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That story I promised you

Wow, I’m bad at keeping promises to my readership. I promised you people a story not that long ago which I’ve yet to deliver, and just this week I swore to update the site more frequently and less lengthily. Essentially, I’m breaking the second promise to keep the first. Read on if you’re interested.

When I first spoke to Bryan about him moving in and he asked how my summer was going so far, he probably thought I was exaggerating when I replied, “It’s been so rad that if it continues at its current rate of radness I won’t be able to take it.” In truth, I just like the word “rad”, and felt that it aptly described my experiences up to that point. I’m glad to report that while the rate of radness has slackened enough that I have, by and large, been able to take it, I’m still teetering on the cusp of bursting with happiness, or collapsing from exhaustion. I haven’t decided which I prefer yet.

I’ve been thinking about how to relate precisely how my life is like a John Hughes film, but realized that to drive that point home I’d have to tell more stories than I’m willing – this is one of those “the whole is more than the sum” things – and you probably wouldn’t be interested in reading that much detail of my life in any case. For example, I’ve visited Golden Gardens a number of times in the last month, but what can I say about those trips? Teenage girls adjusted their bathing suits self-consciously, high school seniors celebrated their new-found “independence” with staggering intoxication, and Marta danced to some bongo drums in front of a bonfire like a slow-motion raver. See? Details so salient they drip imagination, but they don’t impart any real information. Imagine the scenario I just described taking place with more-or-less inconsequential differences roughly 8 hours a day, every day for a month. That’s what my life has been, is the reason I don’t dedicate as much energy to this website as I used to, and turns out to be a hard thing to chronicle in any meaningful way. The details of the paragraph above are pretty much the best I can do in that vein, so instead I’ll give you just a taste (so brief, but so sweet!) of the goings-on in which I find myself enveloped.

Remember when I claimed to write everything except what’s really on my mind? I wasn’t just making that up, but for the purposes of this story it’s time to come clean: I have a girlfriend now, Marta. She’s been a fixture of my blog lately (in between the lines, that is), so maybe some of you figured that out on your own, but for the rest of you, there it is, spelled out in 30-foot-high flaming letters. Let us not mention it again. Anyways.

Some time ago, I led Marta and Bryan on a walk over the bridges which span the Ravenna ravine. It was past dark and we got lost at first, and my followers’ faith in my guide abilities was getting shaky to say the least, but eventually we stumbled back onto the right path more through dumb luck than any sense of direction on my part. I love that path, because the bridges cross so high above the forest floor that you literally walk above the tops of ancient trees. I imagine I’m an Ewok, and less dorky foot travelers probably are just awestruck by the tremendous beauty of meandering through the canopy. Marta, however, fits neither of those profiles; she took one look at the six-inch railing on the first bridge and thought, “what’s the best way to endanger my life and freak out my boyfriend?” The answer came to her quickly, and she hopped up on the beam and walked it like a gymnast. I stopped her progress and talked her down off the ledge, so to speak, but as soon as I relaxed my guard she sprinted a few yards down the bridge and repeated the stunt. Marta is very independent. She was exceedingly calm, and Bryan just watched in slack-jawed appreciation, voicing the occasional hushed “Whoa.” I, on the other hand, was terrified. I kept picturing a scene from a bad movie: she would slip on an errant leaf, lose her balance and topple over the wrong side of the rail – I’d try to save her, and would run just fast enough to brush her outstretched fingertips with my own before she floated down to the ground with a bone-crunching thud.

I told her of my concerns when she regained steadier footing, but she had complete confidence in her abilities in spite of my doubts. At the next bridge (there are three, each one more vaulted and spectacular than the last), she humored me for the first two-thirds of its length, then decided to go double or nothing on a railing that was scantly half as wide as the prior one. My girlfriend, the daredevil. I counted my heartbeats until she ended the act, and as soon as her feet touched the pavement again I forbade her to ever do that again, a tactic roughly as effective as shaking one’s fist at the sun to avoid a burn. She’s since agreed to only risk her life when I’m not around to worry about her, and I think it will work. Of course she wasn’t in any real danger, or at least not any more than me when I fling my body off the 520 bridge in the arboretum. She’s a trained gymnast, and could easily throw herself to the safe side of the rail should she lose her balance. But I’m a worrier. It’s what I do, despite Bryan’s near constant assurances that I need not (“no worries” is one of the many Bryan-influenced catchphrases of this summer).

That was one night in the park, and another night we came for the swing set and ended up forming a ten-person human pyramid with some recent graduates who were killing time. Marta clambered to the top on bodies buckling under the weight of their fellow man, but we held the position long enough for her to throw off a truly professional-looking flair with her arms, then collapsed gratefully. I only mention this last bit because the two nights bleed together in my mind. I can’t even tell you off the top of my head what amount of time separated them, and that’s characteristic of most of the events of this summer. In my head, I see a swirling montage of hedonism and debauchery, sleep debt and veinte drip-coffees. The only thing more astounding than the fullness of my days is the unbelievable speed with which they pass. I think you have enough of an idea now to extrapolate the missing time for yourself, and I encourage that you do so if you’re bored. Otherwise, expect to hear from me real soon (ha!).

Posted in Musings.

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