you say popsicle, i say yoyoclay

Lately the spoils of being a psychologist seem a bit evasive. The whole feeling good for helping humanity thing, it’s just hard to come by these days. A client ends treatment early because they’re happy, but they’re happy for totally wrong reasons. Nobody shows up to your mental health workshop for underprivileged parents, and then you can’t even figure out how to lock the building. So yeah, I wasn’t entirely feeling up for it today when it was time for the schlep to week two of the workshop. I ran off to get the mail before leaving since I wouldn’t be back for two days. Expecting only some carefully packaged comic books for my roommate, a small brown paper package addressed to Bobcat Valentine Loveless, from Buffy Loveless, took me by surprise.

One late night in NYC, intoxicated with cucumbers and hot chocolate, Mitch, Jenny, Emily, Amy, and I gave each other aliases, which we had never used again. I’d forgotten Amy was sending me something. I knew it couldn’t be chocolates inside that chocolates box.

I was in a rush to leave, but I paused to open it before climbing into the car. What was inside made me gasp. Like, actually. The almost silent kind. When was the last time you had a good gasp? For a moment, it might as well have been the ashes of New York City in that box.

Amy has recently moved out of the apartment we shared in Harlem. The one where we kept our original quote wall, on scraps of paper, taped down the long hallway entrance. Utterances that, probably not meant to be funny, sounded just too good to forget. This box contains the fragments of that quote wall neatly wrapped in an orange ribbon. The words on those scraps of paper archived most of the people I met in New York and most of the times I laughed. They were moments that proved to me that the city is magic, moments that surely I would have forgotten had they not been written down.

After pulling out of the garage, it took me 10 minutes of wet eyes before I could stand to hear music. I didn’t dare take the ribbon off, and I wondered where I should keep the box, like I was deciding what to do with an urn of remains.

Being in New York was an unspeakable experience, as was leaving it, and I didn’t expect that to be the thing that was on my mind today. Tonight, once I felt a little tougher, I read through the scraps of paper and laughed. Until I’m in heaven and I have a perfect memory, thank goodness Amy invented the quote wall so I can remember how funny every day is. And so I can stop feeling sorry for myself.

Oh, Words. Anyone who remembers or guesses the context of these quotes wins prizes.


6 responses to “you say popsicle, i say yoyoclay

  1. Hi. I’m your blog stalker. I have to comment on this post, though, because if that were me, I think that would be the best gift.surprise ever.

  2. ooh i love it when blog stalkers come out of hiding. welcome. and yes, definitely the best ever.

  3. Um, the last two fail me. The first one though… I either said or was dying Amy’s hair when someone said it. Let’s just say I said it. Beautiful writing by the way. Seriously.

  4. Mike and Shelby

    Oh, wow! That would have been a treat! I hate when I get something exciting like that right when I don’t have the time to savor it right then and there! I went to London, with a roommate/friend a few years ago…(ok, by now it’s been almost 8 years now-I’m having a hard time accepting that I am “OLD” now.) Anyway, we wrote down all the funny quotes of that trip in a book. I love reminiscing through it. Our favorite quote came from graffiti written on the outside wall of a public restroom. Each letter was as big as our heads so it was very easy for every passerby to see from a great distance. “Louise is a fat smelly b***h” It just struck us as quite funny. Poor Louise.I’d treat your little treasure box as a precious keepsake!

  5. dirk wins #1. yeah i’m pretty sure you said that. amy was freaking out over the hotness of her head with the dye. maybe it was steaming too. your prize is, um, a visit from me to steal some music.

  6. jo, you’re my hero.although you’re in possession of the only quote wall book in existence, i’ll do my best at this:1. yes, that was dirk. and i wasn’t freaking out- my head was literally hot and everyone was very amused by this.2. my guess is that you said this- about thanksgiving dinners- in the billiards room- with a candlestick.3. the fruits of the never-ending temple comment card project (trying to decipher bad handwriting). i’m pretty sure we’re going straight to heaven for having worked on that for so long.thanks for the words and pictures.

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