Thursday, September 29, 2011

Benched with the Moroccan Frenchman

I walked into the student center at Wake Tech today to get my six-inch turkey, spinach, tomato, and provolone sandwich on wheat. As I walked into the building, this guy stopped mid-stride to blatantly stare at me in the face. I stared back, with a waiting expression on my face as if to say, “May I help you?” He opened his mouth a little before speaking and then said in an untraceable accent, “You look so innocent.” I couldn’t help but be floored. The only thing that I could think to say was “Thank you?” I asked for his name, and then told him that it was good to meet him. I parted ways with him and continued into the cafeteria area to get my sandwich.

After getting my sandwich and the two cookies that I’d splurged on, I made my way back out of the student center and headed to a little shady spot outside. As I was leaving, I was met by none other than my new foreign acquaintance. As he quickened his pace to meet mine, I greeted him saying, “Hello, again.”

“I’m sorry, I just had to talk to you some more,” he replied. I told him that it was all right with me, and invited him to sit on my brick wall with me. We made casual conversation for a little while, where I found out that he was from Morocco and France, which puzzled me some. He informed me that he already had a teaching degree in math, but that he was going back to school to become an engineer. He asked about me, and I prattled on about my ambitions and goals.

After some small talk, he made his same gawking expression at me. I didn’t understand. I asked what the matter was, and he said, “No, it’s just that you look so innocent.” I sat there with a tight, knowing smile, because I’ve actually gotten this same description before. I don’t see it though. I went on to explain that I had gotten that before, and that it was somewhat accurate when comparing me to the rest of the world. I told him that I don’t drink or smoke, and he laughed this little laugh. He told me that he didn’t either, and commented on how interesting it was that he could see that about me at first glance. I told him that it was weird for him to notice that too, because most people don’t take the time to notice anything really, because they are too absorbed in their own worlds and heads to notice anything that doesn’t involve them.

We continued in conversation for a few more minutes, and then I had to excuse myself to go prepare for a test that I had the next hour. I told him that it was nice to meet him, and started to leave. He stopped me and asked if he could have my number, because he’d really like to talk to me again. Though I wasn’t interested in him in the way that would warrant giving someone a phone number, I couldn’t think of any objections, so I gave it to him. It was one of those chance meetings of a stranger that makes you feel more connected to the world. I like it when routine is broken by something unexpected, especially when making new, unlikely acquaintances.

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Benched in Italy

One would think that when she arrived in an Italian restaurant, that she’d be welcomed by a whirl of appetizing aromas, but she’d be wrong. When I stepped into this stereotypical Olive Garden, for some reason all I could smell was dirty diapers. Still, even after being seated, that’s all I can smell. I hope my sensory adaptation kicks in soon before my food arrives. No one else seems to notice the smell though, and I promise it’s not me, haha.

As I said, I’m at Olive Garden, but I don't think I mentioned that I am here unaccompanied. No, I didn’t get stood up for a date. No, I didn’t try to invite anyone to come with me, and yes, I could have gotten any number of friends to come with me, but no, I don’t feel lonely here at all. It feels so good to enjoy a solitary meal every now and then. I never thought that I'd be one of those people who could go to a movie alone, which I still haven't done, or to eat at a restaurant alone, but I've come to not mind eating alone at all. Don’t get me wrong, I love people, but it’s so nice not to have to keep up a conversation, or worry about talking with my mouth full in order to be appropriately invested in whatever topic that would be taking place. It's nice to just be able to, be.

Also, my salad just came out, which means that I get to leave the olives, purple cabbage, and peppers in the bowl, and I can steal all of the tomatoes I want. If I were here with anyone, I would have to be polite, and unselectively take my share of the salad, but I don't have to worry about that today. This all sounds very selfish now that I think about it, but it’s a savored rarity.

Right now, I’m watching all of these people around me put cheese, on their cheese. “Would you like some cheese on your alfredo?” –Isn’t that just a little redundant? –Also, I can’t smell the diapers anymore.

So now I’m eating the soup that I tried to replicate from scratch a few weeks ago. I like theirs better still, but I can’t figure out why. Maybe I’ll try again. Also, I swear I just blinked and now my soup is gone. Funny how that happens. In case you’re wondering, I ordered the Chicken Florentine Panini and Chicken Gnocchi soup with salad. I’m eating it all.

I really don’t have anything profound to say, I just feel like writing.

Ah, I see a little older lady in her late sixties who’s just been seated, all by herself. She walked in purse on arm, book in hand, wearing a pleasant, placid smile on her face. I glanced to her left hand and noticed that there was a ring on her ring finger. It seems that I’m not the only one who enjoys a solitary meal every now and again. :)

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Benched with the Storm

I’m in somewhat of a rainy mood. It’s kind of that lackluster feeling that doesn’t exactly have a name. I guess you could say that it’s fueled by working all day, sleeping the majority of the evening, and the glumly refreshing opaque sky outside my window. Before deciding to not chance my luck against a thunderstorm in my rickety car, I battled the compulsion to be social somewhere and the need for temporary solitude. I opted for the later. I frequently find myself fighting that battle against myself, and I never seem to win it, haha.

As I lay in bed, every so often I’d slip in and out of consciousness, with the flashes of light and rolling of thunder in my distant awareness. It’s like someone had plugged the world I live in into an outlet, resulting in the recharging of nature’s elements as well as my sanity. I wish I could tell you that I awoke feeling electrified or reenergized, however what pulled me completely out of my lucid coma was the chime of my text message tone. If you’re like me, you sleep with your phone beside your bed. Your excuse is that “it’s your alarm,” but really it’s there for that slight lift you get when someone texts you. Maybe I’m alone in that…haha

I’m not sure if you all are aware, but almost every time I sleep, for no matter how short of a time, I dream. It’s a rare occasion that I fall asleep without dreaming. Throughout all of my dreams during my nap tonight, there was always someone in the background on the phone. Guess who’s trying to soak in all of the details of her new job? It added a frenzied edge to my dreams, which stressed me out.

Do you ever dream about work or responsibilities? It’s like I work all day, and then I dream about work, so it’s like I’m working while I’m sleeping! I really can’t complain at all; I’m lucky to have had time for a nap. I’m sure that’s a luxury that will not always be mine. It’s also especially cozy to sleep while it’s raining. All I was missing was a cuddle buddy. A person would have been nice, but I would have definitely settled for my lost blanky. RIP “Bunny Blanky.”

I hope everyone had a great day today! I consider mine to have been quite pleasant despite this nameless mood that I seem to be in, haha. I’ll probably try to monopolize on that and try to be productive and clean the three bedrooms and the bathroom that I’ve taken over since my brother left on his mission. Goodnight!

Monday, September 12, 2011

Benched on the Trail

I actually wrote this quite some time ago, but I've found myself again falling into this rut of dwelling too much on the future rather than soaking in my life right now. "When I am done with school..." "When I get married..." "When I can travel..." "When I have a family..."

It's what I'm learning while I'm getting to where I'm going that makes up life. You have to become before you can be. --Just some thoughts.

Anyway, this is called,

"The Point of Fixation."

Traveling trails

Telling tales

Of paths that lead

To what we need

Memories reflected

Of things neglected

On the side of this road

If only we’d known

The past is past

So we race to find our ending

We don’t realize we’re wasting all of our time,


On we go, continuing to chase

This dream of perfection

Forgetting our reflection.

We try to finish the race,

Instead of savoring our pace.

Transfixed on where we’re going

We forget where we are.

Where are we?

Monday, September 5, 2011

Benched at the Wedding

So in this case, I am not actually benched at any wedding, but I was earlier swept away in somewhat of a heart-wrenching scene...

I don't know if I'm becoming less optimistic or less naive in my perceptions of the world, especially in regards to relationships, but today my mind was flooded with the possibilities of some very harsh realities that had never occurred to me before.

I hesitated whether to post anything at all, considering how personal all of these thoughts are, but I decided that I needed to send these thoughts into the cosmos before they continued to eat at me.

Love. Love has been described throughout the ages in all manner of ways. For all intents and purposes, I'm going to focus at first on the beautiful side of love. Love can be great if reciprocated and shown appropriately. Love can color a once gray world, and bring light to a once dim existence, blah blah, we get the picture. To be concise, love can make life worth living. Most people experience it at one point or other too. The unfathomable to me, is that people can experience it multiple times. What happens when the stars don't align for you and this love, and things don't work out? You end, and try to find something at least as great as what you had, and hope for improvements to have an even better love the next time, right?

What occurred to me today, was this: what happens when the person you are, or were once in love with marries another? Yes, of course this thought has frequently entered my mind before, and was just an accepted truth and inevitability in my mind, but I never actually pictured the situation or how it would actually feel. What do you do? Do you sob for days prior to and following the nuptial event? Does it hurt because you, cognizantly or not, pictured yourself possibly ending up with this person and now suddenly that's an impossibility? For lack of better terms, that would suck! That will suck. People don't just end up with the first person they fall in love with...which sucks! This must happen to almost everyone!..which sucks!

Oh, I'm perfectly aware that we probably weren't supposed to end up with each person we've fallen in love with. I know that we learn, grow, and become better from each experience, and I'm sure we'll even end up on our knees thanking God that we didn't end up with any of those people, but it's still a dismal thought to me. I don't just go around falling in love with everyone I date, in fact it's only happened to me once, despite my efforts for it not to! Yes, I want nothing but every happiness for those whom I've been star-crossed with, but I feel like I'll be left with melancholy unrest and unsettlement. I can hear my own questions now, "I wonder how it would have been if we could have worked things out," or "I wonder if I had done more if things would have worked out," or "Would we have been happier with each other than with the ones we'll end up with?" or, "Did he just choose the one who put herself out there more?" or, "Was he scared that I'd say no if he invested too much into me?" --Granted, these are the most insecure and previously unutterable thoughts imaginable, but I know that I'll have them when this dreaded day comes! Also, what if the guy doesn't tell you before he gets engaged! That's probably how it will be, knowing men, so what do you say? "Well, it seems congratulations are in order..."

Why have these realities never been tangible to me until now? At the moment, they seem to all but be happening tomorrow!

Dear cosmos, though you may not even be listening, I apologize for my outrage in this post, but I am quite taken back by the light that has been shed on certain situations. Things always seem to have their way of working out, so I'm not too incredibly worried about the eminence of situations like these. I guess it's good that this has hit me now, rather than shattered me later, haha.

Friday, September 2, 2011

Benched With Age

So I’m driving home from what was possibly the sweetest babysitting job that I’ve ever encountered. As the mile markers blur out my car window, I recount the events of the night, feeling truly blessed by it’s perfection. There’s something about looking after a truly sweet child, and those precious moments where I get to see the world through his clear eyes that makes me nostalgic and eventually critical. To speak of my experience of looking through a child’s eyes is undoubtedly a cliché, but it does not detract from the beauty of the experience.

Toddlers expect the world to be full of the things they want, and yet somehow those things are desired so unselfishly. Children have more faith than demand for what life has to offer them. They uninhibitedly laugh at what strikes them funny, and cry at times when they feel sorrow. A child seeks the happiness of everyone around them, and has no reason to believe that happiness is not perfectly attainable.

How do we forget this purity and plainness as we age? Why do some people find it simple-minded to take joy in the little things in life? Why do we feel the need to feign a composed exterior when we’re actually feeling true sorrow? A child expects to be consoled when they’re feeling sad, but as we age, suddenly sadness is considered weakness. Heaven forbid that someone should comfort or console us when we’re upset! Granted, some things in life are too trivial to merit profuse dwelling, however sometimes I wish that we could offer each other genuine confidence. I want people to feel comfortable enough to confide in each other. I think that we just don’t trust each other enough in our interpersonal relationships to dispel that much of ourselves to each other.

Whatever the case, I admire the purity and unwavering faith of little kids and wish that we, as adults, would wear a little less of the facades that we feign. It’s okay to be there for people, and to not have to worry about keeping up appearances. People shouldn’t have to worry that someone may judge them for asking if someone else is okay. It’s okay to laugh, and it’s okay to be upset sometimes. No one will think of you any less, and those who would need to get over themselves.

Benched at the Mall -Written March, 2011

Passers by, passers by, passers by. What are they passing by? Me, Lego, childhood, commitment, self-image, fancy meals, and the idea of perfection. Maybe they aren't passing by, perhaps they are passing through, brushing against their ideas of what could be, but not staying quite long enough to soak it in. Maybe if they had the means, or the time, they would decide to morph themselves into these things so coveted. What average, normal, oxygen-breathing human has the money to be their ideal image, or the time, or the patience? What about those anomalies, who do have the time and the means to plaster themselves into the life image they've contrived? Who of them is actually satisfied with every aspect of his or her life? I guess, hopefully, that none of them are completely satisfied. Change is growth.

Benched by the River -Written March 27th, 2011

Sit here, jot down your feelings. Like that will help me. Sure it will have some semblance of release, but what good will it really do? Strangers, clunk across the wood flanks, that have probably seen their share of misery and disaster. Is that how they see it? The planks, I mean. Sure, it was probably uncomfortable to be completely submersed in tumultuous water, pulling at it, threatening to rip it completely to shreds at each storm's whim. But maybe, just maybe, when it was all said and done, those planks felt cleansed. Maybe they had to go through those storms to realize how good it feels to be dry, and daily warmed and caressed by the sun. Right now, an old woman is crossing on the dock of this river front with the support of a walker, in addition to the support of those same planks, keeping her from being swallowed into the river. Naturally she, or anyone else, would not be trying to stand there without the aid of them, but somehow I feel very grateful for those planks, keeping that old woman and I from falling. Those planks now take on a sort of care-giving roll...interesting.

"Sweet darling, why don't you pretend we were just a dream?"

Benched In D.C. -Written March 17th, 2011

"Cuddle Fuddle" Passion Pit

So I'm sitting here, in the middle of Dupont Circle, across from some statue that I'm not cultured enough to recognize. Sitting to my left on this very long bench, is a man in a business suit, green tie heavily dusted with shamrocks, with his legs femininely crossed, revealing a glimpse of a flaming green sock. Green shirts, pants, and scarves dot and plague the crowd of locals and passerbys.

-Too many birds. I move.

Now I'm comfortably soaking in the snarky rays of sun that have been so smugly hiding behind the cover of the clouds all winter. They laugh at all of us down here as they warm my cheeks. It's like they told the wind to play with my hair too, and the animals to be extra chipper to let me know just what I've been missing these few months.

"Tessellate" Tokyo Police Club

Strangers bike, drive, walk, and board by, each carrying their own air. A business woman walks by, carrying confidence and Chanel No. 5. An old man in a green polo with oddly fresh Nike's walks by, carrying a limp and a respect for modern fashions.

"Trades and Tariffs" The Dodos

An old man in a red long sleeved button-down walks by, strolling along two little dogs, nestled in a matching red stroller. A young brunette woman struts by wearing knee-high leather boots and a tight mini-skirt; she carries low self-esteem, masked by a fabricated sense of confidence in her apparel.

"Ride" Cary Brothers

All I seem to carry is an iPod, this notebook, and a purse full of things that no girl actually needs with her at all times. I wonder what aire I carry. I could attempt to diagnose myself, but that's not at all for me to decipher. I'll let that be everyone else's job.

"At the Beginning" from Anastasia...?...random

A piece of newspaper rolls by like a tumbleweed. Normally, if I were in Wilmington, I'd have picked it up and thrown it away. Something about how litter pollutes my semblance of paradise compels me to try to keep it clean. I suppose that's some subconscious attempt for me to clean my inner vessel while cleaning my surroundings. No excuse, I should have picked it up. I suppose that I assume that all cities are dirty, so this one would be no different, negating my compulsion to keep it clean. Rationalization.

"Black Balloon" Goo Goo Dolls

Here I am, a North Carolina bred, nineteen year old girl in a strange city. I hopped on the metro in Rockville MD, and here I am in Dupont Circle. I, Eve Naylor, walked half a mile from my cousin's apartment to the metro station, and allowed it to spit me out somewhere I'd never ventured to before. I then wandered around for an unknowable duration of time, stumbling into record stores and vintage shops, and eventually found myself eating a delicious meal of whole wheat cork screw pasta, swimming in a beautifully light pesto sauce with perfectly tender chicken slices running through it. There I was, by my lonesome in a little italian bistro, equipped with a Shirley Temple to drink to amplify my solitude.

"Fiery Crash" Andrew Bird

To anyone else, my situation might as well have been shouted through a mega phone and televised through the entire city by the way I was dawdling through the city, and eating alone alongside my iPod and classic "chick drink," with my phone next to my plate, per chance anyone should contact me.

"Wide Eyes" Local Natives

Little do these people know, I couldn't be more content in my solitude. I find this carefree spontaneity immeasurably liberating, and am fortunate to be so at peace. I know people who can't even sleep in their beds by themselves at night, let alone wander a big city on their own, but I couldn't be more opposite.

"Prove You Wrong" He Is We

Naturally I enjoy the company of others, and toy with notions and fantasies of walking hand-in-hand with the man I love who also loves me, flirting all the day long, stopping only to kiss whenever the moment warrants it, but that's just not where I am right now. I could be toiling over lost love, and whimsical hopes of a future with the man who currently has captured my heart, who keeps it only for reasons of pride, but where would that get me? That listlessness would surely consume this independent freedom that I so desperately need at this time in my life.

"Starts" Barcelona

A young, trendy couple is playing frisbee in the grassy micro-wilderness of this circle; there goes my confident independence. Another trendy, young couple walks past. The tall, dark, and perfectly hansom man has an expensive Cannon camera hanging form his neck, as the tall, brown haired and booted girl walks comfortably and magnetically at his side. Why must these couples be so young and trendy? More-so, why must they be so happy and in love, sharing the city? I could share the city, but not now.

"Sparrow" Scattered Trees

Don't worry, I'm still quite content and amazingly happy. I could not have asked for a more perfect afternoon. The sun is still warming my cheeks, and the wind is still mockingly playing with my loosely kept hair, all in Dupont Circle.

"The Remedy" Jason Mraz