Final Destination

After a 2-hour-long walk, I arrive at the St. Louis Union Station. Oh, the joy of being able to take an actual walk instead of circling the same block 40 times in a row like an Energizer bunny.

If you live in a big city, you have no idea how fortunate you are and how much I envy you. I’ve been exploring the city since 8 am today and I have received more visual, auditory and intellectual stimulation in this one day than I do in a month of heavy efforts not to grow mold on my brain in my small town. I anticipate an important breakthrough on my article tomorrow.

Good-Bye to the Stupid Sheep

I sit down at yet another cafe that looks just like home because of the rainbow flag (which, I hope, means what it should) and ponder the following marital dilemma that has recently come up.

It turns out that N hates it when I refer to myself as “a stupid sheep.” I like calling myself a stupid sheep because I feel like there should be some self-irony tempering my tendency towards smugness to prevent me from getting too annoying. N, however, says that it hurts his feelings to hear the person he loves referred to as a stupid sheep. And it makes him feel like he needs to defend me from me.

So, I guess, for the sake of marital harmony, I will have to let go of the stupid sheep appellation.

A Little Black Dress

I’m trying on clothes at my favorite Macy’s. I know this dress looks boring but I promise to show you how I decorate it with my beautiful scarves and shawls of which I have a huge collection and you will agree that it makes sense to buy it.

Plus it’s great for work because you can put any jacket over it. If the weather ever gets to the point of requiring a jacket, that is.

Big City Cool

A young man at my favorite cafe left his computer and his bag and just wandered off. I remember this feeling of being so at home at “your coffee-shop” that you feel as safe in it as you do at home.

In contrast, people at my tiny town forty minutes away treat the neighborhood coffee-shop with the respect and detachment of folks who are not used to hanging out at a place for no reason whatsoever other than because that’s what they want to do. Small town people see cafes in a strictly utilitarian way: they grab what they need and run. The leisurely people-watching is something you only experience in big cities.


N drops me off at my favorite coffee-shop and drives a way to work. What I love about N is that he is completely unpretentious. It would never occur to him, for example, to buy a new car for reasons of prestige. A car is supposed to take you places, so who cares what it looks like, what model it is, and how much it costs?

I’m not completely unpretentious myself, to put it mildly, and I really admire people who are devoid of all pretentiousness.

The Arch

The first time I saw the Arch was when I was taken back to the airport after my campus visit by a kind future colleague. Of course, neither he nor I knew we were bound to become colleagues.

I was convinced that the campus visit had been a disaster, so I viewed the Arch with resentment. At that point, it symbolized failure to me.

It turned out that I did get the job, though, and now I’m quite addicted to the Arch.