Posts in category "Popular"

this is my happy face

All i want to write about lately is sun­sets and awk­ward hugs and redis­cov­er­ing coconut mac­a­roons and under­wear and sec­ondish chances and grow­ing old and jus­tice and my new aware­ness of food indus­try issues and the smell of out­doors no mat­ter what the sea­son and want­ing to see Germany and my new Magic decks and that last date and how hard it is to do Street Fighter IV com­bos and pic­tures like this

golden girl

 

and not hav­ing to wear a coat any­more and hand­shakes after really close games and peo­ple being nice to me and feel­ing more com­fort­able with barre chords and what Geneviève wears and Breaking Bad and Nick Drake’s life and root beer floats and the sound of a melod­ica and pretty cats and open­ing boost­ers and the lux­ury of say­ing no and how weird it feels to drive some­where in your PJs and intro­duc­ing oth­ers to that aloe drink and the same old mem­o­ries that I still cher­ish and mini-Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups and walk­ing base­lines and being sur­rounded by such good peo­ple and hav­ing a PS3 and the time com­plex­ity of sort­ing algo­rithms and won­der­ing if it’s too late to call and how excited Ryan gets when I visit and the songs I want to write and my mem­o­ries of America and scented oils from the Body Shop and choco­late beers and the image of a gauzy dress in the sun.

Love, Eclipses, and Other Ephemera

365 days ago, you were sit­ting at a lit­tle round table in front of me. It was a cool day, with the light of the sun com­ing through big glass win­dows, and the way you were turned cast a shadow on the small dim­ple on your chest. How well I came to know that expanse of skin, never taken for granted by lips or fingertips.

I was filled with noth­ing but hap­pi­ness in that moment. By that point, I planned on mar­ry­ing you one day, as I had, per­haps a lit­tle fool­ishly, dreamed of build­ing a life with you. The only thing left was fig­ur­ing out how to con­vince you to dream a lit­tle bit too.

muse, turned

 

A few things have hap­pened since we last spoke. Nothing impor­tant enough to men­tion if I ever bumped into an old lover and tried to make small talk. Except, per­haps, that my grand­mother passed away, Aaron and Karen are expect­ing another child, and I started pur­su­ing a life­long dream of becom­ing an ama­teur astronomer.

In one class I learned the Sun’s dis­tance from the Earth is about 400 times the Moon’s dis­tance, and the Sun’s diam­e­ter is about 400 times the Moon’s diam­e­ter. It’s the fact that these ratios are approx­i­mately equal that causes the Sun and Moon to appear the same size when the three astro­nom­i­cal objects line up, cre­at­ing the effect we observe dur­ing a total eclipse. If the Sun were any closer, we wouldn’t see the fierce corona that bor­ders the shadow of the moon. Any fur­ther, and a ring of the Sun’s light would still be vis­i­ble. It’s a phe­nom­e­non that’s unique in our solar sys­tem, due to the sheer improb­a­bil­ity of these pre­req­ui­sites occurring.

eclipse

(I didn’t take this picture.)

Eclipses are a rare phe­nom­e­non. Total eclipses even more so; they occur every 18 months, at dif­fer­ent loca­tions, and never last more than a few min­utes as the shadow moves along the ground at over 1700 km/h.

Maybe this is why some peo­ple chase them, mak­ing pil­grim­ages to loca­tions where an eclipse is pre­dicted to hap­pen. One group even rented a plane and flew along the dark­est part of the shadow cast by the moon as it trav­eled over the Earth, and arti­fi­cially extended an eclipse from 7 min­utes to 74 min­utes. Which, in my book, is pretty awesome.

People who’ve been through an eclipse give sim­i­lar accounts of the expe­ri­ence; it looks like night in a mat­ter of min­utes, it feels like the heat is being sucked out of the ground, the ani­mals get all spooked out because they know some­thing extra­or­di­nary is happening.

But the Moon is also drift­ing away from the Earth at a rate of 3.8 cm a year, which means there even­tu­ally won’t be any more total solar eclipses. We hap­pen to be liv­ing in a time when we can still expe­ri­ence them, as future gen­er­a­tions will only have second-hand accounts from our best words and pic­tures. They won’t be able to feel the change in the atmos­phere, as the Sun hides behind the Moon for that brief moment. How for­tu­nate we are to be able to expe­ri­ence this event, which not only requires the heav­enly bod­ies to line up, but also requires us to be at the right place on the right planet at the right time.

sushi

 

I began to won­der what com­bi­na­tion of forces brought us there, to sit in the warmth of spring in a sushi shop down­town. Why fate had deliv­ered you to my office one morn­ing, for you to toss your head back and gig­gle and walk away after I made some corny joke at our introduction.

We were two trav­el­ing bod­ies on our own paths that hap­pened to align for a few spins around the sun. It was a beau­ti­ful acci­dent, a gaso­line rain­bow, an expe­ri­ence as spe­cial as it was serendip­i­tous that left me for­ever changed.

Every pic­ture I took was to cap­ture what I feared I’d never see again, and when our paths diverged, I kept look­ing at those pho­tos, won­der­ing what kept me drawn to these memories.

Then I real­ized it was because I didn’t want it to end. You were my eclipse, and I was a man on that plane, chas­ing a shadow.

Trying to live in your love a moment longer.

Pacts

Bronwen and I agreed to a mar­riage pact, where we would marry each other if we weren’t in a rela­tion­ship by a cer­tain age. The thing is, she’s six years younger than me, so we decided that her expi­ra­tion date is 35, and mine 41, because it’s eas­ier for men to date/marry than women, at an older age.

Note how I didn’t say “easy”. Heaven knows I had a hard enough time with dat­ing in my teens. And twen­ties. And prob­a­bly 30s.

According to her, we also have a sui­cide pact, even though I have no rec­ol­lec­tion of this. The only rea­son I can think of agree­ing to that is if large parts of the world were destroyed by mete­ors, lead­ing to the col­lapse of the eco­nomic sys­tem, cre­at­ing anar­chy, and reduc­ing every­one to hunter-gatherers.

Bronwen and I are most cer­tainly not hunter-gatherers, and we’d prob­a­bly suf­fer unbear­ably just try­ing to sur­vive, or be killed soon after because we’re too naive or com­pas­sion­ate for a dog-eat-dog world. The thing is, if that hap­pened I’d try to join forces with Pat and Jen, because they always have every­thing together1. So maybe if they were also killed by this cos­mic hail­storm, then it would still be an option.

  1. Pat’s the one who believes that at least one per­son should be in con­trol in every group at all times, and that he is this per­son. The only time he was ever ine­bri­ated was for his bach­e­lor party. []

Bridgehead

We met on the bus, side-by-side, read­ing books that both won Nobel Prizes.

I was sup­posed to meet you here three years ago, and they’re out of apple cider. The cran­berry cider is tart, but only too much when you sip it so. There’s a sub­tly dis­tinct taste to it, barely enough to stop me from won­der­ing if I just paid $2.45 for warm cran­berry juice. I didn’t even want this drink; I just wanted to sit down and write.

I never would have come here if you hadn’t sug­gested it. There are too many peo­ple. Too many going for the freshly-grounded, shade-grown, fair trade bull­shit that’s been mar­keted to the hip­sters who think they’re doing the world a favour by patron­iz­ing the right kind of places. Pretentious peo­ple who come here to read, then put their head­phones on because it’s too noisy.

I don’t fit in. That’s prob­a­bly a good thing.

I was sup­posed to meet you here three years ago, but your boyfriend got jeal­ous and wouldn’t let you come.

We met on the bus, and I haven’t seen you since.