I’m having trouble keeping track of what happened when as I try to re-count the time between Dave’s visit and start of hell week, where I am as a I write this.

At some point, I attended to the reception for the gallery at the local arts center, ostensibly to schmooz and represent paperhand, but really to hang out with interns and drink free wine and eat free snacks.

I arrived early, and bumped into Jan and his wife Emma and their three-year-old daughter Niko. It was weird to see Jan in a button-down shirt and not covered in paint.

Emma is always very kind to me. I’ve sat with her and Jan for lunch a few times, and she is always an engaged conversationalist. I talked to her about my experience with long distance, and she shared how she and Jan struggled through a year apart nearly twenty years ago (so, only phone calls every couple days!), and how they recovered.

She invited me to join them for pizza next door before the reception got rolling. She is always very inclusive. Every time she actively invites me along, Jan seems to have this small blip of surprise, not that I would be included, but like he forgot that overt invitations are nice sometimes.

The opening was fun, and as expected I spent as much time socializing with paperhanders as not. I did get to demonstrate a few puppets for some delighted gallery browsers.

Sally and Hannah were the only other interns who could make it, and after we had seen through the reception, we walked down to the local fancy-schmancy grocer and had popsicles. It was nice they invited me along, my insecurity has been flaring up a little lately.

They are among the free-est of spirits among the interns, and I’ve had trouble finding a way to mesh with them. Spending a little time just having a treat and dishing a little low-scale drama (just whatever small stories of paperhand history we had heard) seemed to be what we needed to have a better understanding of each other.

Honestly, the fact that the worst relationship I have among all the interns is “I can’t quite tell if we mesh” is an amazing thing to be grateful for. What a great crew.



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