“You know, you can over-think things until the cows come home…” a slightly nasally voice said, a hint of frustration bleeding through.
“I’m not Hindu,” I said, with attempted humor.
“What?” snapped the frazzled marketer.
“I said, I’m not Hindu.” The smile slipped slowly off my face.
Saturdays have become a wonderful hideaway representing freedom and adventure. I finally know what to do with myself when I’m not busy working myself into an early grave.
Mostly I spend the morning lazing away beneath covers, luxuriating in the fact that I don’t have to jump up at 0700 to prep for work. Then, when I do get up, I head over to poetry group and tap into my emotions in a productive and apparently well written way.
I wrote poetry every day for the month of April and it was a delightful exercise. In a google group of like-minded overachievers, we wrote almost daily and cranked out the 30 poems.
On the weekends I can breath and sing. I have been singing lately, and it wasn’t until I started again that I realized I had stopped. My weekends are devoid of my week days pressures – no more noise, just quiet and calm.
“So, what’s your name?” the charismatic author grins at me, pouring on the charm that pairs well with his jaunty bow tie.
“Cole,” I reply, the challenge in my eye softened by the smile on my lips.
“C-O-L-E.” I spell glibly.
He peers up at me, then glances at my contradictory work name-tag. “That’s not your name.” he says with a chuckle.
“Cole is my name.” I state calmly and firmly.
Something must have clicked. He turned back to the book he authored, signed my copy with a flourish and handed it back.
“Thanks!” I grin, picking it up to read the inscription.
‘Cole, let’s do this!’ ~ M
While I am pronoun apathetic, my name is always my name. And I hadn’t realized how meaningful it is to have people call you by your rightful name.
Of course, people only hear what they want to hear sometimes.
“Hi guys! This is Cole, we met at poetry group!”
“Hey, how’s it going?” I grin, pouring on the charm as I smile at the five players already seated. “Where do I… do I just grab a chair or…?
“You can sit here,” the gentleman in the middle says, rising from his seat so I can take his place. Too kind.
“Thanks!” I reply, setting down my stuff and stripping off my rain-swept hoodie. Our group of five-plus-me has assembled around 6 mini tables pushed together into one long surface, completely cornering a section of the restaurant with our meet-up. Glancing across the surface at the papers and 2-D pieces, I spot at least 10 sets of dice spilled across the table top.
I have never seen so many dice at a single game: 4 sided dice, 6 sided dice, 12 sided dice, 20 sided dice.
“So…Cole, is that short for Nicole?” another player asks, his whiskers fluttering gently on his upper lip.
“Nope, just Cole.” I glance at him with a smile.
“She’s just Cole,” my friend chimes in emphatically. “It’s not short for anything.”
In the lull, I examine my stat page and dice. “So… what are the rules for this game?”
“Have you played a MRPG* before?“
I shake my head. “First time.”
And thus I was initiated into one of the funnest games I’ve ever played.
*Feel free to shout out if I wrote the wrong acronym. I’m still a newb, learning this stuff. But I will have you know that my awesome dice rolling skills contributed massively to our successful campaign.
Or so the players told me.
But really, what am I getting at?
Last week, after poetry workshop, one of the attendees pitched going to grab coffee for a bit and hanging out between workshops.
It was six of us – huh, another group of six – who gathered in a jaunty coffee shop down the block, within a shop that seemed a cramped and uneven slice at the end of the enjoined building. Inside, the white walls and soft grain-wood tables gave the bright and cheery vibe, as sunlight streamed from the large picture-window next to the entrance. Quaint pictures of roosters hung on the wall above the cashier, and their coffee and food menus were minimal and hearty in their offerings.
I ordered a mocha for the first time in a while. The caffeine hit reminded me why I usually abstained.
The dialogue was… pleasant I think. I felt I spoke a lot, spent a lot of time inhabiting my extroverted facade that I knew would exhaust me for the rest of the day. I wished to emulate my counterpart at the opposite side of the table, who sat quietly with a small smile on his lips, watching through black-edged glasses, his impossibly smooth and straight hair framing a studious face. Although he played no instruments, he looked like a musician with his thoughtful gaze and the slender elegant fingers a pianist would envy.
I have not yet heard his poems, I hope I will one day.
We all write differently, started at different points of life, and have varying education based on writing. Unlike many in our poetry group, I did not go to school for fine arts or communications or writing. I wonder sometimes whether I could have been even better had I bucked tradition and familial pressure and done the typical foolish stereotypical thing that would have horrified my parents.
Major in art?!! NEVER!
You can write at any time, you don’t have to get a degree in it!
I admire my colleagues, my writing family, who went and did that thing. They are braver than I was, I think.
Sometimes I think about whether I should officially change my name. I wonder if I’m being disrespectful to reject the name given me by my parents. Not that they’d ever call me by my name, even if it were legal.
Is wanting it a good enough reason to push forward with changing everything? Even though my legal name never resonates with me? Even though at work I am constantly called by a co-worker’s name interchangeably even though our names are different by all but the first letter?
Am I just overly sensitive to the fact that I can only be Cole on weekends? Like the cheating spouse who can only meet with his mistress on holiday, is this brief reprieve only forestalling the inevitable disjointedness of my existence?
I know not.
What I do know is that sitting at that table, listening and meeting and getting to know the folks behind their poems, I felt a rare slice of peace.
Siting there was lovely.
Sitting there, I was Cole.