Sunday, February 22, 2009

The One That Got Away.

I had this vivid dream the other night, and I couldn't wake up - didn't want to wake up - even when I was supposed to help a friend move. And so I selfishly willed myself not to wake up. (Sorry Parkie.) It's not often that I have dreams, let alone remember them. But for some reason, I can't seem to shake this one, mostly because of who was in it. If ever there was a one that got away, this would be him. And I didn't want him to disappear.

I try not to let myself ruminate on boys past, and I often don't. With the exception of one. I suppose it was unlikely that we would have ever met, were it not for a single mutual friend. And even the memories that I have are random. A trip here, a storied confession there. Random questions and random locations, and me being ever so clueless. Knowing, yet not knowing. Denial, perhaps, sprinkled with a dash (okay, more than a dash) of ill-fated timing.

But when I explained my theory on timing, I had a friend call me out on this: "What you're doing is romanticizing the fact that you screwed up and were too immature to see what was right in front of you," he said. "Don't relegate this to timing - it's all on you."

Maybe he's right.

But maybe, you can't help what life stage you happened to be in and when, and it happens that way for a reason.

I'm not entirely convinced I believe in 'the one that got away.' Rather, I'm not convinced I want to believe it. Truth be told, it sounds completely one-sided - a creation in retrospect following a need to assign significance to events and possibilities past. I don't know that I like the idea of that. I guess I just don't like the idea of regrets, period, however nebulous. It is in some ways nothing more than a justification of a lack of foresight. And where is the closure in that?

Yeah, I wonder. I suppose I'll always wonder. Who knows if it would have even worked? Maybe, maybe not. Although it's been a while, I'm surprised to find he's still there, hiding out in the recesses of my mind, resurfacing in fleeting memories where I felt more alive than I can remember.

But things happen for a reason. And I'm a firm believer of that.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Defying Gravity.

It's a Saturday afternoon, you walk into this place, and the regulars are doing their thing on various apparatus. Scott, the instructor, greets you, and you immediately take a liking to him and his quips. It's almost like a regular gymnastics gym - chalk bins and flexible people stretching and practicing handstands against the walls. And then you look up and see the net and trapeze bars and wonder how on earth this place came to exist. But you're glad it did.

And then you start watching the people around you. One starts bounding on the trampoline - using his body rather than feet. Bouncing off his chest, reaching the heights of the trampoline net. And in the corner of your eye, you see the guy juggling what resembles 8 orange bowling pins. The girl who was stretching on the mats next to you is now spinning upside down, contorting into forms seemingly unnatural to humans.

And then you snap back to reality and remember why you're here - trapeze. Trapeze, like surfing, is one of those things you figure would just come naturally to you. On your first attempt, you'd master the catch and release without a second thought. It looked easy enough.. on tv, that is.

Dora and Jennings saunter over and spot you as they walk you through the steps to trapezing. Step 1: Practice swinging your legs over a practice bar while Dora gives your butt a little shove. Step 2: Practice on actual trapeze bar, 20 feet in the air. Whatever happened to steps 1a, b, and z?

But all delusion melts away as you climb the long ladder to the podium. And as you grab the bar, right hand, then left, step off the podium and screeeeeeaaaam, the terror/delight/exhilaration rushes to you, and for that moment, you feel more alive than you have in ages.