While helping a close friend with an English paper a few weeks ago, I came across this quote, “Nobody, not even the rain, has such small hands” It was added to the introduction of The Glass Menagerie. I had noo idea what this meant but it sounded so intriguing that I really wanted to find out. We spent a little time discussing it and what we thought it was saying. I looked it up and saw it was from an ee cummings poem:
somewhere i have never travelled, gladly beyond
any experience, your eyes have their silence:
in your most frail gesture are things which enclose me,
or which i cannot touch because they are too near
your slightest look easily will unclose me
though i have closed myself as fingers,
you open always petal by petal myself as Spring opens
(touching skilfully, mysteriously) her first rose
or if your wish be to close me, i and
my life will shut very beautifully, suddenly,
as when the heart of this flower imagines
the snow carefully everywhere descending;
nothing which we are to perceive in this world equals
the power of your intense fragility: whose texture
compels me with the color of its countries,
rendering death and forever with each breathing
(i do not know what it is about you that closes
and opens; only something in me understands
the voice of your eyes is deeper than all roses)
nobody,not even the rain,has such small hands
Wow. I love this poem. I read it over a few times and realized, while it could mean so many different things to so many different people, it was exactly how I felt about the person I was with at the time.
I read one person’s account of their wedding day. They had their wedding bands inscribed on the inside. His says, “Nobody, not even the rain,” and hers, “has such small hands.” I read this aloud.
“Are you crying?” he asked me. No, of course not. I wasn’t, but I felt close. Words do that to me sometimes.
I always forget how amazing poetry is and I never seem to have the patience for it. But then I read something like this and I realize how beautiful words can be and how much they can impact my life.
At what point did I stop wanting toys and games for Christmas and start wanting Kitchen Aid mixers? I am constantly frightened by the things that excite me these days. When my mom asked me what I wanted for Christmas I desperately racked my brain for something that would typically be “exciting.” Nope, nothing. My list was topped with giftcards to Dunkin‘ Donuts and Starbucks, books, and pajamas. Though they do not sound like anything to get worked up over, these things actually do excite me.
When I was younger, my sister and I used to dread going to department stores with our mother. Mom would browse the purse department for what seemed like hours while my sister and I complained and begged to leave. How could anyone find boring old purses exciting? “We will never willingly enter the purse department” my sister and I promised each other. I don’t remember the exact moment it happened but one day at the mall I realized that my sister was actually having fun looking at purses. Traitor! “Someday you will too,” she told me. But I refused to believe it. Something happened somewhere along the line though. Now, a brand new designer purse has the power to make my mood much brighter. When did this happen? How did I go from being bored out of my mind over purses to jumping for joy at the thought of buying a new one?
I can’t help but wonder what else will change as I get even older. Could it get any worse? I mean, I’m already excited by bedding, cooking appliances, and furniture. Am I going to start becoming interested in gardening products? planting herbs? knitting yarn? I guess only time will tell but for now, I’m just keeping my fingers crossed for a brand new Kitchen Aid blender come Christmas morning.
I’ve decided that life is too short to sleep. So what if I have to live with a constant feeling of grogginess and a persistent headache. Isn’t that what coffee is for? My desk is a bit too centrally located in the office for me to take naps, although this doesn’t stop some people. But basically, if I can manage to stay awake until 5:00 p.m., I allow myself a short nap on my T ride to my next destination. Take Tuesday for example. I successfully stayed awake until I had to leave work, walked to the T, got on, and promptly fell asleep. Now, falling asleep on the T during rush hour is no easy feat but I managed to do it in less than 5 minutes. Throughout the ride, I could occasionally feel my head leaning toward the person on my left, and at one point I felt myself starting to drool. But when you’re asleep, these things don’t really feel like such a big deal. Until I woke up at Coolidge Corner, looked out the window and saw where we were, jumped out of my seat, grabbed my bags, and ran off the T before the doors closed. Perfect timing. The guy sitting across from me was staring at me like WTF.
This is the point that I decided I am one gigantic mess. But to be quite honest, I just can’t find the time to sleep. Between work, school, freelancing, and friends, where is the time? Every time I turn off my lights and shut my eyes, I start feeling really jittery and guilty. How can I be wasting precious time sleeping when I have so many other things to do? Even if there’s nothing I HAVE to do, I should be doing something I WANT to be doing. I don’t like sleeping; it’s boring.
Of course, I do not feel this way first thing in the morning. When I’m already sleeping, there’s nothing I’d rather be doing and you have to drag me out of bed to get me up. I am anxiously awaiting next week, when my classes and exams are over and there is the slight possibility I will be less of a mess for three weeks. And hopefully I will be able to find some time to fit in sleep…preferably in my own bed, rather than at my desk or in the nastiness of the T. Thank God for Dunkin’ Donuts.
Today I learned something new about my glorious job of government worker for the state of Massachusetts. Apparently, during the holiday season, all state workers are given 2 hours off as shopping time. The office was all in a fervor today because it was “officially announced” that we could take our 2 hours whenever we want. I’m not sure what the history is behind this, or why they decided on 2 hours rather than 3 or 1, but I think I’d like to research it. Back in 1945, did a state worker complain that he didn’t have ample time to complete his Christmas shopping because he was working so hard at his job 8 hours a day? Did he march himself up the steps of the statehouse, insist on seeing the governor, and demand 2 hours off from work so he could complete his shopping? And I wonder if the governor just snapped his fingers and said “Yes! What a wonderful idea!” or if petitions had to be signed and strikes had to be waged.
In any event, none of this applies to me since I am currently still an intern doing the work of 38 regular full-time state employees. Therefore, I do not get my 2 hours of shopping time, which means my family will probably have to suffer in terms of Christmas presents this season. And I will probably be left in full charge of the office while everyone else is gallivanting around Boston making their holiday purchases. I’m not complaining though; I’m happy to serve my state and its consumers. I just wish they would pay me a little more and give me a couple days vacation time. Any day now they keep saying, and today I realized that any day now could mean today…or it could mean never. I’m at the point where I’m going to march up the statehouse steps and speak to Mick Rodney (as one of our callers refers to him) and demand to know what’s going on. If he can give all employees 2 hours of shopping time each holiday season, why can’t he give me a job?
Anyway, I better go and start doing some online shopping since I have no time to actually go out and do my Christmas shopping. You know, those 2 hours sure would make all the difference.
Sometimes it’s surprising how little it can take to brighten my day. I don’t think that riding on the MBTA subway has ever made me happy. Ever. It often makes me feel claustrophobic, hot and sweaty, and sometimes nauseated. And quite often it causes me to feel a general hatred for all Bostonians. I could probably go on and on about everything I hate about the T, and I do tend to do that at times. But today it actually made me smile. It wasn’t about human kindness; I didn’t see any college kids giving up their seats to pregnant women. And it wasn’t about a quick, smooth trip; we actually sat at the Government Center station for a total of eight minutes before moving on to Park Street. It was about someone trying his best to enjoy life, instead of choosing to be completely miserable. I have to admit that if I was a T driver, I probably would not be a happy person. Not only would it be extremely tedious and non-stimulating to go back and forth all day, but the passengers would drive me crazy. They step aboard the T and have no idea how to swipe their T pass (which always baffles me because if you actually have a T pass, shouldn’t you know how to use it?) or they stand on the steps not able to find the correct change while the line of people behind them grows and grows. Then there’s always that super-annoying older person who chooses to stand directly next to the T driver for the entire commute, asking them questions and trying to make conversation. Note to these people: the T driver does not want to talk to you so please leave him/her alone and look at the multiple maps posted on the T walls to figure out how to get to your destination.
However, as I took the T this afternoon from North Station to Boylston, just a few stops, I was smiling the whole way. When we pulled into Government Center the driver yelled over the intercom “Government Centaaaaaaaaaaaaa” in a sing-songy voice. Then he started saying, “This train has six doors for your boarding convenience. Please feel free to use all six. There’s plenty of room on this train, so come on on!” In case you’re unfamiliar with the MBTA, upon pulling into a T station, drivers usually say a) nothing, b) “Move all the way into the train. get out of the doorway. MOVE INTO THE TRAIN” or c) they hit the button and an automated voice says, “Now entering Government Center, doors will open on the left.” But this man actually had personality! A few of us were glancing around smirking at each other. When we got to Park Street, he continued, “Please don’t forget any of your belongings, bags, packages, children, christmas presents, whatever you have. Oh, and thank you for not smoking on the T.” I pretty much burst out laughing at this. Not only was this unheard of from a T driver, but I actually did once see a woman forget her child on the T, and I wondered if this announcement would have helped her to remember.
This probably isn’t a matter of significance to many people, but when I ride the T multiple times a day and am faced with angry people and rude drivers, this MBTA employee really gave me a reason to smile. I almost didn’t want to get off at Boylston, and I almost, but not quite, am looking forward to seeing what experiences await me tomorrow on my morning commute. MBTA, maybe you’re not all bad.