Sunday began well but ended tragically. A light rain fell over New York. Alistair and I had some errands to run so we rented a car. In the late afternoon I took a spot on his sofa and wrote for a few hours. We tossed together a pasta dish for dinner, one of his favorites: tomato sauce, garlic, onion, tuna over bucatini.
My evening was interrupted by a social media discovery: all my friends were at a party and I had not been invited. This happens to me a lot, actually six or seven times in the past few years. I told Alistair. Then I cried and said: "I knew it was coming." Its easy to see paths diverge from far away, especially when it's my own fault. Friendships, they say, need to be tended like gardens but I'm too insular, too fearful, I don't trust that I am interesting enough to maintain a conversation or come up with something fun to do. And then the years pass and that trepidation turns into avoidance.
That night I sighed and watched everyone's Insta stories and photos from the party feeling empty and even embarrassed.
Monday was my office holiday party. Which meant a half-day in the office and the other half mingling over canapés and a soda. After failing miserably at the dinner party on Friday (if you missed it in the last Weekly: I laughed at French jokes that I did not understand, etc.) and feeling kind of rejected on Sunday night, I just wanted to hide. Luckily, I was seated next to kind, patient coworkers. When the party ended I got on the train and speed walked from my station to my front door and felt as though I'd spent days running from my faults.
I had an easy work-week. Knowing that I'd be off for ten whole days (Christmas to New Years) relaxed me. I got off work early on Friday and met Alistair at his place. He was under the weather, so I put a hand to his forehead: he had a fever. We went out for ramen and I tucked him in bed early after a bath.
On Saturday I woke up, checked in on Alistair, then headed to Stumptown coffee in West Village. Felix was in town from Paris, we had time for an lively chat before his flight out. He asked how my writing was going, and I immediately rolled my eyes. It wasn't going at all, "I'm blocked," I said. I wanted to spend another hour in there just writing, but I needed to use my time alone wisely and buy Alistair's gift. It was a real coup-- I had to go to two stores to find what I wanted in stock. Then I rushed to a gift-wrapping store, and finally, while sweating, lugged everything to the subway and back to Brooklyn to nurse Alistair.
I put his gift by the window seat with the other gifts from his lovely relatives. We hung string lights till the tree arrives. It'll be my first Christmas with Alistair and my first Christmas buying a real tree. I can't believe I'm writing this, but I'm actually looking forward to it.