Wednesday, November 02, 2005

falling in love

I frequently fall in love. Intense, sudden, gratifying, silly, humbling, often temporary, though the temporariness turns out to be a help most of the time. I fall in love with ideas, images, words, inanimate objects, and occasionally, people. The people part tends to last a whole lot longer (hi, sweetie!).

You could dial back the language a little, and simply say I'm a fan of lots of little things and events, or I'm enthusiastic about the experiences I have, and the way I process stimuli. Or you could go basic, and say that I'm generally very happy with how things are going; that I love life. But as true as all the above is, saying it like that would leave out the sense of immediacy, and the messy, evanescent poetry that I feel when I'm, say, driving on a twisty mountain road, with the iPod playing something good and the warmth shining through the sunroof. That's the setting, and the action is I'm shifting from fourth to fifth while the road settles down under it all and reclines, finished with its few moments of the gyrating, swaying hippy dance some of the roads do here -- bam, that's the instant; I'm a little bit in love with life. The thing with me is that I fall just a tiny bit in love with the moment, and thus with the car, the weather, the trees, the music, road, the sun. Man, I love the sun. And I'm even more smitten with the moon; so much so it's damn near to monk-drowning levels. Don't even get me started.

So one of the great things about being here in New England pursuing this program is that I have opened up exponentially both my opportunities to fall in love in this way, and probably my capacity to do it. Sure, I worry sometimes that I may be extending my adolescence to an unhealthy degree, but then again maybe I'm holding on to that poetic side, in a very smart and useful way. Maybe this will become a core skill as I get into my chosen profession, and meander ever deeper into the responsible, focused, more complete kind of adulthood.

Heck, maybe the fight that broke out on the sidewalk outside the local bar where Teslagrrl and I were singing karaoke a couple weeks back was just a spilling over of that kind of love. It's my theory that more people want to be expressive than know how to be, so when the John Cougar is flowing as freely as the beer, things can happen. Fuses get lit, ya-yas come out, steam gets let off. Eventually shakin' your doughy butt, nodding your baseball cap, and yelling "yeah!" isn't enough anymore; you need something more powerfully poetic. Sadly, the most poetic and expressive tool in some guys' repertoire is throwing a punch. I suppose that does, technically, count as making a connection with someone. So there you go.

I'm going on about this now thanks to a recent post* on Diablo's blog, with a sweet and generous devotional to her hubby (who by the way, is a frickin' rock star not just literally, but figuratively). Is that too sincere? Shit, I mean it's a soppy and clearly Jaeger-fueled mash note. Some might say Diablo being sweet is surely some manner of evil plot, but I know better. In her singular style, the writing is frank, funny, and disarming, and then makes a face at you and grabs its crotch. Or yours. Basically her prose is, in my universe anyway, Terri Garr in a leather catsuit -- and that is just about the BEST COMPLIMENT POSSIBLE. Okay, maybe I'm a little in love with the writing now too. Put it on the list.

So, yes. New England autumn. Driving. Love. Things like that. It's by no means comprehensive, but to give you a better sense of what I'm talking about, here is a list of some of the things I have fallen in love with recently: my wool topcoat, Atmosphere's new album, stovetop percolator coffee, about 50% of the designs in the student fashion show I saw on Monday night, about 75% of the models in the fashion show, the normal standard distribution (a Statistics thing), White Russians mixed and served in pint glasses, my midterm grades, winning at Scrabble, and the crisp snap of November air.

I am also in love with my girlfriend, which I have to say is a very good thing indeed. As I mentioned, she was here a couple of weeks ago. I can't even remember what we were talking about, or why we were laughing, but we were. I'm sure it was very funny. Actually, screw that, we don't even need a reason, but the point is I'd said something funny in response to something she'd said that was funny, and her explanation of whatever goofy thing it was that she had said was to say "hey, I'm in love." And that's when I forgot what she'd been talking about, and just sort of marvelled at the whole thing.

Today, it strikes me that this is what I miss most, and what I miss out on the most, owing to our being 1000 miles apart. I lack for opportunities to fall in love with little things that have to do with her. This seems horribly unfair. It's fine when we do re-connect; we just pick right up where we were. But in the meantime, dang. Distance, boy. I don't know. What you gonna do?

Hey, that may have just become relevant to the ongoing saga of the non-traditional educational process. Sweet! If I just throw in the words "long-distance relationship," this post might even come up when med students and pre-med students search. Though PA students are, of course, better-looking and more fun, I have to make sure to put that in there as well.

* The slatternly fishwife should fix the photo in the post, because I've seen it and it's adorable.

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