Leap Day

Happy Leap-Day (is that what it’s called?). There just seems to be something so special about a day that only comes around once every four years. It seems like a day when important things should happen. Yet, for most of us, it was probably a day like any other. Not extraordinary in any way. Doesn’t this seem like a bit of a paradox? Aren’t things that are rare supposed to be valuable or special?

Or are theses things only valuable because they are rare?

At any rate, I hope that everyone is able to find that small part of today that made it special. I think that everyday has these moments, we just don’t notice them because we aren’t looking.

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Perfect Days

How can everything seem so perfect?

Even when people are dying, countries are fighting, children are starving. Every time I have a day that seems too good to be true I can’t help but to think that for someone the whole world is falling apart. For someone it is the worst day of their life.

I remember the day my brother’s best friend died at the age of 18 and through the pain I thought of his family. I thought of how this is the worst day of my life so far, but for his mother it is probably the worst day she will ever experience. His death no doubt changed me and everyone who was close to him, but for his family their whole lives had changed drastically in an instant. Everything was different and would never be the same.

And then I thought of everyone else in the world, everyone who didn’t know Dylan. Certainly there would be other people whose lives had been fractured on that same day, other people who would feel pain worse than I could imagine. But for the majority of people, today would be just like any other. It would not stand out in their memory; it would not change them in any significant way. And there are those for whom today was great, maybe even the best day of their life. Everyday people die, and everyday people are born.

I guess these are depressing, morbid thoughts. But maybe it’s important to remember that having a good day is a blessing. Around every corner that worst day of your life may be waiting. So at the end of a lovely day like today – one in which nothing extraordinary happened but everything seemed just right – I take the time to just feel. Take a deep breath and pay attention to that strange warm feeling in my chest and the song I have stuck in my head. In this moment I am happy, and I don’t ever want to forget what that feels like.

Drunk

So… I got drunk for the first time last night.

            I would like to preface this by saying that I am 20 years old and it was 100% legal since I’m currently in the UK (where the drinking age is 18). Also, I was very responsible about the whole thing: I was with friends who I knew would look after me, I drank lots of water and ate before I went to bed, and I didn’t actually drink a whole lot. Oh, and I absolutely do not endorse binge drinking / underage drinking / alcoholism or anything else like that and I’m really not trying to glorify drinking (I feel like this is a huge problem in our society – both back home in the US and here in the UK). Okay, now that that’s out of the way, I thought my experience last night was pretty damn entertaining and I’d like to share it with you, dear internet.

I had to wait in line at the bar for half an hour to get my first drink (I use the term “line” very loosely, it was more like a crazed mash of thirsty college kids). I was touched more in those thirty minutes than all month combined, and I felt violated. By the way, if you have a boyfriend/girlfriend: get your hands off of each other! I get it, you are together! I don’t need to see you making out, grinding, or hanging on each other all night. I thought the whole experience was quiet stressful, until I saw the poor employees. I don’t know how they even get a chance to breathe.

Anyway, I had one drink (a vodka-lemonade) and then went to dance with my friends for a while. I’m a pretty crappy dancer, but half the people there were drunk and it was dark and loud so I doubt anyone noticed. An hour later I managed to get another drink – a double this time. I drank it pretty darn fast, and by the time I finished I was having a hard time standing up straight. I was honestly surprised by how much the alcohol affected me. I guess it was because I hadn’t eaten in several hours and hadn’t been drinking much water before we went out. My friend had one more drink than me and seemed completely sober. Granted, I’m only five feet tall and have pretty much no tolerance.

I quite liked being drunk. Maybe I was just delusional, but I felt like my brain was working just fine, I’d just lost my filter between my thoughts and my actions and words. I was dancing like a loon, and it felt good! We had to walk through the extremely packed club and I pushed right through people without any hesitation. I usually hate large crowds and avoid touching people. I remember stepping on a guy’s foot and stopping to pat him on the arm and say I was sorry – all while giggling.

We didn’t stay long after I started feeling drunk, probably because my friends were worried when I started grabbing onto the wall for support. When we got our coats I smiled at the coat-guy (er, whatever they’re called) in a way that I never smile at guys. I’m extremely shy when it comes to men, but I think I may have been flirting! I don’t flirt. Ever. My friend said to me “I think you might be a little drunk” and I just yelled “I’m DRUNK!!!! Wooooooo!” That pretty much sums up what I was feeling.

When we left we had to weave our way through the line of people who were just starting their night. I pushed right through everyone… okay, I stumbled through everyone. I tripped over a group of guys and they cheered. I know this may sound embarrassing, but I still think it was pretty funny. Guys never pay attention to me, so I was pretty thrilled. We walked down the path, and I ended up walking through the grass because I just couldn’t help but walk in zigzags. As we walked away I said, very loudly, to my friends “I want to make out with the bartender!!” Hahaha, I still think it’s funny. But it was true at the time – he was a guy in one of my classes, not just some random stranger.

I found all of this extremely amusing. I think part of it was that I was still thinking quite clearly. I thought that the way that I was acting/walking/talking was just hilarious and so out of character for me, and that’s what was making me laugh. I never did anything that I regret, I was still capable of making good choices, and I still remember every single moment from last night. I guess I was just at the perfect level of drunk, and I hope that in the future I’m not tempted to go beyond that level of drunk. For now, I’ve gone as far as I want to. Who knows, maybe next time I’ll make out with the bartender.

The Guy on the Bus

            I’ve just returned from a week-long whirl-wind adventure in London and Edinburgh, but there is something I just can’t get off my mind: the guy on the bus. I don’t even know how to explain all of the exciting things I did while traveling, it’s just too much to get my head around. But I can get my head around this.

            I don’t believe in love at first sight, but when this guy sat next to me I was thinking “Yes! The hot guy is sitting next to me!” What was even more impressive: he talked to me! OK, so maybe I was a little too excited about this, but I’ve had far too many experiences sitting next to strangers who do not talk (I have no right to judge, I don’t start conversations either). He wore his seatbelt… on a bus! I was impressed: this is a guy who follows rules. He talked to me about the pandas in the zoo, so he must like animals. And he was smart. What more could a girl ask for?

            Unfortunately we had to switch busses after only forty minutes, but I ended up sitting behind him on the next bus. Time goes by much faster when you have something/someone to daydream about. And I could overhear him talking. I know I sound like a total creep for eavesdropping, but I just really liked his accent. Did I mention the best part: he was Scottish!

            When the bus pulled into the station he asked if I was staying in Manchester for the night, I told him no (because that was the truth) but I can’t help but wonder what he would have said if the answer was yes? When I threw my bag over my shoulder I gave him one last glance before I walked away, and it almost looked like he wanted to say something. But maybe that’s just my mind playing tricks on me.

            We always hear stories about those people who meet their soul mates in the most unexpected of places and things just click. But what if you meet them and never see them again? I’m not saying that this guy is my soul mate – I talked to him for less than an hour for goodness sake – but I liked him and I think that he may have even liked me too.

            This all makes me wonder: if each person has one soul mate who they are meant to be with (I’m not saying that I necessarily believe this, but it sounds nice), will fate bring them together? What if you only have one shot? My grandma met my grandpa when he came into the restaurant where she was waitressing, he gave her a ride home and they married a few months later. My dad met my mom in a bar, he asked her to dance a dozen times before she said yes. What if he had given up (like a sane person)? What if my grandpa had chosen a different restaurant? Would they have crossed paths again, or would they have never met?

            These are questions that no one will ever be able to answer, and that’s OK. I know that I will probably never see the guy from the bus ever again, but I know that next time I’m in Manchester, I’ll be looking.

The Dirt (A Very Short Story)

I haven’t published any fiction in a while, so I may be a bit rusty. I’m going to try to post at least one fiction piece per month. We’ll see how that goes… Anyway, this was just something I was experimenting with, it might be awful – but there is just something I kind of like about it. Hope it’s somewhat enjoyable (I swear, I’m not crazy):

            So, I was walking through the forest the other day and I just couldn’t stop looking at the dirt. It was one of those moments in life when you see something totally mundane, something that you see all the time, but this time it’s just super interesting for some reason.

            What is dirt? What is it really? Bits of all things dead? Bits of all things living? Or is it some strange combination of the two? Can you imagine if all things were a combination of dead and alive? This is the point where I started imagining people going about their days, just like everything is normal, but with dead bodies everywhere.

            Your grandpa dies in bed of a heart attack, and you just leave him there. Maybe someone chokes to death at dinner, and you never need to find anyone else to fill their chair. Road kill remains in the road, half eaten by vultures, or whatever. Dead bodies floating in rivers, filling up convalescent homes and hospitals. And the living just go about their day as if there aren’t rotting corpses in every corner.

            A crazy thought, I know. But looking down at the dirt, it sort of occurred to me that we kind of already do that. The dead are underground or burned to ashes, but they’re still somewhere. We can’t make them disappear; we can just pretend they aren’t there. That’s what the dirt is really made of: the things we want to ignore.