Comment on this entry and I will give you a letter. Write five words beginning with that letter in your journal, including an explanation of what the word means to you and why, and then pass out letters to those who want to play along.
Notebooks: Spiral bound, preferably at the top, college ruled, with green lines preferred over blue – those are my favorite notebooks. For as long as I’ve known how to form letters on paper, I’ve liked to have several sheets stacked beneath the point of my pen (I’m so not a pencil person) and I don’t like using both sides, unless forced. I know, I know, bad for the environment, but there you have it. In various boxes and shelves around my house I have notebooks dating back years, decades, filled with bad doodles (because I cannot draw) and half written stories, as well as any number of other notes. Sometimes, my choice of notebook is more sophisticated than the spiral bound sort – I bought a Moleskine a few months ago – but the problem with such things is that I feel like the writing in it has to be good, and first impressions, first drafts, rarely are. At other times, I use the technological solution, like now – sitting in bed typing all this on a notebook computer.
Normal: The word normal always feels very bland to me – it’s like those model homes where all the walls are off-white and all the carpets are cream, and they have them furnished with generic stuff from the Cort catalogue. While I understand that one must make some concessions to society’s norms in order to function in the real world, this sense of beigeness has made “normal” something I’ve never aspired to be. Give me my eccentricities, my quirks, my accent that is a total blend of every place I’ve ever lived for extensive amounts of time (New Jersey, Colorado, California, SoDak, Texas) and every person I’ve ever spoken to (especially if I liked their speech patterns). Let me revel in the fact that I’m just as happy child-free as I would be if I wasn’t, and don’t bug me about the way I pick and choose elements of various religions and make them work for me, about the stacks of books in the bathroom, the bedroom, my office, all in different genres, or the fact that I’m just not comfortable in large groups of people, and wil probably never be able to go to bed before one AM more than two nights in a row. Normal=average=boring.
Night: I’ve been fairly nocturnal since dirt, really. As a child, I would read under the covers long into the night, sometimes falling asleep, only to awake hours later with the lights on and my book open across my chest. The darkness wakes my mind, and sets it racing with stories, words, music, ideas. It is cool, soothing, and mysterious. It allows the watching of stars, the comfort of moonlight, and the chorus of critters I know I’d rather not see, but quite enjoy hearing. Oh, I like sunshine (no, really), and I go through phases of being a morning person, but I was born at three in the afternoon on a hot August day, and I think that caused an affinity for night time.
Nookie: Fuzzy was in the car with me, on the way to Cedar Hill the other day, when I said I’d committed to writing about five things that began with N and what they mean to me. He immediately mentioned nuzzling and necking, and I added nooners, and then said I might as well just write about nookie. Now, while nookie can mean the whole sex act, for me it means playful enounters, the kind that happen in stolen moments when you should be doing something else – like right after a shower, when you KNOW you need to leave for work in fifteen minutes, or when your parents are visiting and they’re watching television in the next room. That sort of thing. It’s a combination of frolic and a little bit of the illicit. And yes, there can still be nookie when you’ve been married for eleven years.
Neighborhood: While I don’t generally interact much with my actual neighbors, I like that our neighborhood is one in which people are generally aware of who belongs and who doesn’t, when it comes to the odd car parked on the street, or people approaching other people’s houses. More than the immediate though, neighborhoods for me are like small towns. My favorite neighborhoods, ever, are Willow Glen and the Rosegarden, both in San Jose, CA, but I like the Richmond district in San Francisco, too, and truly, I like my suburban neighborhood of Westchester, in Grand Prairie, TX, as much for the mature trees as for the fact that we have a couple of grocery stores, a cafe, Home Depot, Target, and a few neat restaurants, as well as a matching pair of movie theatres, all within a mile. As I told my mother on the phone yesterday, if you have to drive more than fifteen minutes to buy milk and toilet paper, you live too far from civilization. Also, I like that I live in a very dog-friendly neighborhood – almost every morning and evening you’ll see people taking their pets out for a stroll, and when the weather’s good, the kids and dogs play in the park, or there will be a congregation of kids and dogs on one of the corners, some on bikes, some with skateboards, others just walking. I like that our streets are safe enough, traffic-wise, for such things. I like that I feel at home here – we looked at other areas and they felt sterile, because there was no sense of neighborhood.