Sometimes when you're dealing with things you think you're the only one and then you realize that there's a million songs out there that speak to your emotions and suddenly they make so much more sense.
But this weekend was good despite everything. I went out to the east side for a Shabbat dinner at Moishe house that my friend Rachel and her roommates were putting on. I wasn't sure if I was at the right house, but the batik curtains and Matisyahu on the stereo led me to the right place.
Though I didn't know anyone except her and I was a little unsure if I'd belong it was the best decision I could've made and I had a wonderful time.
I wish I understood more Hebrew than the smattering that I somehow picked up somewhere so I could understand the ancient beauty of the prayers and blessings chanted over the table. The food was plentiful and delicious and it's definitely easier to keep kosher if everyone's vegetarian, and it felt like I'd stumbled into a Thanksgiving dinner but with total strangers with whom I'm suddenly discussing Thomas Merton, medieval mystics, various musical genres, trying to explain that not everyone in Parma has a swastika flag hanging in their living room, and the history of the Falasha with a guy who was shocked that I knew anything about Menelik and Ethiopian Judaism and told me "You gotta come party with the Falashas next Shabbat! We and the Jamaicans get down!" and that I needed to meet his mother.
I stayed late, helped clean up, exchanged phone numbers with kindred spirits, drove home thankful that as small as this city gets, there are still good people that I have yet to meet.
Saturday I stopped by to see my mom like I usually do and came outside to find the cat staring down this gigantic raccoon that was twice her size. Most of them were rabid and it was during the day and it's so painfully obvious that I'm a city kid when giant raccoons who don't run away when you get near them scare me. Heck, the squirrels weird me out too when they get friendly. What would I do if I lived somewhere with tigers, poisonous snakes, or gangs of violent monkeys? I guess I would do what I need to do.
The rain came down all weekend and I drove down to pick up my old Silvertone amplifier from Empirical where the guys told me that they'll miss it and had spent the last few days playing Led Zeppelin riffs on it. Drove down through the factories and bars listening to Gaslight Anthem and feeling melancholy yet strangely comforted by the rust and concrete that is beautiful and so familiar.
I've been packing boxes, trying to figure out what to throw away, wondering how I think I'm so unmaterialistic but somehow ended up with an apartment full of furniture, books, paint, and musical instruments. I think about my great uncle lonely in a house full of tchotchkes with the radio on all the time, talking about the good old days. I don't want to be like that.
I'm already figuring out this new phase of solitude, learning how to embrace what will be nights alone. I'm picking out colors of paint for the living room and setting aside one room for the studio space I've always wanted, making plans to share meals with friends so I'm not cooking dinner alone, and knowing that maybe this kind of change won't be so bad.