When I was a teenager I wrote for my high schools literary magazine. It was titled Epiphany, and ever since seeing the word on the cover of the first issue I contributed to, I realized that all of my writing was exactly that: one small epiphany at a time. While now my best writing is done in the form of this personal narrative that I show here on my blog, in high school I was a poet. And when I look back and read from my old poetry notebooks, spines broken, colored pencil doodles, cross-outs and misspellings, I can't help but be proud of the old wise soul I have always been. Sometimes I think that re-reading all of those old poems will give me more insight into my life than any conversation with a friend, any night spent burying my face in a pillow, or even any afternoon pouring my heart out here on Smelling the Sneezeweed. The sneeze version of me always knew best.
There is one poem that rang out in my head over and over this past weekend. It is a poem where I complied little tid bits of life advice that I thought were important to live by. One reads "either choose to plan things out or go on a whim, either way you will be surprised." And well isn't that just the truth. My friend and I had tickets to Fridays Post Secret event in Connecticut. I have been looking forward to seeing Frank speak for weeks. When I went to work that morning I gently tucked the tickets inside of the latest Post Secret book (that I hoped to get signed) and packed it away in my bag. I went to work, failed at getting out early, hopped on the next train, and raced the forty minutes to my friends house so we could make the ferry to Connecticut. Well, the combination of missing the early train, the train I was on running twenty-minutes late, and rush hour traffic caused us to pull into the ferry terminal thirty-minutes after the ship had set sail. I was devastated. We had a plan, how could we be late? So we made phone calls, listened to busy signals, wined to friends, and then gave up. We weren't going to see Frank, I wasn't going to get my book signed, and those two tickets were going to stay right where they were, tucked away.
What happened next was possibly the best surprise we could have come up with. We were sitting in the ferry terminal and decided to make the best of the evening. We were in the center of a little port town, surrounded by restaurants, coffee shops, and bars; so we decided to have a date night. And let me tell you, two friends having an unexpected date night is a fantastic surprise. We went to dinner at a cramped greek restaurant where we shared a salad, gnashed on pitas, and savored chicken gyros. We wandered into a little bookstore where we giggled over children's books and bought novels that we agreed to swap in a few weeks. We went to a sweet bakery where we spilt a cupcake, sipped coffee, and listened to live soulful music. Finally we headed over to a local bar where we drank pumpkin ale and flirted with the hunky bartender. By the end of the night I had practically forgotten about the two Post Secret tickets still sitting snug in my bag.
When I got home that night I was tired, but swirling on a high from my unexpected fantastic evening. No, I didn't get to see Frank. And no, I have no idea when he will pop up in the North East again. But am I sad about the way my night turned out? No way! I had a fantastic time. I found a new band that I can't get enough of, I have a new hidden spot to go to with a hunky bartender, and I have more memories from hopping around that harbor town than I likely would have gotten from a boat ride and a theater. And I have to tell you, I don't think I would have thought my night was so fantastic had I not read those sneeze words just days earlier.
It's true; "either choose to plan things out or go on a whim, either way you will be surprised." And what a pleasant surprise of an evening it was..
The Daily Sneeze ((or what's fueling the fire today))
-friends around round tables.
-snow in November.