Monday, June 27, 2011

The Moment I Can't Remember...

I have an amazing memory. It's quite frightening what I remember.

The earliest memory of my life is me standing on the inside of our screen-door, I was two or three, and I watched my brother get on the bus for his first year of school. I remember crying, and looking down at the crack in the screen door where the weather stripping was peeling away, and wondering when my brother was coming home. I was wearing a pink shirt, and my underwear. No pants.
 I fell asleep and when I woke up, my brother was home.

There are several other things that I remember from my childhood with such stunning clarity. I can tell you what I wore, what other people wore. I can tell you how the light filtered through the mini-blinds, and highlighted their face just so. I can tell you a plethora of minute details about nearly everything in my life, except... How Bart Howell and I became friends.

It started with a trip to Quinton, Oklahoma. I traveled there to help my high school speech coach with her new team. I was blocking out a monologue, and when I came out of my "directing haze" I spotted a man with black framed glasses and a wavy, comb-over hairdo smiling at me. A text message here, a text message there. Emails. Phone calls that lasted for hours. More emails.
For the life of me, I cannot tell you how, but our friendship grew and blossomed, and before I knew it...I had a friend that I'd known for only a short time, but really...I felt as though I'd known him all of my life. It was almost as if he could have been standing next to me as I watched my brother get on the number five bus that August morning.

I don't remember all of the sordid details of the beginning of our friendship, but I do know that I have been forever changed because I can say that Bart Howell is my best friend.

Although we are miles and miles apart, not a day passes that I don't think of him, and appreciate the fact that he is the other half of my brain. We have celebrated, plotted, cried, laughed, and cussed together. We have even developed our own form of Ebonics that we use quite liberally.

Of all the things I can remember, I am so very thankful for the moment that I cannot:

The moment that Bart Howell became my very best friend.
Although we will both see it, and pretend it never happened, I am going to write it anyway:

You are wonderful and amazing. Thank you for everything you do for me. Be it a phone call, naughty birthday card or something on a grand scale. I love you.

Friday, June 17, 2011

Simple Elegance

I am the kind of person who is easily pleased.

Little things, like… new sheets or finding a forgotten five dollars in a pair of jeans while doing laundry.

Simple moments of sheer delight that just make the world a little brighter.

In addition to being easily pleased...I’m also a creature of habit:
Same breakfast every morning, followed by a cup of coffee, followed by a nice, relaxing poop.
The same activities. Just a different day.

In short, my life is boring. Most of the time, nothing life-changing happens to me.

This is why I find such delight in the little surprises that life brings us.


1.) Trying on a pair of jeans I haven’t worn in six months only to discover that they are too big.
2.) Digging through the medicine cabinet in search of the Vagisil, and finding an unopened box of bath fizzies.
3.) Finding the remote after two weeks of manually changing the channel?
Today, like any other day of my life, was mundane. Routine. Monotonous. Humdrum.

And then, as I was leaving the coffee shop, I felt my foot graze something, and I heard
 it roll across the tile with this metallic click.

I glance down, and what do I find?

A pen! It was a pen! But not just any pen. It’s the kind of pen that has eight different color ink options at the top.
I didn’t even think they made these anymore. I asked everyone at the shop if it was their pen, and they all said no. ..So, you know… Finders keepers and all that.

I remember in school these were the pens that everyone had to have, and we would write each letter of our names in a different color.

Writing your name with this pen was an all day activity.
Today’s nice surprise was being reminded of a time when things were simple.
A time when my biggest worry was what to eat at lunchtime.
Turning my math in when it was due.
Staying outside until the street lights came on.
The smell of freshly cut grass.
 Keeping my farts in all day at school so kids wouldn’t make fun of me.

You know, little things like that.

It’s funny how the strangest things take you back.

Friday, June 3, 2011

The Luckiest ...

Yesterday, late in the evening, I went for a run. The air was lighter, and the sun was almost down. I tuned into my easy listening Pandora station and away I went. The first song to play on my Pandora radio was Norah Jones ,"Don't Know Why".

I thought to myself, "Hmm, maybe easy listening is not the way to go. We'll try this, but if James Blunt shows up...I'm changing the station."

I had made it about a half a mile by the end of the first song and I was depressed. Severely.

Before I go any further, I have to tell you about the park where I run. In the late evening it is beautiful. The trail that I run is one mile from one end to the other. In the late evening, running toward the west it's like looking into heaven. The sun is setting and it casts a soft, glow on everything. The simple beauty of the trees are magnified by the delicate, golden light.

One Adele, and one Lisa Loeb later, I cross the street, and am making my way to the trail when I hear Colbie Callait begin to sing,
"I miss those blue eyes...How you kiss me at night..."
I felt myself give an audible sigh, and my eyes rolled into the back of my head. I'm pretty sure I was talking to myself about what a terrible decision easy listening music was for running... The idea of easy listening music sounded great in my head, but after only three songs I realized, every song that played was not one I really wanted to hear.

 On the path where I run, people frequently walk their dogs, and there is an older couple that I see nearly every time I'm at the park.They have two dogs, a dalmation that is fifteen years old and another mutt-dog.  When I see them, I normally stop and visit for a few moments and pet their dogs, but yesterday's musical selections had me in a really grumpy mood, and I decided if I saw them that I wouldn't stop. In the distance I see my little elderly couple, but their dogs aren't with them. They are holding hands and walking along the path. In my ears I hear the last strain's of the Colbie Callait song, and through my headphones emerges the beautiful beginning of Ben Folds' "The Luckiest", and I'll be damned if it wasn't almost fairytale like.

So, while I had not intended to stop and chat...I stopped anyway, and watched. They were talking, and laughing, and it looked like she was telling him about her day. Her free hand was moving around wildly in these grand gestures. After a moment, they both laughed and he brought their intertwined hands to his mouth and kissed the back of hers. There was something about the scene before me. Maybe it was the combination of the beautiful music or the golden light... but, even as I type this I'm realizing it was the comfort and ease that the two had fallen into. The rhythm of their steps, their even gates as they made their way down the path. The way she picked lint from his shirtsleeve, or the way he patted her on the back to let her know her shoe was untied. I'm a little embarassed to admit this, but I followed them around the loop.

Last night, I realized that being in love is more than just wanting someone and it's more than a physical desire. Love is more than friendship and companionship.While I think that the afforementioned characteristics are a vital part to falling in love with someone, they aren't the base or foundation of lasting relationships. I don't know a better way to describe it other than this:

If people stop in their tracks because you and your beloved are exuding micro-love waves then you are most definitely doing something right.