Monday, September 14, 2009M. is dressed in a black and turquoise Puma athletic outfit. Her hair is in a ponytail.
M: "Do you know I have braces, Jake?"
J: "That's what I hear."
M. is acting different than her usual snarky self. Her wit is softer, and so is the look in here eyes. She seems withdrawn, inner-focused, maybe a little sad.
J: "Are you OK, M?"
M: "I've realized there are some things I need to change, Jake. Like my underwear. I haven't changed them since... I don't know when."
The tone of her joke misses the mark. Although we both laugh out loud, I express my concern.
J: "You seem... different today. Are you sure everything is alright?"
M: "Oh this? I'm just a little down right now, but I'll be back to my normal self soon."
M. talks about a blind internet date that didn't go well over the weekend. Apparently, nothing clicked for her. She also befriended a homeless college student online asking her for money, or a place to stay for a few nights, or a date.
J: "That's cool, because if you're homeless with your shoes and your HDTV, you'll have someone to keep you company."
As soon as I got to work, I placed a special blank piece of paper on my desk. With a pen at the ready, I was prepared to take notes. Unlike most days, today the notes were few and far between. Usually, it's all I can do to keep up with M.'s quick banter and fresh quips, but she is somewhat withdrawn and quiet.
J: "It's OK, M. Today doesn't count. Just take it easy and relax. Decompress. Regain your strength and start afresh tomorrow. OK? Today doesn't count."
M: "Wouldn't it be great if you could do that for the entire year? Just go back to the beginning and start again? I would really like that."
Today doesn't count.