The more things change. …

You know the rest.

I got up early to clean the kitchen and to start the process of putting my 5,000 word magnets up on the fridge (it’ll never be finished, BTW). I played referee while the cats ate (i.e., I kept yelling at Kadi every time she tried to attack Maddie to get to her bowl, while her own bowl sat half-full), made some coffee, and overdosed on nostalgia.

Today is my beloved Samantha Jones’ second birthday — I bought her on this day in 2001 and didn’t even know how to drive her. 🙂

Today is also the birthday of someone I used to care about (Brat, for anyone interested). But for the life of me, I can’t really remember what he looked like, other than the visage in some drunken photos of us that I have around here somewhere.

But I thought back to about this time four or five years ago, when I was (surprise) planning for a Halloween happy hour at my place. I was putting the word magnets all over the fridge door (and I had far fewer magnets back then!). I remembered the scent of my then-favorite Glade Plug-ins — tropical mist. On a whim (this year), I bought a pack of them. And I guess the familiar scent, coupled with the familiar activity, took me back in time for a minute.

Last night I dreamed about one of my old and dear friends from Pittsburgh. While life took us down such separate paths, I am glad to exchange the occasional e-mail with him. But he was so clear in my dream — I dreamed that I was staying in some far-away hotel with my colleages (because we travel once a year to host a conference), and I bumped into him. We had breakfast in this huge, wall-to-wall glass lobby and laughed while we pondered the aesthetic and the esoteric, as we’d done so many times before.

I miss those conversations — we had so many right in my tropical-mist scented kitchens and living rooms. And I guess, when I awoke, I was kind of sad that those days really are over. I felt alive when I was with him — that my dreams and thoughts and plans really mattered. I always felt beautiful around him (even though, when I see the photos from those parties, I was a drunken, slovenly mess in every last shot!) — he was a person who looked at your heart before he saw the rest of you, and he found immense light and beauty in everything that came within close proximity of him.

And the feeling was mutual.

I wanted to drop him an e-mail today, to say all of this. Maybe he’ll wander by the website and see it. Or not. I just have to laugh that I feel more comfortable telling 50,000 people how much I miss him today, yet I can’t even write a private e-mail to that effect.

I’m so glad my old friends Dawn and Rob will be here, because I adore them and and also because they were such a part of my life — such a part of me — during those years. But they will serve as a small reminder that I can’t bring everybody from my old life into my new world. But I can bring the magnets, the air fresheners and the memories, and at least it’s something.

There are new beginnings and new memories to be made, though, in my rooms that now smell like Glade’s butterfly garden and Renuzit’s mandarin-and-green tea and my Nag Champa incense. But for all the changes, it never hurts for a moment to stop and remember who I was and the people who loved me because — and maybe in spite — of it. 🙂

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