memories

Diving degree of difficulty: 3.3

There's a saying about happy and unhappy families which follows along the lines of "all happy families are alike, but the unhappy ones are all unique." It applies to more than just families. Major life events are like that, as well. After all, what's the fun in retelling the events of a perfectly normal and happy day?

No, we're much more interesting when events both bizarre and unexpected happen; we're at our most unique in the microseconds when we realize that life has just completely and utterly deviated from whatever predetermined plan we thought we were working under.

Most of my friends know that I have broken my right wrist twice, and most of them know that I broke it the first time while trying to fly a kite on a rainy day. Fewer know the story of the second break, despite the fact that it's a much more interesting and amusing story.

February 19, 2002

Is that German?

Given that several of my friends grew up in northeast Arkansas, I would make a yearly Christmas-break pilgrimage to visit them and their families. My general rule: see as many people as possible, cause as little fuss as possible, and stay no more than two nights at any one house. Even under those circumstances, I could easily be gone for a week.

In the years that have passed, I've managed to forget all but the most amusing—or embarrassing—moments that occurred during those trips. I distinctly remember the drives Monica and I made back and forth to Paragould, and my complete and utter inability to use my normally-excellent poker face against Matthew. Matthew, of course, beat me senseless at poker and made me laugh the entire time.

(Luckily for me, I know Matthew well enough to know better than to play poker against him for money. Ever.)

February 8, 2002

Welcome back, Susan

A couple of weeks ago, Susan popped up in my life again. I hadn't heard from her in a year or two; the last time I'd heard from her, she was sharing an apartment with a fellow whom, I later learned, was from the United Arab Emirates.

I will say this for Susan: she is cursed to live an interesting life. I began to understand this when I was a sophomore and she a freshman in college. She tried to explain her love of fast cars to me at one point in time, shortly after we met. I don't remember what it was that she drove, but it was all black—from the paint to the tinted windows to the leather interior. I called it the BatCar.

February 7, 2002

24-7 Family Togetherness Time

For lack of a coherent entry, I thought I'd ramble a bit…

I never quite found a way to believe that my little blue planet took the opportunity of wintertime to point away from the Sun, not until I looked up one icy, sunny winter day and saw the rainbows. Every year after that, they came back, like the ice, my silent friends of wintertime afternoons. Only in midwinter was the sunlight angled correctly to stream in through the picture window, where it would be refracted through the cut-glass panes of my mother's coffee table.

If you looked up, straight ahead, toward the kitchen, you would see the horizontal rainbows splayed against the ceiling. They would show up first as white globs of light, then sharpen into rainbows, and then quietly fade over the course of the afternoon.

On the days of ice storms, they gave me something else to watch besides the glass-sculpture world outside the window.

February 5, 2002

Accessory nipples

"I've wanted to do this for a long time now," she said. But, it went without saying, she couldn't arrange for this kind of surgery until she had insurance that would cover it. Despite the fact that it was obviously medically necessary.

"I think it's a good idea," I said.

"Yeah. I mean, it'll do a lot for me, both physically and …"

"Self-image?"

"Yeah."

For as long as I've had the privilege to know her, Eleanor's made jokes about her breasts. Taglines like "Eleanor: the breasts of three women!" and jokes about her bras abounded. Deep down, though, I know she was frustrated with the way she looked, and handled it the best way she knew how—through humor.

February 1, 2002

A little fishnet with my snack, thanks!

We were too young to rent this particular movie, but we looked old for our age, and we knew that if we just didn't giggle or make spectacles of ourselves, we'd be fine.

It helped that we had Kerri's mother's movie-rental card, which would allow us to rent anything in the store. We had wandered around the store, browsing the stacks of movies for rent. We didn't have anything in particular we wanted to see, but it was Saturday, and we wanted to watch something.For some reason, approximately 90% of all movie titles start with the letters R, S, or T, and that's where we spent hmost of our browsing time. We'd hold up movies to each other, soliciting opinions, but they'd all be struck down for one reason or another.

We spotted it then, hidden in plain view; a simple, black box. Kerri looked at me quizzically and said words that were such incredible understatements that I'm surprised the world didn't cave in on us right then and there:

January 29, 2002

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