I have to take a moment to reflect on how blessed I’ve been lately, and in what ways.
Ever since July, I’ve found pockets in my life in which the world has stopped turning.
I take for granted how much my life lacks the hectic dysfunctionality of family, and it was nice to be in that whirlwind. Whether it be the Curtis family or the Krauses or Bolgeo (note, I consider the normal state of family to be this dysfunctional, beautiful, and chaotic thing.. so that’s a compliment). It’s also nice to have that set of people who you can be as ridiculous or loony or temperamental or whiny or whatever with and know they’ll still talk to you the next day.
I’ve been lucky to see old friends, and take unplanned, failed trips to paddle board with a brother who was a huge force in my early adulthood and still end up back to back spike ball champs. Much less an entire Hawaii trip reuniting with the fam years after he made a point to go visit my dad when he was doing that chemo treatment clinical trial stuff.
Even more, unexpectedly link up with the same friend I was crawling around with as a tyke, watching David the Gnome and eating bologna sandwiches, riding Big Wheels tricycles down the pier, and a slew of other memories that fill a lifetime in just a short sum of years — rolling around in the mud of nostalgia as we reminisce over the Pilotwings and Wave Racer 64 soundtracks and songs about a mythical place known as the CTC. Capping the entire brief stoppage of time by rewatching incredibly obscure Australian movies about Donkegins; a sliver of the really obscure catalog of movies his parents found for us to watch in our Fairview days.
And more yet, finding myself sitting around in one of our family’s living rooms with the friend I did the most of that with growing up. And sit we did until the hours burt to ash as they did in high school while the group of us escalated in inanity as if each hour was a raised bet. Without missing a step, every character was played perfectly as memory serves. Conversation pinballed across the board as we encroached hypotheticals about which ill person we’d put down like we would a pet (which of course only Robert and I enjoyed from both a mental exercise as well as a very dark place of humor) later sputtering out into a spelling bee until we collectively wonder why we are still awake and dispersde like molecules in a surge of heat.
Between all the extraordinary events and trips, the strands between have been their own hit catalog of Apollo-esque ups and even a meteoric down or two. I had both the great fortune and tragic misfortune of rekindling an old flame with perhaps the only girl that’s really meant anything to me in a significant way that in years that feel more like entire Ages of History — before it imploded again. Something of a short, beautiful song that starts out hopeful, ends somber, but still gets replayed that I can’t seem to find a way to regret.
My consistently closest friend since adulthood came home for good, and now I have the good problem of struggling to remember he’s actually here when I need to stir trouble. I’ve not only had multiple hangs with my old neighbor and another best friend, but my spirits have greater lifted finding out we live in the same zip code again. I even almost got to reunite with another one that Houston took from me, but that might have ripped the space-time continuum to shreds. And maybe most bizarre, the most wayward and ephemeral the spirits I call kindred has taken steps toward his Second Coming — the potential to end over a year without seeing each other growing each day.
At the end of things, my travels are done for now and all the alien visitors have shuttled to their corner of the cosmos. In a small sum of weeks this improbable stack of precious time with familiar-turned-foreign faces will seem an invention of a few days in the desert with some really good peyote.
Then the time crumbles to dust to particles of air to molecules and back to the atomic invisibility of memories tucked away in the attic of subconsciousness. Daily life taking the forefront.
Now that I’m aware of it all, my soul is contented in that same way a perfect dinner might induce brief euphoria, but sad because the time itself was the lapse.
Then again the world turns.