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Tuesday, March 29, 2011

One-Way Glass

I have of late, but wherefore I know not, lost some of my mirth.

I've been having bothersome dreams almost nightly for probably the last two weeks. And when the dreams aren't bothersome; dreams of happiness, of joy, of love, those are the worst ones of all. They're the dreams that offer a world that cannot be. Last night I had one of those dreams. Last night, I dreamt I met Her: the love of my life, the girl of my dreams, if you will allow the term. A girl with beauty like starshine, a gaze as inspiring as the most majestic waterfalls and a smile as heart-rending and awesome as the creation of the world. That was the girl who appeared in my dreams. And though she had no reason to ever love me, I wooed her with wit and song and whatever charms existed in my dream self that I so surely lack in my waking self. And when she loved me there was nothing left of the world. There was only us. Me and Her. And when I awoke this morning, I near wept at the unfairness of it all. Would that I could return to that dream forevermore where joy and meaning exist in equal measure in my life, where there is hope and inspiration and beauty and light. Where there is Her and where I am not alone.

A few nights ago I dreamt that I was shot in the stomach by a police officer played by Yvette Nicole Brown, the black actress who plays Shirley on Community. When I awoke I had a pain in my chest and I was drenched in sweat so.....there's that too.

Saturday, March 19, 2011

And Furthermore,

I hardly feel as though I recognize myself anymore.

When my car is set to cruise control there is a little button that you can press to cancel the cruise speed and very, very gradually the car just starts slowing down. That's how I feel.

I can't really believe that I went back there tonight, after all this time. But I felt like I needed to go. Something inside me, deep down in my gut, was telling me to go there, and who was I to argue? So I drove forty minutes out of my way for what? Nothing. No dramatic finale, no sensible conclusion. Plain old, boring, nothing. I never even stepped foot of my car. Hell, I never put my car in park. It was so crowded there, I just kept on driving. I turned around and came home, feeling empty and rather underwhelmed. What a disappointment that was. Then again, the full moon is strikingly large tonight.

I've decided that when I write my biography it will be titled "Pick Up Your God Damn Feet When You're Walking" And Other Important Things My Father Taught Me. And it will be a tragedy.

Friday, March 18, 2011

What Does It All Mean?

5 years ago today (almost to the hour) was my first encounter being pulled over by a police officer. I had been spending St Patrick's Day with my girlfriend and her family in Grove City and was driving back to Delaware rather late. I was all alone on the stretch of 23N between Polaris and Orange, until I noticed the red and blue lights in my rear view mirror. I immediately pulled over, put the car in park, turned on my hazards, and sat completely still, terrified of what I could possibly have done and what I'd have to pay. After a minute, in that long, slow saunter that I've come to recognize in traffic stops, the officer finally approached my car. He shone his absurdly bright flashlight into my eyes, causing me to make a horrible face rather than look away and seem somehow guilty of...well, whatever. He asked for my license and insurance which I handed over. "Where are you headed?" he asked. "Home," I said, "I was at my girlfriend's house." "Did you know you were going 55?" he asked. I did, actually. "Isn't the speed limit 55?" I asked, hoping I wasn't crossing some line into insubordination and that he couldn't tase me for that. "It's 45 until Orange Rd," he said. "Oh." I said, I looked forward at the highway in front of me, "Which one is Orange Rd?" He pointed at the traffic light directly in front of us, "That one." "Oh." He handed back my documents, "Have you been drinking?" "No sir," I answered honestly. I wouldn't start drinking until the following year. "Okay, you drive safe," and with that he walked back to his car and drove away. I guess what I'm trying to say with all this is that I'm lonely. I miss my friends.

Monday, March 7, 2011

The Travel Bug

As anyone who knows me is surely well aware, I have, what we call in the business, the "Travel Bug". However, I find this to be a rather inaccurate term for my condition. "Bug" in this case referring to cold like symptoms rather than a colloquial term for an insect (I assume). Indeed, I believe a better term would be the "Travel Herpes." Because, in my case at least, it is incurable, it flares up seemingly at random, and is highly contagious. I caught it during my first trip abroad by myself to Cambridge in 2005 and has broken out at least once annually since. And though it subsided a bit after my trip to Thailand, I can already feel it coming back as strong as ever. I can already make out the symptoms: a longing to travel anywhere anytime, constant reading of travel guides, researching flight prices to trips I by no means could afford to take, itching skin, and of course a burning sensation when I pee. Some quick thoughts on places I've been looking into going, some much more plausible options than others (although none are actually possible anytime soon):

Hooray for having friends abroad. I have a friend teaching english in Quito until this summer, that's really all the excuse I need to travel somewhere.
Spain 1-Camino Santiago:
Dream trip #1. Yes, I will do this trip. And Barry will join me. We just have to figure out when. And it would be really nice if we could ever figure out a summer schedule that allowed us both to do it. Then again, it is a trip that, as planned, will take more than a month to do.
Dream trip#2. Again, I don't know when but somehow someday I'm going to climb Mt Kilimanjaro. I've even researched and compared various touring companies for this and picked out my favorite. I've budgeted and scheduled this trip, all I need to make it happen is about 4 or 5 thousand dollars. That's all.
Spring break in Cancun! Haha, yeah right...Seriously though, I've found some very cool adventure tours of the Yucatan peninsula. I'd love to spend a couple weeks in Mexico visiting Mayan and Aztec ruins and the interesting baroque and modern architecture of Mexico City.
I have a friend who is expected to serve with the Peace Corps starting later this year. All she knows so far is that she'll be in Central Asia. If she's in Uzbekistan, I'll come visit her. Kajikistan or Turkmenistan? Meh.
So its not abroad but of course I still have plenty of family in California and there are still lots of places in that state I'd love to visit and hike, especially in the north, which I've never before seen.
My father has been wanting to travel to Tibet for the last few years and as he has said, he wants to go before he "gets too old." This would be the easiest trip to manage because, similar to my trip to Peru, he would be more or less in charge of the whole thing.
Spain 2-Basque Country:
If I find my way to Spain but without the time or money for the Camino Santiago, I'd at least love to visit my ancestral roots in rolling green hills of the Pais Vasco.
One of the easier trips I could manage this year would be a long drive or a short flight to Quebec (how old do you have to be to rent a car in Canada?). At the very least I want to see the Old Town(e) of Quebec City, maybe Montreal, and maybe...whatever else is in Quebec.
I had an incredibly vivid dream a few nights ago where I was back in Rome. I left my apartment, walked down the hill of Via Aurelia, turned left down the narrow street leading to the southern edge of St Peter's portico, out the mouth, across the Ponte Vittorio Emmanuelle II, down the street of the same name, turning right down an alley into the open Campo dei Fiori. I had a vision of every detail of the life in Rome I lived almost five years ago. I think I need to go back.

Sunday, March 6, 2011

Harry Potter Friday for Some Reason

Ok, I do in fact know the reason for it, but let's just say its rather superfluous. At any rate, on Friday night all of Delaware was turned into a scaled-down version of Orlando's Harry Potter World theme park. Different businesses represented different parts of the magical world and provided different activities and themed fun stuff. So it was silly, yes, but my God, I have never seen downtown Delaware this abuzz with happy people and all this amongst a fairly torrential downpour. I've never seen my beloved Beehive so busy. So well done, Delaware, well done.
As for my part in all this, my lovely employer, Beehive Books, simultaneously represented magical shop Dervish & Banges, the Gryffindor Common Room, and whatever it would be if Hogwarts had a magical student-run cafe. We even featured drinks (invented by yours truly) plucked straight from the Three Broomsticks:
By the way, both drinks are fantastically delicous, if I may say so myself. One of our usual customers, the talented Tom Slayton even created for us a Fat Lady portrait:
And finally, my alma mater's Harry Potter club, known obviously as "The Muggle Alliance", performed what else? A puppet show. Indeed, a live performance of the Potter Puppet Pals.