Marissa Lingen (mrissa) wrote,
Marissa Lingen

Years ago

I like it that this meme comes around periodically on the guitar, because it's got the time built in for different answers. So:

Twenty years ago, I had the best gifted ed teacher a second grader could ask for, Kathy Kinkle. She was marvelous. She paid attention to what really interested me and at what levels, and she had me doing things like looking carefully at books I liked to see what each chapter was doing and how, what we knew about the characters and how we knew it, etc. Structural stuff. Writer stuff.

She would come and take me out of class when she had some free time, and we would do cool stuff, and it got me through the rest of my days in hope. Looking at it now, I was already not very hopeful that my regular classes would have anything to teach me, by the time I was in the second grade. This is not good. But Ms. Kinkle was great, and I wish I could find her again. (She married, and her new last name is unfortunately common.)

Fifteen years ago, I had joined a bunch of babygeek groups in my new middle school. And I met this guy who was in all of them with me. He had goofy glasses and a cowlick that wouldn't stay down. I had a bad perm. We spent four afternoons a week together. We made stupid jokes. We learned to say, "I have an answer" instead of "I have the answer" at MathCounts. We and the rest of the group got matching Einstein T-shirts that ended up looking like Yoda. He taught me to play gin rummy ("No one ever beats me at this game!"), and I beat him first time out. He took it incredulously but well. He was my best friend, is still one of them. He was my first love.

I don't love scottjames the way I did when I was twelve, and I don't love him the way I did when I was eighteen. I love him the way I do when I'm twenty-seven and we've spent more than half our lives being each other's friend. For me, "forever" is apparently around fifteen years now, because Scott has been one of the dearest and most important people in my life forever. (He won't get around to reading this until he's back from his honeymoon, but that's okay; we aren't the kind of friends who have never told each other what we mean to each other, so it's not like it'll be a huge surprise.) And he should bring his wife to visit so we can get to know her and not just know what she looks like, because weddings are no place to get to know the bride, and she's kind of stuck with me in her life now, via Scott, so she at least ought to know what she's stuck with, hmm?

Ten years ago, I had moved into the now-demolished Wahlstrom Hall and was absolutely sure I had found where I belonged. (I was right.) College was so much better than high school that I couldn't imagine ever wanting to leave. (I was wrong about that bit.) I was taking Diff Equs and having a blast with them (also Classical I, Gen Chem, an FTS, and the dreaded 9:00 a.m. fall semester Water Aerobics, brrrr; all less of a blast). And there was this tiny girl with long dark hair she sometimes put up in a ponytail from the top of her head, and then she looked kind of like a Romulon, and we were well on our way to speaking our very own language, "MacArthur" and "feeeeesh" and a million other things that were just hers and mine or ours with a few other friends. gaaldine and I don't need the vocabulary that sorts us out from the rest of the world any more. Ten years of friendship have left us sufficiently sorted without more explicit markers needed.

Five years ago, we -- I was part of a "we" by then -- were still living in our tiny, crappy, squalid apartment in Concord. It got ants every time the neighbors upstairs looked at a bag of sugar funny. I hated the ants. I had just discovered that I was about 40K into my second novel (I hadn't been counting), and since it was a YA novel, I decided to just go ahead and finish it, so I was on the home stretch of The Grey Road about then. Didn't intend to write it right away, but books are sneaky. I was a little dismayed that I'd managed to write most of a book without noticing.

Three years ago, we were having one more fall in the Bay Area than we'd anticipated, and I was not pleased with that fact. I was very, very conscious of being a short-timer. Also, according to my journals, alecaustin came over for dinner. Hey, Alec! I'd make company chicken again if you came over. You liked it last time. I don't even need enough notice to thaw the chicken. I can put it in the microwave to thaw enough to cut up.

Two years ago, our stupid Hayward apartment (slightly bigger and less squalid than our Concord apartment) was filled with boxes, because we were moving home very soon. I was doing last things around the Bay Area, last lunches with friends, last rides on BART, last trips to the grocery store. I had been trying to eat up the pantry since, oh, July. "Have to use that up! Don't want to move it!" markgritter kept telling me, "With all the books we have, two pounds of flour will not make a difference." I kept telling him, "With all the books we have, I have to make up the difference somewhere!" I was also putting off reading The Lord of Castle Black so I could read it on the actual move home.

Last year, I had started the countdown for finishing the rough draft of Sampo. I would feel like a big slacker that I'm only getting it revised now, but hey, I had Thermionic Night to revise before it, and it was big. I was also settling in pretty thoroughly here, feeling like I could actually have what I want if I was willing to ask and/or work for it. A surprising lot of the time, I can. It's pretty nifty.

Yesterday, my main tasks were an airport run and a Walgreen's run, and beyond that, I mostly stayed on the couch with the dog, napping and reading and talking to timprov or dd_b, trying to get back to my usual lack of energy after travel etc. made it worse. I also changed a rather major plot point in Sampo. It will no longer look like a major plot point now that it's changed, but a minor one. That's all right. There's a different major one to compensate. Lots of long pink slashes. The dog has stopped looking at me funny when I slash entire pages. This is probably a good thing.

Today, my main tasks are taking timprov to the neurologist and walking the dog. I'm tired and I feel like crap still. I am in that mode where putting one foot in front of the other is all one can really do. I have high hopes like sorting the laundry and sweeping the kitchen. They may degenerate into reading Dorothy Dunnett and watching the rerun of the Daily Show.

Tomorrow, I'm doing another airport run, trying to remember to get more photos posted of London, and hoping to feel better than I do today. As my chronic femaleness will be less likely to bother me tomorrow, the hope actually seems reasonable.

Beyond that? New book, World Fantasy Con, continually improving puppy manners, and I hope continually improving health.

Your turn.

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