If we were having coffee, this time we might have to FaceTime or Skype each other in our own cozy coffee shops because I’ve been on the road for so long. So, I’d settle in some random city coffee place and order a latte in a mug because I planned on being here for a hot minute. I looked around this coffee shop and noticed how they are all the same around the country. Chunky wood tables with uncomfortable chairs designed to fit 10 or 15 people who decided this would be their “office” today. I’d dig around in my backpack because that’s what I use when I travel. No signature purses, no fancy wallets, just a backpack to carry all my crap I need on a show day, which these days feels like every day. I find my headphones, my little earbuds, just like the ones I use to mock people for wearing, put them in my ears and hear that familiar “bing” telling me I’m one more step closer to being connected to you. I look down at my coffee and see a lovely heart as I bring it up to my lips to drink it in. I put down my coffee and dial your number and hope you are at the other end of that ring.
If we were having coffee, I would tell you how tired I am. I am tired of new cities every day. I’m tired of living on a bus with 11 other people. I am most tired of taking showers in really questionable showers in arenas. I am sure I have inhaled more black mold than is healthy, and at the end of every single tour, I am shocked, seriously shocked, that I don’t have a raging case of athletes foot. People often hear what I do for a living and think it’s so glamorous. I am here to tell you it. is. not! I decided to pass on the most recent tour because it was going to be out for six months and that is just too long. Too many bad meals at catering. Too many screaming kids. Too many days away from my chickens. So if we were having coffee, I’d start by telling you I was tired.
If we were having coffee, I’d tell you I bought my first pair of Doc Martens when I was on my last tour. I’d tell you how they make me smile and make me feel cool all at the same time. They aren’t your typical black ones, they are blue and have painted flowers all over them. Because you know me and my love for flowers, I see a smile instantly cover your face. You know, cause you know me, and that makes me smile.
If we were having coffee, I’d tell you about a story when I went to visit my oldest chicken who was filling in for a friend at a local coffee shop. I was wearing my Docs when a customer came into the shop, and as people often do, complimented me on my shoes. Then was shocked that the handsome, 6’ 4” barista was my baby. She just blurted out, as if her filter was completely erased from her mind, “you have a cool mom who looks way to young to be your mom.” We would both chuckle and take a sip of our coffee. I would tell you I certainly don’t feel young and because you are who you are, you know I have a birthday lurking right around the corner and that I struggle with getting older. I miss my long brown hair, even though we both know that I colored those grays that now reside prominently on top of my very short hair. Some days that hair makes me feel every bit my age. My bones ache for no real reason as side from it being cloudy. I feel like my hearing is starting to go and often have to say “what?” a million times a day or nod my head like I understand what the other person, usually my husband, is saying. I’ve most recently realized I don’t feel comfortable driving at night. I have thought about going to the eye doctor for some night vision glasses, or maybe I’ll be like an ancient person and make sure I’m home by dark. I’ve started repeating stories only have one of my chickens, not so politely say “mom you’ve already told me that.” I forget things that I shouldn’t forget, and so if we were having coffee, I’d tell you I’m a little afraid it’s my grandmother’s dementia creeping up on me.
If we were having coffee, I’d tell you about my book Frank. I would tell you that besides my bakery, my book is one of the proudest, personal accomplishments. Everyone who reads, it loves it. Everyone except publishers. I’d tell you it is just sitting on my desk at home, all printed out and proud. Printed, proud, and dusty. I’d tell you that I’m done with it and am ready to see how much dust it will actually collect. One of the hardest things is to put all your raw emotions and efforts into a book that just sits on your desk right next to a stack of rejection letters that will soon be as tall as the book itself.
If we were having coffee, I’d tell you that I am, more than ever, struggling with my purpose and because apparently, I hate myself, I’ve added to that a “what’s next” to the equation. However, despite not knowing what my next project will be, what my next job will be, I am strangely content. I probably should watch a little less CNN, since I now know every anchor’s name and the time of their show, but despite all of it, I’m content. You give me a sideways look and recount the last half hour where I went on and on about things not sounding like a very content person. But in reality, things are good for me; single mom Gina is so far back in the review mirror I can’t even find her. I have two amazing kids, an amazing daughter-in-law and a boy who might as well be my son-in-law. They treat my kids like something I didn’t have when I was their age, and it warms my heart. I have a husband who makes me feel safe every day, puts me before himself without even batting an eyelash, and most importantly makes me laugh every single day. I have an enviable apartment and a fridge filled with food that doesn’t consist of Cheerios and Fish Sticks. So yes my dear friend, I am content, my heart is full and warm.
If we were having coffee, I’d look down at my empty mug and realize as usual I have monopolized the entire conversation. I tell you to hang on while I get another cup of coffee and you do the same. As I bring that warm coffee with a heart happily sitting on top of that foam to my lips, I say “tell me everything, everything new with you.” How is your job? Do you love it? How are your kids? Are they as happy as mine? I settle in and listen to you tell me everything. I miss the sound of your voice, and I am angry at myself that we haven’t made these coffee dates a more regular thing.
At the end of our second cup of coffee, we promise each other we would make this a monthly thing no matter where in the world either one of us was, we give each other a virtual hug and sign off. I just sit there with my cup in my hand wishing it was as full as my heart.
Until next time my friend.
Photo Cred: rayandalyssa.com