Tuesday, May 16, 2006

Baby Puke and the Big Apple

I am sitting here writing when my phone rings. I scan the caller ID screen and recognize Anathea's number.

"Hello," I say, still tapping away on the keyboard.

I hear the din of loud voices, maybe some music; it's clearly a bar.

"Guess who I'm here with?"

I am thinking it could be almost anyone, considering she called me Saturday to report a Kevin Bacon siting in Central Park, but before I have the opportunity to attempt my best guess , I am on speaker phone.

Suddenly, I am talking to Jen. It's been 13 years since we last spoke. Then Tom. Jon and Pat are there too. It is an NYC high school reunion, but someone is missing -- me!

It feels good to reconnect; almost surreal. In fact, there is a kind of comfort in it. The people know me. These people have dirt on me. We have some incredible, wild, and unbeleivable memories between us.

The conversations, despite the background noise and the alcohol buzz (on their end only!), come with ease. It's like being home. For a breif, an ever so brief moment, I am there. I am in some trendy Manhattan bar with my wickedly creative and successful friends.

Abby's screach on the monitor brings me back to my reality. My reality? I had just watched American Idol. Then, I spent 20 minutes trying to get through on the phone to vote for Elliot Yamin (not even because I neccessarily like him, I just can't stand the other two contestants). I have a load of laundrey in the washer and one in the dryer. The cat litter, just a few feet behind me desperately needs changing. I also have the faint smell of baby vomit in my hair ( a momento from this morning while at Urgent Care with Abigail).

We are worlds apart.

"You have been in Colorado forever. You must love it there," says Jen.

Love it? I don't NOT love it. In fact, I am very happy. But, it does occasionally freak me out that I live amongst real cowboys (they are not sporting the hat and boots as a fashion statement) and, everyday I gaze into wide expanses of open sky.

What is the antonym of claustophobia?

Because, quite honestly, sometimes when I am looking at those expanses of sky I feel like I am surrounded by too much space -- too easy to get lost in it.

I digress.

The point is, I could be there, but I am here. I can't help but wonder, what would my life be like if I were there instead of here? Would I be a more successful writer? Would I have an agent? Would I be married to an artist? A musician? A high-powered business man?

Could Paul and I transplant the life we have here in NYC? Is that where he could be the fabulous chef that I know he is capable of becoming? Could I work for a magazine? Or, an amazing architect (doing what I do now)...a Frank Gehry type? Could Abby attend a high-brow private school? Take piano lessons? Art lessons? Ballet? What would it be like for her to grow up in NYC? Who could she become that she can't become living here...in Longmont?

Questions worth pondering while I change the cat litter and pick the baby puke out of my hair.

One thing is clear to me -- What I wouldn't trade to be cocktailing in a manhattan bar tonight was the hour or so (yes, while watching American Idol) that Abby curled up in my arms and fell asleep.

Ok, maybe I wasn't watching American Idol as much as I spent that time just staring at her face. Seriously, sometime she just takes my breath away and the world stops for a moment. It is during these times when the questions have definitive answers. I know what I want and I am EXACTLY where I need to be.

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