is another way of saying I’m still nervous so we all laugh and they try to comfort me more and finally, after almost two hours I am ready to go home, ready to sleep, ready to start again tomorrow only this time, with the biggest loose end ever tied up neatly, flat and tidy and almost seamless enough to write on.