Posted on April 5, 2014 at 11:48 pm

I feel the awkward so much of the time, when I try to explain what I’m up to with all the yarn. It’s not MY awkward, actually. It belongs to other people. For example:

I was sitting in a diner this evening, watching my son plow through his sandwich and then linger lovingly over an ice cream for a half an hour, twenty minutes of which was dedicated to the last two inches melting deliciously into the softening cone.

I had a pencil and graph paper to keep me occupied. I was messing around with cables.

The server who came around to freshen my coffee looked at my doodles curiously, and I shrugged a little dismissively. I was afraid of what might happen next. I was correct in my apprehension.

“What are you up to?” she asked.

I hesitated. Should I tell her? Actually the hesitation was more firmly rooted in “COULD I tell her?” It is a foreign language to most people, the charting, the knitting, the whole yarn thing. So I responded with the knitter’s equivalent of “capisce l’italiano?”

“Do you knit?” I asked. She shook her head.

Another hesitation, smaller this time. Do I bother? She was still standing there. It’s a pretty thing, a cable drawn out, wandering ideas wrapped around each other crawling across the page. She deserved a satisfying answer, and to be released unharmed.

“I’m working on a tattoo.”

“Oh! COOL!” she said. She then nodded her buoyant approval and took her coffee pot to the next table.

phew. She barely made it out of that one intact. I’m not ashamed of what I do, you understand? I just try to spare people from the awkward they feel when I try to explain. I could try to make it okay for them, but that just takes a lot more awkward before you both get through to the other side, and really, who has time for that?

It’s just safer this way.