Fruma Sarah

Ok. Clothes off. Makeup off. Pajamas on. Sleep med swallowed. It’s 5:24 a.m. and there is a car full of teenagers parked downstairs blasting WAP. Aaaaah, NYC.

Was tonight’s outfit a bomb? Not entirely. It was a rush. A rough draft. A first attempt. Lessons were learned. Wisdom engaged. A foundation laid.

Why do I even ask? Well last night, I got a lot of “You look so pretty.” Which, is lovely. Barbs nights are nights for me to broadcast…this is a special occasion for me to be with you, wherever we end up. Last night was a white tank top, a pleated black pleather skirt and a faux suede moto jacket. Red lip. Hair…combed ish? French inspired.

That reads as pretty.

Today, Tyler took one look at me and said, “It looks like you’re going to a wedding…as a bride.”

Ahhhhh, there’s nothing quite like that Midwestern charisma.

The look was Chanel Cruise 2020 inspired. Beige slip dress over beige lace button up, floppy black bow tie, vintage Bakelite pin on the bow tie, black tights, patent leather loafers, same suede moto jacket, purple maroon lip…kind of gothy?

I almost wore a black and beige tweed Chanel via Banana coat but thought it would be too on the nose.

I already hate myself for saying all of this. But we’re in it together now, aren’t we?

After watching women hackers on a panel yesterday at the Unfinished conference, I felt expressive. But the look…maybe we only use that in the East Village. Or places where I’m not seated in a couch. Galleries, perhaps? It needs tweaking. Maybe a black lace button up instead.

Oh yeah, Tyler. So he was there. Last night Trav told me to take it easy on Tyler. He’s got it rough. So on my way home from Nikola’s I texted him and told him I loved him. Well, I said, “I love you, dork.” But that was after a lot of affirming and poignant..uh…points. Really, I must have been in a fall giddiness-induced good mood because I felt pretty good about reaching out.

Wonder of wonder, miracle of miracles (note: Fiddler reference—we’ll circle back) Tyler writes back and then I got to see him tonight. And it felt…really…strange? Good. For sure good. We picked up where we left off. But that boy is shook. Don’t know what from. But he knows I’m here. Even if he is terrible with compliments.

Asani read my cards over at Nikola’s and it was all spot on about things we haven’t discussed. Mostly just my feelings about LinkedIn and grad school applications and finding a job and working within the confines of a structure that has told me time and time again…this isn’t for you.

The answer was lovely, and just for me so I’ll spare you the details, but suffice it to say that I’ve had a crisis of confidence of late. I need a chorus of friends to just tell me I’m a badass every 2 hours for the next month. I need my Rocky montage. My Rudy moment.

It hasn’t been bleak lately, but it’s felt like…I’m floundering. But I’m really 14 steps away from floundering. I’m just worst case scenario-ing. And I’ve kept myself from reaching out to almost everybody who would give me perspective because I don’t trust myself.

Tonight at Nikola’s I told Doug that I had my first real NY hang where everybody who showed up was there because they knew me. I wasn’t a plus one. And they got along. That’s a big accomplishment!

Sharif brought up that he played Perchik in Fiddler on the Roof at some point and “Matchmaker, Matchmaker” broke out because hashtag theater nerds. I mentioned Tevye’s Dream as my favorite song and Nikola agreed. It’s so trippy. And then he started singing Fruma Sarah’s lines:

“What is this about your daughter marrying my husband?
Yes, he’s her husband
Would you do this to your friend and neighbor, Fruma Sarah
Have you no consideration for a woman’s feelings
Handing over my belongings to a total stranger
How can you allow it out, how can you let your daughter
To take my place, live in my house, carry my keys
And wear my clothes, pearls, how?
How can you allow your daughter to take her place
House, keys, clothes, pearls”

I did the chorus parts. Reason enough to love Nikola. There were some pretty good jokes and a discussion of a New York Times photo essay we’d both seen on the Linda Lindas’ fan base.

There were other things. Travis puts his head on my shoulder. No one else does that. Just Trav. Every time. Not when I arrive. Not when he leaves. Just at some point in the night, usually when I’m not looking, he just swoops in for a head on shoulder moment.

Everyone tossed around my dinosaur egg that I’d left the night before. It’s squishy speckled grey egg with an inner squishy blue liquid and tricerotops fetus that pop out. Best fidget toy ever. I bought it last year at the toy store by my dentist. A day when I’d woken up at John’s and we both had to be a block away from 86th and Park so he drove me over the Queensboro Bridge into the city. The bridge looks a bit like a giant dinosaur rib cage and is trippy to ride through. His appointment was earlier than mine so I bought the egg.

Little things like that…even if the outcome was whatever…they make me happy. Eyelid kisses. Running errands together. Watching TV with your head in someone’s lap.

See? This is what fall does to me!

My brain just does this. At one point when Asani was reading my cards she explained something in a way that almost sounded like me talking back to me. Concepts strung together via attenuated connections. I got what she meant but she was confused by the way it came out. She experienced for a second what the inside of my head feels like.

👩🏻‍🦱: Oh my god! Is this how you think?

💁🏻‍♀️: Yeah.

👩🏻‍🦱: I just saw pictures and shapes and colors and concepts and I had to come up with words to describe it all.

💁🏻‍♀️: Yeah, that’s why talking exhausts me. I have to translate from all of that to words all the time and part of my attention is focused on forming the thought and part of it is focused on saying the thought and part of it is listening to the words that come out because by the time the sounds are made I’m already three thoughts down the road but my mouth can’t keep up and I say the first part of the first thought and the last part of the third thought. So it’s a big deal when people can keep up and ‘yes and’ with me. It requires less energy when someone can keep up.

👩🏻‍🦱: You made me dizzy.

That’s how my brain works.

And here’s the last thing I’ll leave you with:

There’s this moment in A Very Long Engagement when a young couple says goodbye with a kiss that implies intimacy and you see a witness react with surprise and then quickly turn away to offer the couple privacy.

You might know this feeling. You see your friend hold hands with her boyfriend for the first time. A little thigh touch. A look. A pet name. Tiny tiny things they’re not even aware of. Their casual behavior betrays something as yet unspoken.

Yes, I was stoned. But that’s neither here nor there. What I experienced was hearing one person say one phrase to a specific audience. One phrase. Something like “Here you go.” My super power ears picked it up and registered a new tone I’d never heard before in this person’s voice. It was so subtle no one else heard it but me.

I heard it and my brain said, “Jeezy chreesy, this is how he really talks when he’s being sincere. He’s using his sincere intimate voice. He’s already either spoken this way to her so it’s not news to her or this is the first time and she might not even know it’s a thing. I’m somewhere in the ballpark.”

In one second. Sound. Tone. Recognition.

And then I said, “…nah. You didn’t hear that.”

So yeah. The kids have moved on. Time to sleep. Enjoy some Fruma Sarah.

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