At 18, I was less confident, I think. But more sure about the things I did happen to be sure about then. And if I left my dorm room at night, I tried to lock the door with the casual hair toss of someone for whom it was nothing new to walk off without having first asked permission or offered explanation. (But to this day, I almost always fumble with the keys).
One of those nights, David asked me if I would like to have coffee with him. Have I already told you this? Probably. I have told everybody this. I thought he was maybe from South Africa because he talked about that country a lot. And also because his Midwesty vowels were neither so diluted nor so familiar to me as they are now.
There are not many people, outside my family, who have known me since I was a child.
My anxieties are usually narrow in scope.
When I had just learned to drive, I was always sure I would get lost on the way back home from wherever I had gone.
What happens if you miss your flight? (Once we got ourselves stranded at London Gatwick. We made a chess set out of travel brochures and notebook paper). Can I get away with jeans here? What if the people at the banquet hall forget to take down the Cinco de Mayo decorations before my wedding reception starts? How can I really be sure the baby is neither too hot nor too cold when she sleeps, and why can’t someone just tell me the newborn-friendliest thermostat setting because I think that would make everything easier?
You figure it out and figure it out, and then you sign up to bring 24 bottles of water to the nursery school potluck-picnic. No drumroll, no trumpets. You are people who pack someone else’s lunch the night before. You are people who scrape macaroni noodles off the kitchen tile.
It’s pretty great.