Archive for October 2009

October 14th, 2009

Day 14: Our Paths, Uncrossed

I didn’t marry you three years ago. Probably because we didn’t start dating ten years ago. Probably because we’ve never even met.

I don’t have much exciting to report. I live in Raleigh. Most days I just go to work and then come home. I write silly things like this. Sometimes I watch movies — stupid action flicks almost all of the time. Oh, I’ve spent so much time just playing the guitar that I now have arthritis and carpal tunnel syndrome! I guess that’s what happens when you spend so much uninterrupted time playing the guitar.

One instrument I don’t play is the ukulele. My sister does, and I’d like to learn at some point, but no one’s ever given me one.

I don’t draw that much. I used to love to, but now it’s just frustrating because my skills haven’t improved since my first few art classes in college. If someone had encouraged me to pursue it more seriously I would have. Sometimes I think I really missed out there.

College, by the way, wasn’t the highlight of my life so far.

So, I didn’t marry you three years ago, but maybe I wish I had. Almost all of my friends are married. I have a few really good friends. I could stand a few more, but it’s harder to meet people on your own, don’t you think? I need some sort of cute counterpart that puts people at ease. Maybe if I got a dog? Right now, I don’t have one.

I haven’t traveled much. Doing it alone is daunting for me.

Money isn’t tight for me. Nothing much for me to put it towards. I do buy way more tools than I realistically need. I mean, way way more tools than I realistically need. Like say there were a guy who owned a house and had a few things to fix and tended to pick up two or three extraneous things whenever he went to the hardware store…I’m twice as bad as him.

I don’t own a house. I live in an apartment that is decorated in an “industrial” style. You know, big wooden wire spools as coffee tables, that sort of thing. Not much color or pattern in the place. And my dishes are always dirty.

I don’t drive a truck or anything cool like that. Just this ’88 Chevy Nova with a dented front fender, as I don’t know anyone whose father owns a body shop.

I don’t garden.

I have these certain thoughts and ideas and dreams that I can’t talk to anyone about. I’m almost embarrassed by how foolish they seem. Yet when I think about how I’m the only one who knows them, I get so worried. Those things are a part of who I am. If I forget them somewhere along the way, I don’t have anyone to remind me.

I didn’t marry you three years ago, and I don’t know what it’s like to look at someone and feel cared for and inspired, and to feel happy for at least a few minutes, every single day.

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October 13th, 2009

Day 13: Flying Bish’

Steph’s little nephew Bishop could best be described as a “bruiser.” He’s three years old now and if his strength and vigor grow correspondingly with his size, he will most certainly have a career in the NFL or possibly as The Juggernaut.

The last time he came to visit us as at our house was a little under a year ago. I had just raked and their was a large mound of leaves in the corner of our yard. Like any exuberant lad, he ran over and started playing in the pile. He would jump as high as he could, hurl himself in, and them drag himself out, laughing hysterically the whole time.

I was standing nearby, watching him do this and somehow, maybe from playing with grown-ups in a pool, he got the idea that if I were holding him, he could spring, from there, into the leaves and that this would be even more fun and hilarious. He wasn’t much on talking at this point, but one way or another he got his idea across to me.

Now I realize, at this age, most kids are tougher and more resilient than you’d think. (This is why I’m a fan of toddlers. You can grab them, shake them up, hold them upside down, etc. and they’re fine. Newborns on the other hand, you have to treat like glass cylinders of plutonium.) Still, I wasn’t sure about this proposal. I didn’t know the kid that well. Even though he was acting like he wanted me to pick him up, he could get weirded out. And there was a chance he could get hurt. Something in eyes seemed to tell me he could handle it though…and I am a champion raker. I mean this was a thick, fluffy pile. You have could dropped a Volkswagen off a five-story building into that leaf pile and it would have landed with a soft bounce, completely intact.

So cut to half-an-hour later, and I am swinging him back and forth by one leg, whirling him around in circles, twisting him around in the air, then letting go at the exact moment that maximized his altitude. And he is making crash landings and immediately coming back for more. And he is laughing harder every time. And I am laughing harder than him. And Steph and his mom are watching us and shaking their heads and rolling their eyes, as women are required to do when boys are having their rough and tumble fun. All was right with the world.

Steph’s sister Jaime and Bishop were stopping in to see all their family on the east coast during this trip. They went up to Virginia the next day, and we followed that weekend. There was some downtime the first full day we were there, so I thought “I’ll make a giant leaf pile. Bishop needs to get some energy out and I know it’s something he likes to do.”

I spent a good two hours working in the yard, sweating and straining, moving leaves from all sectors and amassing them. It was going to be worth it of course.

When I was done, I went back inside and showed Bishop what I had made out the window. He seemed sort of indifferent to it, but I thought maybe it was just because he couldn’t tell exactly what it was yet. Steph backed me up in assuring everyone that he was going to enjoy this and that this was something they might want to see. They got Bishop in his play clothes and put on his jacket, everyone put their shoes on, we all went outside, and Bishop just stood there staring at the big amorphous blob I’d created as if to say “What am I supposed to do with this, exactly?”

In retrospect, what I should have done was maybe introduce him to the pile slowly, sort of let him discover it on his own, and then make the associations with how much fun we had a few days ago, in his own time. I don’t know, I’m no child psychologist. What I do know is I abruptly snatch him off of the ground, like a sack of potatoes, and sent him somersaulting into the cushioning with a “Wheeeeeeeee!”

He plopped down, then picked up his head and shot me a look that I will never forget. It was shock, confusion, hurt, and anger all rolled into one. Then he started crying. So everyone had to come together to comfort him. And then it was “Well, thanks for raking the yard at least, Bob” and it was time to go back inside.

I stood outside a bit longer, alone and bewildered in the autumn silence. A slight breeze came through and carried a few leaves away from the top of the heap.

The moral of the story here is: you can’t go back again. Don’t force circumstances to try to make them like good times you’ve had before. There’s nothing but disappointment down that road.

That, and before you go violently throwing the youngest member of your better half’s family to the ground in front of all her relatives, make sure you’re good and married in.

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October 12th, 2009

Day 12: ’Skine of the Times, Part II

Well, the only reason I put all those Moleskine photos on Flickr was so I could use Slickr or something similar and create a nice photo album you all could scroll through right here, but I can’t get any WordPress plug-in that’s not horrendous in either functionality or appearance to work properly on this blog.

So for today’s post all I’ve got is the fact that I captioned all of the spreads on Flickr. If interested, you can now read what is going on in those thousand little pictures of open books.

http://www.flickr.com/photos/rwitch80/collections/72157622569131296/

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