Soulmates? Over-thought Thoughts of an Over-Thinker.

Do you believe in soulmates? I asked her. It was one of these pensive Sunday mornings, the apartment empty as usual. I’d been contemplating life and love and the many layers in between over (at least) three cups of coffee, and suddenly needed to know what she thought. I believe in sublime connections, absolutely; her answer bridged 3000 thousand miles of Atlantic Ocean and 8 hours of time difference. That alone told me that sometimes connections are deep enough to work, even transatlantic. Thank God, I thought, and then: I knew it. Her words were soothing like Advil or a mug of hot chocolate. Why do you ask love? She wanted to know.

 

sometimes I imagine soulmates as lights along the way and sometimes I think: just because they're not always in reach, it doesn't mean they're not there

sometimes I imagine soulmates as lights along the way and sometimes I think: just because they’re not always in reach, it doesn’t mean they’re not there

 

Well, why did I want to know exactly? For one, I’m an over-thinker. I love to think about things – be it the question whether or not it’s really necessary to have light products of things that aren’t supposed to be light to begin with (such as frosting – really, who wants light frosting?) or the question whether or not soulmates might possibly exist, I’ve thought about it, at least once. Simply thinking about questions doesn’t give you any answers, of course. So after I’ve spent quite a while thinking, I tend to look for the answers in books. No how-to manuals, of course. Any book really. I believe that if you come across the right book at the right time it can tell you something. Maybe even if you come across the wrong book at the wrong time it’ll tell you something. I’m not sure, though – I’ll have to think about it some other time.

I’d also been doing some soul-searching for a while and had just finished reading a book about soulmates. A bit esoteric but not too far out there and strangely gripping. I stumbled over it on one of my many amazon binges. Actually, a friend had recommended the author to me almost two years ago and for some reason I had suddenly remembered him. I almost ate, slept and breathed the book until I was done. And although I was out to find answers, it just handed me a bunch of new questions. Maybe that’s a type of answer, too. Of course, a book is just a book; it’s not an oracle, not a life-line. Especially with this book, I had my doubts anyways. I imagined the author’s smirk as he typed the epilogue, bedazzled by the fact that he can make actual money by making shit up as he goes (who wouldn’t love that?).

The problem: I’m a cynic and a believer, all at once. Like everyone else, I certainly would like to return a couple of things life’s handed me down the road. I’ve had days (weeks, months) where I felt like kicking and screaming: was this really necessary? At the same time I’ve always had hope: there’s got to be a reason for all this; it’s got to get better eventually. It just had to. It was the same with the book: I wanted to believe, I just didn’t really trust it. In the end, however, I decided a little more belief and a little less doubt couldn’t hurt. If we’re honest with ourselves: who doesn’t love the idea that one or maybe even two or three soulmates exists for every one of us that we are destined to meet (what is done after the meeting, of course, is free will – (un)fortunately?). Not because the book had convinced me to. Just because I wanted to. I guess, that’s what believing means anyways. Also, because the book left me with so many questions, I’d just found my own answer: another soul that agreed with me and made me feel a little less crazy about it all. A soulmate, maybe?

You decide.

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To break or not to break – and what about a cast for it all?

If you break your arm or your leg, you'll get a cast - but what if something else breaks?

If you break your arm or your leg, you’ll get a cast – but what if something else breaks?

 

Preface

Sometimes I mean to write about one thing and in the end I realize I’ve been sidestepping the entire time like a rabbit with ADD (that, for some odd reason, knows how to type) so the result is something completely different.

This post’s one of those.

 

Ladies and gentlemen, your entrée.

It’s not that he broke his vow. There were no vows taken, no rings exchanged. Is a broken promise alone something worth crying over? Does it mean anything at all? If hushed between dusk and dawn, between dinner and dirty dishes, between then and now, without witness.

To some, it doesn’t mean a thing; they just gather (or scatter) their belongings and leave without as much as a good-bye, cracking invisible rings, not breaking vows but breaking nevertheless, breaking only without witness.

If a tree falls in a forest and no one is around to hear it, does it make a sound? If the sky falls in your backyard an no one is around to hear it, does it make a difference? The eternal question, ever unanswered.

If children break bones, they say healing is quick. The younger the faster the better. I can’t say that’s true for all that breaks. What if the first time your heart was broken you didn’t even know how to write your name? What if the second time your heart was broken you didn’t even know about heartbreak, but you knew how it felt?

I’ve never broken a bone, sometimes I wish I could go back in time and trade; get a cast, in my favorite color, have people sign it or draw cartoon characters all over my arm or leg; also, everyone’s a lot nicer when they see you’re wearing a cast.

What if there was a cast for all kinds of things that break? What if it came in your favorite color, and people could sign it and draw things all over? What if we treated each other as if each of us had broken something?

Because I’m sure we all have.

 

Epilogue

If you’re still curious what I wanted to write to begin with, I have to tell you … what are we talking about again? And who are you? What am I doing? I should really start writing lists.

I feel it, it’s coming I swear – the quarter-life crisis (wait, is that actually a thing?)!

Um, ... , yeah.

Um, … , yeah.

It’s a Wednesday night and I’m in my sweatpants, drinking wine as I’m writing this.

I’d actually planned to go to this after-work-thing to be a little less anti-social with my colleagues but it was cancelled last-minute – thank God! Now I can be anti-social while pretending I’m not: sorry you guys, I would have loved to go out, too bad it’s not happening (did this sound too sarcastic you think?).

Now I’m officially free to do all the fun stuff I would have preferred to do all along and I don’t even have to feel bad about it: wear comfy clothes, eat in front of the TV, listen to any music I like, blog. Cause that’s fun, right?

Right?

Or am I getting lame these days? Is this what I should be doing? Shouldn’t I be out partying after all? Meeting interesting people and stuff? Is this why I’m slowly but steadily approaching my mid-twenties, still half (or three-quarters) in school, half (or one quarter) working, single, home alone tonight? Am I missing something? Was my mother right (and what’s her most important advice again – why can’t I remember this)? What am I doing with my life anyways?

Oh dear, is this it now – a quarter-life crisis?

No, I’m not helplessly neurotic – just a tad bit. Here are a couple more of my most recent thoughts on being (almost) 25.

***

Vocation or occupation or something else entirely?

Six-year-old me wanted to be a writer when she grows up. And seven-year-old-me, too. Eight-year-old me wanted to become a vet until she found out that they don’t just get to pet the animals all day long and decided to stick with writing after all. Now I’ve almost finished grad school, on the best way to become a teacher. What would six-/seven-/eight-year-old me say? Would they kick my stupid grown-up (and maybe too reasonable) butt? What do I really want? Do I even know?

Of course, being a teacher doesn’t mean I have to give up writing; I could always write on the side (like I’m doing now) – that is, if I have enough nerve and time. Or I could become bitter and cynical and just keep telling my future students about the novel I was writing and eventually going to publish, without ever actually writing anything. And then, 24-year-old me thinks, just because we make a certain decision at one point in our life, it doesn’t mean we can’t make another decision some other time.

I think, if six-/seven-/eight-year-old me made a fuss about it, I would probably turn to them and say: do you remember how one year all you ate for breakfast was Coco Puffs and then one day, you decided you wanted to try out Froot Loops because they looked really good? This is kind of like that, too. There would be a brief moment of silence and I would nod wisely and finally agree with myself. Hopefully.

Also .. what about love?

As my Mom loves to (accidentally?) point out whenever my sister brings her husband and two boys over for lunch on Sundays: I’m still single. While people around me seem to be procreating like rabbits (boy, it must have been a very cold winter last year and what’s with this biological clock everyone’s talking about?), I am a rock, I am an island. I’m going to tell you this much, though: it’s not because I just can’t let go of my precious freedom. I do believe in love – the heart-wrenching, earth-shattering kind; this incredible love that you can feel to the tip of your fingers. I’ve felt it. And then it left me.

Maybe it was just a preview, though. Maybe it didn’t mean what I thought it did. Whenever this silly feeling deep in my gut rears its ugly head and wants to tell me to get real, because life’s not a movie or a fairy tale, that there’s no such thing as fate and that, by the way, Santa Clause doesn’t really exist, I decide not to listen to closely. It’s not that I’m a hopeless optimist/romantic – I’ve just decided that if everything turns to shit life gets rough, nodding your head and mumbling I’ve known it all along doesn’t help you, either. You might as well have a little hope – even if it’s all you’ve got.

***

So much for my latest random thoughts. You may or may not want to call this a quarter-life crisis; probalby it’s just an almost boring reflection on life the way people like Socrates already did it way back in good old Greece (in the golden days, when they weren’t bankrupt or so much as knew about the concept of bankruptcy yet). And anyways, what’s in a name, as Juliet would say. No matter the label, it still feels the same.

Neurons & Electro Chemicals.

I don’t know about you guys, but sometimes when I haven’t written much in a while, it’s hard to stop or filter what comes out as soon as I sit down – it’s like written vomit; it’s like when you don’t have a chance to talk to anyone for too long and suddenly you meet another human being: a waterfall of words.

Long story short: here’s another piece I wrote and actually it was meant to belong to the other two story drafts but maybe it doesn’t after all. And maybe there’s something missing to tie them together, I’m not sure yet. Anywho, I wanted to post it anyways because sometimes it helps to put something out unfiltered to get things in order.

 

Neurons & Electro Chemicals

There's a thought right there, and another one, and another one ...

There’s a thought right there, and another one, and another one …

 

The words burst in his mouth like overripe fruit and splattered into my face, sticky and foul. I. Love. You.

 

***

 

Most nights after I came home from work I turned the TV on and my thoughts off – 58 civilians die in a terrorist attack try our Tuesday special it’s delicious you’re gonna need a bigger boat all new next week on ABC frankly dear I don’t give a damn – most nights everything eventually blurred together into a cloud of sounds; white noise.

 

***

 

I felt the weight of three beers pulling me down and had trouble standing up straight. I stared at him for about a minute, then opened and closed my mouth a couple of times without saying something like an actual word. Sometimes too many thoughts shot through my brain at the same time; an explosion of neurons and electro chemicals that made my nervous system even more nervous and entirely inoperable: I basically turned into a half-wit in a matter of seconds.

 

***

 

The words burst in his mouth like overripe fruit, sputtered into my ear, sticky and moist. I. Love. You.

 

***

 

Whenever I worked late I just had dinner in front of the TV: a glass of beer and a candy bar. It was usually the time when I started wondering whether it might be time to clean the apartment again. Mostly, however, the soothing buzz of daily news and commercials put me to sleep before I could even get up and clean up the remains of the night before (an empty glass; a candy wrapper) . That’s why it always made me laugh how much money some people were willing to spend on their nightwear. As if anyone except for your cat and the lady at the cash register would ever see it. I usually fell asleep with my clothes on and no one minded since I didn’t have a cat.

 

***

 

Of course there were a million things I could have easily said. Things that had been said before; things that never sounded quite right because there was nothing to say that sounded quite right in the first place. Things I’d read in books and seen in movies (just that I was lacking empirical evidence, but that usually didn’t bother me; usually, I made something up – but now: just neurons and electro chemicals).

 

I could have tried the obvious: I’m sorry, I don’t mean to hurt your feelings, I swear. I just don’t wanna ruin our friendship, it’s not you, I promise. Or something less friendly, maybe some of the generic bullshit. I guess I’m just not the relationship type. I’m not ready for something like this. Blahblahblah. I had an entire conversation with him in my head and that’s where it stayed: in my head. The thought alone made me want to cry or punch something.

 

***

 

There were a million other things I needed to tell him but couldn’t. Because often the things you need to say the most are the things that just won’t come out. I already gave my heart to someone else. Someone who, in fact, broke my heart what feels like a second ago because that’s how life plays you sometimes. I’m busy holding my shit together I can’t handle someone else’s. Would it be okay to throw up right now? I didn’t know if I should hug or slap him.

 

I ended up not saying anything all the way to the train station. He might have said something but I didn’t hear it. I only heard myself think; neurons and electro chemicals. After a while I heard blood rushing through my veins. And car engines. I heard my heart break. I might have heard his heart break in between.

 

Of all the words running through my head, I chose the only two that felt genuine enough at the end of the night: Good night. I watched him get on the train, watched the door close behind him. I watched the train drive off and disappear. I tried calling a friend but she didn’t answer; it was almost 2 in the morning so I wasn’t surprised. I just took a deep breath instead and threw up right in front of the tracks, then I slowly walked home.

 

I turned on the TV; I wanted to turn his words off. After 3 hours and 4 episodes of Law & Order I finally fell asleep.

 

A quick inventory and before I forget: Transatlanticism, pt. II

What am I doing? And more importantly, what have I been doing before that?

What am I doing? And more importantly, what have I been doing up until now?

Sometimes life gets so busy, you have to take a moment and recapitulate just so you don’t outpace yourself. And I don’t even mean busy in a spectacular I-just-shot-a-critically-acclaimed-motion-picture-and-now-I’m-having-Spielberg-over-for-dinner kind of way. Because sometimes you’re busy with things that are not that interesting, even though they matter a lot to you personally (like studying, work, cleaning the house or calling your mom). The past weeks, I’ve been jumping back and forth between class and work, trying to (finally!) finish my thesis somewhere in between. I have no idea how people can have a job, get a degree and have kids. The thought alone simply blows my mind. I have two plants (they’re doing fine, no worries), my apartment isn’t a mess and I manage to feed myself and every now and then some friends but that’s about it. So kudos to you guys, you are amazing.

But I digress. This wasn’t actually my point. I was talking about recapitulating, because that’s what I meant to do. So here we go: I’ve had to take cold showers for more than a week because I couldn’t reach the plumber and when I managed to reach him, he forgot about me in the course of his busy day (maybe he should have paused and recapitulated as well). He did come by today, though, and fixed what needed to be fixed – let me tell you: I’ve never been happier about the blessing of running, hot water! So that’s that. I’ve also spent the afternoon with my grandma who just moved into a nursing home. I don’t know about you, but I find the thought alone really depressing. Sleek linoleum covered floors, each and every wall painted in light yellow (because of the soothing effect … yeah, right), people moving around equipped with their emergency medication and wheeled walker. All of this may not be that interesting to you, but to me personally, it matters a lot. Sometimes it’s nice to share something even though it may not be the most earth-shattering of things. Because they are still things that have shaped your reality and maybe they’ve even changed bits and pieces of you as a human being while you weren’t paying attention because you were so busy.

Now, something else entirely! I’ve also written another piece that belongs to my last past, technically. At least, they’re part of one and the same overarching idea, even though it may not yet be apparent. Anyway, I still wanted to share it in its early stages, if anyone has any thoughts they want to share – please do! Enough of my Monday rambles, though. Here goes the next part of the story.

***

Transatlanticism, pt. II

He was saying that he knew where to go but, of course, I didn’t trust him until we were there. Because I never trusted anyone and also because Nathan’s sense of direction was worse than my own; and my own was already pretty bad.

“Are you sure it’s on Huntington?”

“Yeah, it’s just down the street – I double-checked. I won’t lead you around in circles again, I promise.” He smiled and I could feel that tense muscle in my neck relax a bit.

I smiled back. “At least now I do know my way around Providence.” Okay, armistice.

Not that he could really blame me and my skepticism. When he took me out to dinner the week before, we first ended up getting lost on our way back to the car and then he took the wrong exit which resulted in a two-hour long detour. Not that I minded terribly. I also learnt more about cranberry bogs that night than I thought there was to know about them, ever. You never know when knowledge like that might come in handy, though; especially when you’re a teacher (that’s what I like to tell myself anyways). When he finally rolled into my driveway it was already two in the morning and he felt so bad that he didn’t even kiss me goodnight. I minded that a little bit.

In the end we found the Museum of Fine Arts right away and I tried my best to hide my surprise. I was also still busy trying to figure out why he’d insisted on taking me to a museum, of all places. He didn’t strike me as the type who’d willingly spend his weekends wandering up and down museum halls, eager to learn, looking for inspiration or whatever it is that brings people to museums. That is, unless it had something to do with cars, motorbikes, maybe planes if the design was cool enough.

When we looked at an exhibit of different paintings and drawings, it turned out I already knew him well enough after all.

“Okay, so this just looks like a bunch of shit if you ask me” he snorted.

“Okay, so we should have just gone to see a movie if you ask me” I should have said.

Of course, I didn’t. Because I was the type who would willingly spend her weekends wandering up and down the halls of a museum, getting lost in the wild dabs of blue and green of an impressionist painting; reading about the origins and background of a collection of historical artifacts and other things I’d just forget as soon as I would leave the building. Maybe he’d taken me there because he knew me well enough, too.

I’d realized that we had absolutely nothing in common on our first date already, but I liked his cynicism and his light blue eyes. I also liked that he took me out on real dates and that he openly announced them as such. He always picked me up at home and called me beautiful (and it always seemed like he actually meant it) and so I didn’t really mind that he had a terrible taste in music, movies and that he was rooting for the wrong team. I also didn’t mind that he was constantly complaining about the state and possible decline of America as a hegemon in the world and about the American people as such, even though he was such an all-American guy himself, with his beige khaki slacks and his degree in business and finance. I didn’t mind a lot of things simply because of the way he treated me. I’m sure we’d have had beautiful children. I’m also sure we’d messed them up terribly (then again, who doesn’t?).

The last night I saw him was Valentine’s Day. He came over to give me a single red rose; to say goodbye or maybe I’m sorry or both. Not because he’d also figured out that we didn’t really have anything in common. He simply had to fly all across the Atlantic for work. He seemed to feel just as bad as the night we took the 2-hour detour but at least he did kiss me, his beard rubbing against my chin until it was red and warm. I took his hand and pulled him out of the doorway; gently pushed him into the apartment. Later I took his hand and pulled it out from underneath my shirt; gently pushed it under my skin. There was nothing else left to do.

Whenever I think about it, it almost makes me laugh (one of those stories that doesn’t hurt anymore, you might as well turn it into an anecdote – maybe not for dinner party’s; maybe for drunk and confessional nights out): I watched him climb into his old and way too spotless BMW one last time; I didn’t wave, I just stood on the porch, staring at the tail lights disappearing around the corner.

Sometimes nothing is said and yet: you still know it’s over – despite the promises (“Of course, I’ll call as soon as I get out of the plane”), despite the exchanging of e-mail addresses; even despite the fear of loss, lonely nights and the possibility of falling back into old habits (too many drunk nights in a row and never enough Advil in the medicine drawer to fix all that needs fixing, dear God).

I thought of his eyes and hands one last time and I thought that just couple of hours later he would be able to visit my family as easily as he’d been coming by my apartment for the past months.

Sometimes it’s really hard to beat the irony of life.

Transatlanticism, pt. I.

What’s been going on this weekend: It’s incredibly hot. I got a fan! I died my hair (which isn’t nearly as spectacular as it sounds because it doesn’t mean “Hey, I have blue hair now!”, but more something like “Hey, I just died my hair!” – “Really?” – “Yeah, it’s darker now, what do you think?” – “Really?”) and I also just started writing different parts of a longer story I’ve been meaning to write for a while. Okay, this is a weird preface, but here comes the story!

***

Transatlanticism

TGK_Conference_2010_logo

After seven hours on two different planes the city welcomed me with a six hour time difference, the funny smell of a bunch of people who’d been in the same clothes for too long and five different but equally long lines at customs.

I spent about an hour watching the same “welcome-to-America” commercial on a large screen above the official’s booth over and over until it was finally my turn. I was half-expecting him to quiz me on it – he surely could have; I would have aced it, hands down.

Instead, the guy simply looked at my German passport, took my German finger prints and told me that he’d been to Oktoberfest about 11 years ago. He loved the German beer. Of course, everyone does – or so I’ve been told. He was still daydreaming about it whenever he had a Miller lite, quite understandably. I smiled politely which, apparently, was good enough for him; then I left him to his beer-filled memories. There’s nothing better than having your entire cultural heritage reduced to one single stereotype. You travel a lot lighter.

When I stepped outside it was already dark. The fireworks would probably start any minute now and I doubted that I would be able to see anything at all standing just outside of Logan. I quickly got into a cab and gladly paid the heavily overpriced fare when it stopped in front of the hostel just 20 minutes later. I wouldn’t have been surprised to be stuck in traffic or just stuck in front of a barrier for a lot longer this late on a day like this, but even the roads were free on the 4th of July. Go figure.

I quickly got my key and dragged my luggage up to the third floor to be able to at least catch a glimpse of the fireworks above the city. I took some blurry pictures for my mom and enjoyed the warm evening breeze. There’s something about having the ocean right at your fingertips; at the tip of your toes. I took a deep breath because that’s what people always do in books and movies when they want to hold on to that one moment; really live (whatever that means). I’m not sure why, but it does help. Maybe it’s because of all the oxygen that’s suddenly pumped through your system – a sudden and brief high of O2; O2 and fumes.

For quite a while after the fireworks I was so tired I couldn’t sleep. I watched a couple of innings of a Red Sox game rerun in the community room and would have killed for a cup of coffee. Unfortunately, I didn’t know who in the hostel I would have needed to threaten in particular so I decided that the next morning wasn’t too many hours away and that I might as well wait and be civil about it.

I texted Michael to let him know that I’d made it safe and sound. That summer, I fell for this city and for him. Sometimes I wonder whether two summers later the same city was what made it all fall apart. And then I think it probably wasn’t the city. I’m not exactly sure what made me fall for him, but I’m sure he’s loved me for all the wrong reasons; he’s been in love with someone that wasn’t really me and, which may have been worse, never wanted to be.

When he finally did see me (behind all the things he’s imagined me to be), he was so full of disappointment, that there was no room for anything else anymore; let alone something like love. This city, really, never had anything to do with it. It was just the one thing that remained; a road sign that remained and kept me aware of everything that didn’t.

It’s easy to get worked up about love, even if you’re not sure that that’s what it is; it’s easy to get worked up about something you’ve lost, even if you’ve never really had it.

***

Soundtrack:

 

The curse of summer…

Curse you, July!

(You know I don’t really mean it, though – don’t you? Cause I don’t…

Curse you, July! For being so beautiful...damn.

Curse you, July! For being so beautiful…damn.

… how could I if you look like this? I couldn’t.)

Curse you for keeping me so busy, for not giving me enough time and quiet to write. Then again: thank you for bringing the summer to my city; thank you for pumping inspiration through my veins, for the itch in my finger tips. I can never decide what is worse: having no time to write but a lot of things you want to write down or having a lot of time on your hands but no story to tell.

This is not the time and place to come up with a conclusion, however – I’ve decided it’s the time and place for some actual writing: a poem, for a start.

 

 

summer nights

your voice

trickles down my spine

like Kool-Aid

dark and sticky and sweet

 

summer nights

 

I dip my toes into

the Atlantic

cold and deep and blue

 

summer nights

 

we pick blueberries

and squish them

between our fingers

dark and sticky and sweet

 

summer nights

 

when the rain comes

I stand still and

collect small oceans in my hands

cold and deep and blue

 

summer nights

 

your voice

washed ashore like a

message in a bottle

I can’t open

dark and sticky and sweet

 

summer nights

 

I hold my wounds

into a bowl full of ice

and watch the fresh cuts

cold and deep and blue

 

summer nights

 

we pick fights

and squish them

between our fingers

dark and sticky and sweet

 

summer nights

 

when the rain comes

I reach for your hand

 

when the rain comes

my fingers trace the shape of you in the dark

 

when the rain comes I don’t love you

any less

 

when the rain comes

 

cold and deep and blue

 

summer nights

Seven pancakes and one sock.

Preface

I have been so busy lately (and still am) and who-or whatever’s responsible for the weather seems to suffer from manic-depression: within the past couple of weeks, we’ve first had a period of non-stop rain, then a subsequent flood (millennial aka a helllottawater) and the most recent gem: a heat wave. From the highs into the lows and back and whatnot.

So for these past weeks, I didn’t really have time to write, but I’ve been very tempted to write something about highs and lows in general – I mean, go figure, right? Yet, now that I do have some time on my hands: I’ve decided against it; I’m going to stick with the highs. I’ll give you high temperatures and enthusiasm – because after a miserable spring it’s summer (finally). And just because I want to.

***

high or low?

high or low? what’s it gonna be?

This Monday was my dad’s birthday and because my family is a little weird (as I imagine all families are if you look closely) and my mom’s always been a very practical woman, they decided they were going to have a birthday B-B-Q the Sunday before – just because schedule-wise it worked out better than celebrating his actual birthday or throwing a party the weekend after (like most people would have done – just sayin’, guys).

So I packed my present (an exquisite selection of different beers to maintain my dad’s perfectly shaped beer belly – you’re welcome, Mom) and got myself on the bus, while my sister packed her three boys (one husband, two sons) and got into the car. My sister’s eight years older – which, I think, doesn’t make that much of a difference when you’re 24 and 32, yet: if my parents had decided to set up a grown-up and a separate kids table, they’d probably put me on the latter.

Of course, I wouldn’t have minded. At all.

My nephews are adorable. B., the older one’s in fifth grade: thankfully he hasn’t hit puberty yet (knock on wood); last Christmas he whispered a very indecent joke into my ear while the entire family sat gathered around the table for lunch and I almost knocked my food right off the table – a minute later I discovered that he’d just learned it from a girl at school (of course, I immediately told him that she was bad influence and he better stay away from her) and that he wasn’t entirely sure what he’d just told me (Thank God). His most impressive quality: he is able to eat seven really huge pancakes if he’s a very hungry caterpillar; to my dismay: English is his least favorite subject and he couldn’t care less about the fact that his aunt (almost) is an English teacher herself (luckily, he also doesn’t care when his aunt tries to sneak in books or other English-related goodies along with the actual birthday or Christmas present – he just frowns and puts it aside when he thinks no one’s looking).  

D., the younger one, is a little straggler – he isn’t even a year old yet. He has my sister’s huge blue eyes (her very romantic husband lovingly refers to them as fish’s pop eyes) and also wouldn’t mind stuffing seven pancakes into his little mouth, if only my sister would let him. Because she doesn’t, however, he has to content himself with stuffing one of his socks into his sticky, smudgy baby face – or his foot, if the sock’s already soaked and my sister slipped it off his chubby foot. Whenever I get a chance, I pick him up to carry him around. I tell him incoherent stories with so many plot twists that in the end, there’s just twists and no plot at all and he doesn’t mind (he’s my most appreciative audience), he just looks around, kicking his feet and rowing his arms as if he was about to take off, a little bird. Eventually he gets tired –  that’s my favorite part – and rests his fluff-covered head on my chest: and that, ladies and gentlemen, is the ultimate high. It’s even better than – oh my God, I can’t believe I’m saying this – chocolate. I swear.

 

Let’s build an arch, shall we?

Inspired by the weather and today’s Daily Prompt.

Pt I: the status quo (aka: is it time to build an arch yet?)

Jack’s been occupying my iPod for about two weeks now. For some reason, his lyrics and his ukulele are the only things that keep my spirits (relatively) high as I constantly keep my head as low as possible, trying to duck out of the rain and into the hood of my rain jacket.

The entire May’s been a huge fraud in terms of the weather. If you ask me, this year’s May wouldn’t even pass for a third-rate April any other year – but of course, no one asks me; in the end, I just have to put up with it and mutter to myself in discontent.

In a crazy attempt to be less cynical and more optimistic in general, I’ve also been trying to adopt Jack’s attitude: The world has its ways to quite us down, the world has its ways, to quiet us down comes the rain, down comes our spirits again; but down comes the strength, to lift us up and then… Sounds good, doesn’t it? Naturally, in theory this is much easier than in practice.

 

Pt II – a very short short story, (kind of) based on real events, I swear! (aka it’s definitely time to build an arch now, jeez …)

Are you gonna dress up? She asked; I think, it’s too cold. I thought about it for a second, imagining myself wedged into a way too tight black dress, freezing my ass off, and my spirits made a loud clattering noise as they hit the floor. I probably won’t, I said.

Not only had winter apparently decided to stop by for a surprise visit in late May, the entire afternoon had been nothing but a blurry drizzle – although a look into the sky did promise a change in weather soon: it looked like the evening might well end in a sudden downpour, followed by thunder and lightning. It was definitely the best time for an outside activity (especially, when it’s not suitable to show up in your hiking gear but to make matters worse, you’re supposed to look nice).

We met at the foot of the bridge; both bundled up in (roughly estimated) fifty layers of clothing, each armed with an additional raincoat and umbrella. We might have looked like the Morton Salt twins – if we’d been more chipper.

when it rains, it pours - damn right, it does, Morton Salt Girl!

when it rains, it pours – damn right, it does, Morton Salt Girl!

We made our way to the rest of the group: they’d already sat down at one of the tables that were set out under a huge gazebo-like tent. We ordered two glasses of beer and two huge entrees (vegetarian, because I am and, thankfully she’s great and doesn’t mind) – might as well treat ourselves, we thought.

Just like most of the restaurants of the area, they brought half the things we ordered sprinkled with diced, fried bacon on top (or a similar extra-vegetarian treat). The beer was good, though, so we ordered a second round, hoping the rain would eventually stop.

It never did, of course.

 

Pt III – some pictures instead of more words (aka I’m gonna shut up about the rain now, promise).

 

Go (Mid-May).

A song and a poem. That’s really all.

 

 

 

Watch those horses

fathers tell their daughters

spruced in Sunday dresses;

so calm and clean,

their necks bending in red bridles

as they go and go

(and you along with them).

 

Watch those horses

fathers tell their daughters

with their pink-ribboned hair;

sweet and smooth as a newborn.

It smells of popcorn and sweat (it’s Mid-May),

and they go and go and go –

the fair is in town.

 

Watch those horses –

I watch those horses;

Once a year, every year.

Sometimes when it’s spring,

I’ve almost forgotten about them,

but as April turns into May

the smell of popcorn fills the air and

 

I hear wooden hooves (and your voice).

 

Watch those horses –

I watch those horses

as they come and go

(and you along with them):

sweet and smooth as a newborn.

The fair is back in town

(and it doesn’t let me go –

 

go, go).

 

 

Horses, as they go.

Horses, as they go.

Drunk In A Midnight Choir

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