Almost Almost

I scrolled and noticed the post, Bono & Brené Brown in Conversation.

No. Freakin’. Way.

I didn’t miss it. There’s time to get tickets, they don’t go on sale until TOMORROW! Check the calendar, check the calendar, check the dang calendar. Who’s working? Is there a musical rehearsal after school that day? Doesn’t matter, I’ll arrange my reinforcements. But wait, 4:00. I’m at work until 3:45. Traffic. How much? Ticket prices are not available until sales open.

Wait. Nope. You have to at least try. It’s BONO and BRENÉ! Calm down. You don’t have a ticket. I have to try. I check the calendar and decided to take the afternoon off. I made imaginary arrangements for S to get picked up from rehearsal. And the price? I have unspent summer school and birthday money waiting for a big, fun, for me purchase and this is where it will go.

I set the alarm to go off at 9:50 a.m. on November 4th. I open the site for ticket sales to have it ready. I have classes coming in that day, but by the time I’m done, students will be checking out their books and getting ready to leave. Okay, calm down. It’s okay, don’t get your hopes up.

November 4th, 9:50 a.m. my alarm goes off as planned. I slip into my office and open the website. An updated message appears saying something like “Ticket sales for Bono and Brené in Conversation, another event, followed by another event, and another event will open at 10:00 a.m. …”

“Yes, I KNOW,” I fuss at my phone. I retrieve my purse from a cabinet and thunk it on the counter next to my desk. I dig for my bank card. How many more minutes? I refresh the page to make sure it doesn’t get stuck. Our building is notorious for clogging up anything you want to pull up on cell networks.

My heart throbs…

I refresh the page.

10:03 a.m.

Let’s do this, I don’t care how much it costs.

And I’m stuck in a queue. A virtual line. They rub it in and show virtual me standing in a cyber line. Lucky number 3,405 with 3,285 people ahead of me. The theater’s capacity is 1,270. Sigh. I found what I was looking for, but there weren’t any left for me.

In a real line I could have met a bunch of other people and been part of a collective disappointed groan. Instead, I put my card back in my purse, return it to the cabinet, and await the arrival of the next class.

I almost cried. Almost.

Tuesday, November 15, 2022

Blurred Images

Tuesday, November 1, 2022

Taking a picture of a teen is like taking a picture of Bigfoot. The Loch Ness monster. Chupacabra. Results are hard to decipher. You get a blur of hair or a running body. You get the back of one standing with others, a line-up of sorts, in reverse. They’re all dressed alike, same height, same hair.

Mine gets on a tire swing and for a split second, I see her little-hood oozing out in her smile. She sees the camera and immediately gets back into her grumpy character where everything about life is horrid, brows furrowed, braced teeth gritted, and a small grumble eking out “Mo-O-m! Ugh! I hate pictures!” because she also hates speaking.

I got what I could, sifted through a hundred photo bursts, and found a glimmer of hope, one capturing the essence of who she really is deep inside all of those defensive teen-aged layers–even if that first teen year is the only layer there. It’s tough and almost impenetrable. Almost.

“Get one of me with Dad.” We stand, stiffly posed along the bank of the San Gabriel river. The light is perfect. We’re both not grumbly middle-aged parents. We’ve shed our own layers for a while.

“Give us a warning, at least,” I remind her, because we know she’ll capture us mid-yawn. Eyes closed. Mouths opened.

Brows furrowed with a small grumble starts out a whiny “F-i-ah! You’re taking selfies! Take the picture so we can move on and let other people get a turn.”

Laughter ensues, she shows BFF the screen, pretends to run, but first returns the phone and then runs. We take a look and there we are. It’s a good one.

Even better are the selfies. There she is. They’re good ones.

All layers–the one layer–shed because she played. Dimples in their original location. Braced teeth. A sparkle in her eyes. She’s still there.