Month: April 2014

climate conflict

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thermostatThe thermostat at my office is an endless battleground.

Someone is always turning on the AC in the rain. I am always turning on the heat on a sunny day.

It’s what happens when you put me in the same room with a pregnant lady. I have a comfort range of 75 degrees to 90. Hers is under 60. That’s a big difference.

When I’m basking in perfect equilibrium, others are sweating and propping open doors. When they find relief, the tips of my fingers begin to go icy.

You can’t make everyone happy, particular in the area of temperature.


green eggs and books

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booksThe first book I ever read was “Green Eggs and Ham.”

I was in first grade and it was past my bedtime. The house had fallen quiet with only the whisper of the boiler. At the time, we lived in a rented duplex in Helena, Montana. It had white columns supporting the narrow cement porch. From my 5-year-old perspective, it was beautiful.

My memories of that place have the continuity of a Twitter feed. We got robbed there once; they took my dad’s bike…I stuck my tongue on an electric pole during the winter, and my sister pulled me lose at the price of my taste buds … We had a huge water fight with a neighbor we didn’t know after he dumped a bucket of water on my dad off of the second story … We used to run squealing after the happy melodies of the ice cream truck … I watched my sister crash her bike around the corner from our house … My dad was in college … My best friend’s name was Betsy … I had my first crush … We did laundry at the laundromat on Tuesdays and always went to Taco Bell afterwards.

But my memory of the night I read my first book isn’t so disjointed. My parents and sister had gone to bed, and I sat in the middle of my bedroom on a pile of blankets, paging through the dog-eared pages of Dr. Seuss’ famous children’s story.

When I reached the last page, I experienced a feeling of triumph akin to a mountaineer reaching the top of a peak. Yet, there was no one to celebrate with. They were all asleep.

It was the beginning of my love affair with the written word. It was the precursor to my infatuation with Shel Silverstein and C.S. Lewis and Carolyn Keene, and later Jodi Picoult and Bodie Thoene and Charles Frazier. I went on to win reading contests in middle school when my annual consumption of books numbering into the triple digits. I would stay up into early morning hours devouring narratives and falling into other lives and savoring the delicious arch of a good story. I wrote my own on printer paper and clumsily illustrated them with cats and killer whales.

It was no surprise I became a writer.

Cheers to Dr. Suess.

run, run

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It’s late, the dusk beginning to creep over the pavement like a fog. It’s quiet, the silence held taunt like a tent.

My shoes beat out a quiet rhythm on the pavement, not audibly, but I can feel it.

Sometimes I feel like moments like this are the only time my mind is clear. I don’t think at all. Or I think in a steady bubbling stream whose fitful jumble begins to cull out logic. Or I pray.

Someone starts a lawn mower, pricking the silence like a pin.

Running is one of the few times I listen to dub step and electronic music. For some reason it fits. The pulse of the beat is driving, all-encompassing. It is like stepping to an alternative world. It distracts me from the heavy temptation to stop.

I’ve always liked hills. That seems like an unlikely preference, but they are a rift in the boredom of the flats. They are a challenge I like to pose to myself.

“I love running. I’m not into marathons, but I am into avoiding problems at an accelerated rate.
” – Jarod Kintz

This is the only time when avoiding problems works.

spinning circles

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The raindrops are ricocheting off the driveway outside my window, pinging against the cement and flowing into the cracks. I spend more time than I should staring at them.

I keep thinking their calming rhythm will release the tightrope strapped painfully taunt within in me. I’m restless.

Restless because I’m hungry. Restless because I am chilled. Because I have work to do that I don’t really feel inspired to finish. Because I can’t find my a document I need to do my taxes. Because my place is a mess. Because it’s too quiet.

But really, it’s because someone else has chosen something fleeting over me before we even had a chance. Once again.

There is nothing I can do about it. And nothing I should do about it, because by its virtue, the choice disqualifies him. Or at least it should.

Periodically, I think about it in the same circles I have thought about it a hundred times. I arrive at the same place as the time before. And it frustrates me. And maybe even infuriates me. And makes me silently yell at God for not budging or myself for going down yet another dead end road or him for being so shortsighted.

I find myself wishing for the big gesture that will never come. Because who makes a big gesture for someone you just met?

So I turn up the heat and make lunch and do work and search for my illusive documents and clean and turn on music. And it doesn’t solve anything. But at least it is a momentary detour from the circles I’m spinning.