Some weeks ago I had a bit of a breakdown. Maybe more than a bit. Now everything feels awkward, like there’s a wall between me and everyone else. I worry I’ll say inappropriate, alienating things. Sometimes I do. I waiver between wanting to talk about all this and not wanting to talk about it at all. I’m in the wood between the worlds.
Today we had my favourite butcher and paring knives sharpened by an old man in a tinker truck. He drives slowly through the neighbourhood once a month, clanging a marvelous bell. He’s heavy-handed so I can’t see him too often, but it will be nice to have some good, sharp edges for a while. As we stood at the back of the truck waiting, a kid walked past. He was maybe all of sixteen. He lingered for a moment, curious, watching the grinding wheel. He wanted to know, but he was too cool to ask; I was too awkward to offer.
I have to guess the man in the truck has been sharpening knives here since the 50s. It’s an old neighbourhood, and though the dog-and-stroller crowd are taking over, there are still lots of traditional services you can’t find in other places. (The deli around the corner displays great, jellied trays of head cheese.)
When I lived at home, my father sharpened our knives. I guess when we move to the country, we’ll do that, too. I have no idea where other people have their knives sharpened. Is it still a thing we do?
Lately, I have been unable to shake the feeling linear time is nonsense. I find myself making mental notes to do things differently the next time around (things like my 20s) or wondering when it will be the past again. When they present themselves, those ideas seem so logical I can’t help but give them credence. Then I remind myself, very sternly, that it is unhelpful to think that way. (Infinite time tends to suck the urgency out of things.)
This is not to say I am flat out crazy-balls. I’ve been unhappy for too long and the human brain has strange ways of responding to that. Besides, you never know but strange ideas could be the beginning of genius.
Whatever the case, I can slice a tomato like you wouldn’t believe.