Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Day one thousand one hundred and thirty four (and five) . . . Such is life.

It's really day seven hundred and twenty-nine.

That's how many days Jodi and I have been together.

Tomorrow--which is in about thirty two minutes from now--will be our two year anniversary. In fact, I'm sure that I'll be writing this until then and so it will post on Thursday, not Wednesday night which it currently is.

Anyway . . .

She is lying next to me trying to sleep. These keys on my laptop are quiet but I'm betting my money that she can still hear them. And if she can she's probably guessing I'm writing something like this about this very topic. But the soft snore I can hear tells me it's blending in fine with the coming sleep's soundtrack.

Time pours out of the sky, the air, the ground and the faucets like it has no limit. These last two years have been gushing like a busted fire hydrant. Often I wonder where it all comes from and how the hell much of it there could possibly be.

I've been going over some old photos on my computer and I'm kind of amazed at how much we've done together.

I guess it's what couples do: stuff. Lots of stuff.

Trips and birthdays; meals and parties; concerts and sporting events; holidays and funerals.

But besides the fluctuation in hair length and seasonal attire I see two people who haven't really changed much. And when I say that I really mean by what one could surmise from a photo.

The camera pointed by hand takes only as honest a picture as one can pose for. I love the shots of us from a few series that we have where we used the timer. I'm sure if you've ever used a timer on a camera then you most likely have a few candid pictures of yourself either coming towards or walking away from the lens because either it went off too soon or you thought it did when it didn't. You see yourself in motion and usually in a hurry. But you have no one to blame for this. It's kind of nice to see the unpredictability of it all. You leave this little black or silver answer to your impractical dilemma on a shelf, or a rock, or a windowsill and run back in an attempt to look as cool and calm as if it--the camera--had asked you itself to take the picture for you. As if it had seen you on vacation taking a picture of each other and wanted to do the nice thing so you can both get in the shot.

And you have one shot out of three hundred where you aren't making a face you don't normally make in everyday life.

But everyday life is what we all lead. And the time we spend that is not documented somewhere is just gone like that water out of a hydrant. It leaves us and it doesn't come back, ever.

So I have ten minutes to write while I can still say--as Jodi just said to me before she kissed me goodnight and rolled over onto her bedded hemisphere--that we have been together for one-year-and-so-many-months-and-so-many-days.

Make that eight minutes after I just had to check the last paragraph for grammar.

But the time had run out of all these pipes for years and years before we had ever met. It came out for thirty eight--damn close to thirty nine--of mine before we made a formal introduction. And it will pour out for as long as my heart will still beat no matter what happens around me.

A lot can happen--good and bad--as we see everyday.

The time I spent preparing myself for devotion went on and on.

The time I spent trying different combinations of people, places, and things to fulfill me is past.

The hours I spent making connections and hoping for enlightenment--or maybe just a little fun--seems like a story I'm telling the grandkids.

All this time has to go somewhere.

Three minutes.

And the world that I made for myself.

And the world that she made for hers.

It all counts and it all matters--every second of it.

I am awestruck by the honesty that I can muster from myself and that which I am given from her.

One minute.

It makes me smile everyday.

It makes me worry, too.

Because this little organism is a delicate thing.

This little combination of worlds . . .

And now it has been two years.

She may remember that little kiss I just gave her. But if not that's okay too.

It's the times we do things without thinking that show who we really are.

It's the timer we set for ourselves and then hurry back to the spot where we think it will see us . . . and it saw us and captured our image just not exactly as we had anticipated.

She kissed me back without thinking about who or why or what time. She just knew it was me.

She is my camera and she sees those faces that aren't for show.

She is my one and only.

I will sleep for hours now, because if I don't I can't spend tomorrow's time the best I can.

And I would have never predicted all of this in an endless bucket of guesses.

Such a miracle.

Such a lucky man I am.

Such is life.

I love you, Jodi, my dear, and know I always will.

Happy Anniversary.

Thanks for reading.


Thursday, February 3, 2011

Day one thousand one hundred and twenty-eight . . . Snow, salt, and flowers.

I signed up for this a long time ago.

I had the chance to move away from New England--from the northeast with its unpredictable winters that either make you feel shortchanged or victimized. But I stayed for a lot of reasons and I don't really have any plans to go anywhere for too long anytime soon.

It's so easy to lose perspective right about now. Because right about now my world seems to have been taken over by different shades and varying heights of hard, unforgiving, slippery, sludgy, salty, sandy, weather residue. It's indifferent towards me. It just sits there on the ground, on my roof, or on (and under) my car. Like a teenager's best friend laying on the couch in the basement the snow and ice doesn't really feel an ounce of responsibility for my daily woes.

"But I have to get to work!"

Oops. Huh. That's a real pickle. Sucks to be you.

And as I'm standing there with my scraper in both hands, trying with all my might to shave off enough ice to see far enough to drive until the defrosters have a chance to do the rest of the work I forget that hundreds of thousands of others are doing the exact same thing.

I was out there yesterday when it was real bad. I shoveled and I scraped. I even developed this new technique where I take my snow broom and throw it up in the air like a spear in an attempt to dislodge from the gutters as many icicles of death as I can. I works great except for the fact that I have to go pick it up wherever it lands, which is usually right about the same area where seconds before giant daggers of solid, pointy ice had come furiously down with a thud.

When I was about ready to come back in I tried to pat off the snow on my pants legs--it was up to my pockets, really--and I realized that they were actually frozen. My jeans had solidified and were a wrinkled tube not unlike the kind you attach to the back of a dryer.

But I survived all of that and here I am.

I know that the days are getting longer--it's a scientific fact--but I can still feel that sun racing through the sky like an Olympic sprinter indifferent yet fully aware that it will beat me to the finish. And I also know that once again at around four o'clock I'll slump my shoulders as I flip through the things in my mind that I needed its full cooperation for.

But I signed up for this a long time ago.

I notice way too many things around me these days. Perhaps that's one of the things that kept me from sobriety for so long. When your senses start to paw and nudge at you like a puppy with a ball it can be a bit overwhelming. If you throw the ball it'll stop for a while, and then it comes right back again.

Funny that I used what I used for so long to enhance my senses--not that that's not what happened. It certainly did. But I also don't notice that my computer screen is too bright for me after I've been looking at it for an hour. I can't really tell that it's affecting my vision until I look away . . . or until somebody else looks at and says something.

I hear the snow blowers with their constant whirring. But if I close my eyes and forget that I'm wearing a wool sweater I can picture the sound coming from lawnmowers.

We had a severe drought last year. It seems as if the city restricted our outside water uses from April until September. But all around the area is thousands of pounds of potential water just sitting there teasing the dead life below it.


I bought some fresh flowers the other day on a whim--some tulips, a hyacinth and a stem of four or five aromatic stargazer lilies. It was simply one of the best things I think I have ever done.

I paid twelve dollars and walked away with a foolproof serum for these winter drearies. I gave them to Jodi which made her happy. Then she put them all around the house which made us both happy. And now when I am doing the dishes I can smell the hyacinth every so often I find myself wondering if it's a new dish soap that smells so good. Then I realize what's right in front of me: colorful, fragrant life in a little piece of pottery with some tap water, in the dead of winter, with hard packed snow a foot outside my window and icicles of death hanging overhead.

But before I see that view I have to get past those flowers.

It's these things that I notice that will get me through the winter.

It's these things that I notice that will help me remember that while the sun seems to be winning the race right now each day my personal best keeps gets better.

It's these things that I notice that will keep me from feeling too trapped by my surroundings, my leanings, my state allegiance, my adopted hometown.

It's these things that I notice that I had to write about today.

And it's these things that I notice that I hope will always be an inspiration.

Thanks for reading,