Since I've been back, I've just been sort of lurching through the month like a car with a bad fuel intake. Though many days pass painfully slowly, filled with pouring over Employment listings and altering my resume, yesterday proved to be so full it hurt. I got up early and drove an hour from Mississippi to Wolfchase Galleria where I made mental preperations to spend the day amdist a surging crowd of Pokemon enthusiasts as I worked crowd control at the 10th Anniversary Event. Pokemon kids are weird, in a good way. They aren't loud or obnoxious or prone to tantrums, but they do seem pretty much completely out of touch with the reality. Trying to simply point directions is futile. As they look up from their tiny screens full of monsters the glazed panic of their actual surroundings seems to overwhelm them as they sort of stagger through the throngs, usually going in precisely the wrong direction. When parents are in close attendance, however, the interaction is noteiceably less pleasant. The parents act as if they are designated assistants and protectors of their childrens' complete involvement in their video games. Deny them an extra pokemon download and their eyes twitch a little, first. Their voice goes up a decible and their speech accelerates. If denied again, one is surely in store for a swift toungue lashing followed by a brisk command for the child to follow as they return to the back of the line to repeat the process and insure their little Champ has all Top 20 Pokemon on each of their 6 games. After 8.5 hours of this, I did something unfortunate, spending my last dime on a Hello Kitty Build-A-Bear for my ex-boyfriend. Fortunately, I didn't have enough money to give it a voice box so it could say "Poop". Next, I spent something like 4 hours at Bookstar checking to see how hopelessly behind I am in math, (a sad fact, considering I spend much of my time around mathematicians.) Before leaving I did my ritualistic browsing of the magazines and discovered that Blueprint, a new magazine from the folks who brought you Marth Stewart Living, has what may be the largest staff in the history of a start-up magazine. ("Design Your Life" it says in an effort to clearly distinguish itself from archetectural rags, as if its cloy, dowdy cover and cluttered interior doesn't do that well enough.) I give it a year. The focus is too broad, the idea too undefined, and the staff too monstrously exhaustive for it to actually make money. Ms. Stewart is much too good a business woman to allow her name to be attached to such a venture. (Now watch me be proved wrong.) Met Leilani and Matthew for a glass of water at Sakesui Midtown where I chickened out of inviting the handsome waiter (who was not wearing a wedding ring,) out for the night's festivities. I left with a frown, claiming something about being on the wrong side of the table for optimum eye contact and a pathetic lack of conversation starters to excuse my lack of game. Next it was Bosco's for a hot minute for someone's birthday party. (Happy B'Day Becca, awesome cake, let's hang out sometime!) Next it was drinks at the Professor's where I invited Leilani to view The Hello Kitty and appreciate its excess while a 9/11 Conspiracy Documentary set the tone for the evening in the living room. By this time, it was midnight, and we deemed it perfect timing for a fashionably late arrival at the night's major festivity: Ryan Carter's birthday bash somewhere on Courtland. Saw lots of people I hadn't really seen since I'd been back, sharked for potentially suitable future husbands with Sheila, (found none,) peed on a fence while my wingman utterly failed in his duties, poured over the finer points of the 1981 version of Playboy magazine verses today's equivalent (1981 won hands down due to lack of air-brushing and presence of bush and dinner-plate nipples,) and avoided the slip-n-slide for modesty's sake, (yes, you are all dealing with a new Rachel.) After going back to the Professor's with the intention of crashing on the futon, I realized it had been something like four hours since my last drink and I should just go ahead and make the treck back to Mississippi now so I wouldn't have to get up early. Which I did, and it was nice. Mississippi public radio on and the windows down, thick fog filling up the the little hollows in the landscape like thick velvet and softening all the hard angles of the world, and the 5:00am light making everything seem pretty ok. Despite it all.


June in Memphis.

Home. It's strange how the rush of being home floods up in you and plugs your ears as the plane finally lands, 24 hours from the time the first one took off. You gather up the clutter you think is neccessary for travel and you trudge towards the dank little cave which is the Memphis International Airport Baggage Claim. You recognize little differences as the flaps go up on the wings and Memphis looms large somewhere between being beneath and before you. You see how different it looks from Atlanta. Birmingham. Maui. LA. The christmas tree light network of street lights is interrupted more, not nearly so methodical, the swarming rope of lights you identify as a highway is thinner, it doesn't buzz with traffic like it does elsewhere. Neighborhoods float disembodied, seperate from "Memphis proper" and thankful for it but all you can think about as you step off the ramp and into that brown 70's "inspired" building is that it's good to be home and even you're skin knows where it is as little beads of perspiration sprout along your hairline. Sticking your head out the window of the car never felt so good. I get back into the thick of things tonight.