Thursday, June 28, 2012

Tribehouse 2

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Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Facing Fears & Controlled Falling

----The rumbles of the engine, the passengers' screams- pounded in my ears. And I wondered how it would feel to fall.
----"HEY," said Sarah. Poke poke. "Elaine." Why is she pausing like that? "We've been in this line for an hour, right?" An odd look was on her face. I couldn't quite put my finger on it.
----"Yeah," I say, not seeing the point in her words, "And? Wow, imagine how long it must feel like to Moo-" Sara "Moocow" was waiting for us outside, since she refused to go on Bizarro.
----"Ok, that's nice," interrupted Sarah, "Now, we're already this far, so would you turn back now. Like, if I told you that the ride was super scary?" She was smiling now, in a mischievous way.
----"Oh!" (a brief hersitation), "No way! This stupid roller coaster of yours is wasting an hour of my life!" I exclaimed, throwing my hands into the air for dramatic effect. Did I mention that I didn't even want to be in this line, that I'd rather be standing outside, bored to death, with Moocow? The only reason I was doing this was a bribe of cotton candy and an immense amount of peer pressure. Ok, so maybe I wanted to ride the largest roller coaster in the park a little... But that little bit wasn't greater than my fear of that controlled falling.
----"Well..." began Sarah slowly, "It's actually really scary and you almost go upside-down and there's more big drops, not just the one right there oh and by the way it's super fast." That was in one breath, by the way.
----Hold on. Whaat?
----"Are. You. Freakin'. Kidding. Me?" In my mind, I grabbed her collar, pinned her up against the wall, and shook her violently. In reality, I was throwing my hands in the air, then smacking my forehead with the palm of my right hand. "Ugh."
----"So, you're going to turn back now?" Should I? Could I? There was no obvious way to get out of the line, as far as I could see. Did I really want to waste all the time that I spent, all the tiny particles of anticipation that had collected?
----"Nope," I grinned. I could tell that Sarah was taken aback.
----The rest of the line, although only about fifteen minutes long, was hard to endure. It was hot, people were getting impatient, and I had to pee.
----Finally! Time to board the coaster. I sat in my seat, waited for the attendants, made sure my guard thing was locked and then... instantly regretted it.
----We started to move.
----I can't say much about the actual ride. It was actually pretty amazing. When I worked up the courage, i put my hands up in the air, once. And the going upside-down thing was a lie. Typical Sarah. What I can say is, I can't imagine not having that experience, not riding my first non-wooden roller coaster, not facing my fear.

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

The Looking Glass

The eyes in the sketchook-
Are they not the eyes on the printed page,
In which I have studied so carefully,
The flakes of my skin bushing off
With the dust of the ink?

Those eyes are hollow and heavy lidded,
Sinking into their sockets.
The eyes of an fabled ancient hero,
Stern pupils, channeling souls,
Seeking lost aspirations.

Did a bit of me fall into the eyes
In the careless way that
And in their shape,
The blurred graphite lines,
Why do I see fear?
There is no fear in the looking glass.

Is that drawing a better refection
Than a glass frosted with a sheen of dust
Grasping the edges
Of my being/

But no,
It's not fear.

It's regret.


Food Memoir: Fried

Audrey already had some. She was killing me, the way she slowly crunched down on ever morsel of that delicious fried dough, obviously savoring its greasy crust.

A thin, airy sort of breeze blew by, sending a puff of powdered sugar my way. As it drifted through my nostrils, the craving intensified.

I felt like my stomach was about to eat itself.

I lunged. "Eugh!" squealed Audrey, swiping her plate out of my reach, "Go get your own!"

"I can't!," I whined, "You know that I only have two dollars with me, and you lost my dad." 

"How was it my fault?" We started to bicker.

Long story short, after much ado about nothing, I got my fried dough. And so, our little band of tourists headed to a horse show being run in a building not far from the fried dough stand. 

Oh, the things you could see at The Big E! The show wasn't anything fancy, but hey, it's the thought that counts, right? We were content, sitting in our soft theater style seats and enjoying our (fresh?) pastries. Dad, however, wasn't so gratified. I guess seeing someone else eating a colossal lump of fried carbs can make anyone hungry.

"Let me taste some," said my dad, reaching over to rip a piece. Like Audrey, I immediately snatched it away, in the direction of Audrey. Doing so, a huge cloud of sticky powdered sugar settled upon us.

"Gah!" "Ugh!" We all exclaimed, quickly dusting ourselves off. Audrey wanted to get up and shake her jacket out thoroughly. She commanded that I hold her bag.

You see, the seats weren't huge. They were also the type that snapped up when one got up. So, by standing up, Aud managed to set up a gruesomely sticky chain reaction that makes me feel like washing my hands just thinking about it.

The horse show was long, and so we sat there eating, watching, and giggling. My hunger was satisfied. I was also slowing down. Finally, I actually looked at my plate.


Two thirds of the fried dough was still there! That was freaky. Shouldn't mostly b gone by now? I looked at Audrey's plate. She had even more left over!

Taking another bite, I realized that I didn't feel so good. And Audrey... had stopped eating. Suddenly, a wave of nausea washed over me, and the staleness of the powdered sugar, the hint of- was it lard?- made me feel like I couldn't take another bite.

I forced myself to eat just a little more, for the sake of not wasting. Bleh. "Want some?" I offered Dad, maintaining a sincere face.

"Why?" asked my dad suspiciously.

"Nothing, I just thought you'd like some fried dough," I stated. Innocent. "Geez, didn't you want it before?" Apparently not. Maybe that powdered sugar incident changed his mind.

I grabbed Audrey by the hand. "Come on. We're finished." Then, with great, gallant strides, we marched up to the brown speckle plastic trashcan (who chooses these colors anyway?) and smartly flipped our plates inside.

Thump. Thump. Another- rather foul smelling- powdered sugar cloud. I looked at Aud. Aud looked at me. We grinned, raised out hands slightly, and gave each other a light high five.

"Thank God that stuff is gone," she exclaimed, "Now, let's wash our hands!"

"Don't forget about enjoying the rest of the show!"

Monday, June 4, 2012

Next Week

Things are often harder then they seem, according to Dad. I had no real experience with this, as for most of my life I had no difficulty learning things or accomplishing tasks, and I had often felt contempt and annoyance with my peers who couldn't figure something out.

Basically, I wanted to learn how to play guitar. The clarinet was easy enough, so I felt like the guitar would be no trouble at all. We bought one off the internet, and got some method books from the library. I was eager to get started, and impatient to learn.

The first day, I played for about fifteen minutes before I couldn't take it anymore. The second day, I had bandaids wrapped around my fingers. The third, there were no more bandaids, so I just taped some tissues around the fingers that hurt the most. The fourth day, it actually wasn't so bad. I started to see some callouses on my hands.

A few weeks later, my dad got me a new guitar book which had a different approach. Rather than teaching chords, it taught individual notes. They didn't make my fingers hurt so much.

Throughout the summer, I enjoyed relatively relaxed days, and plenty of time to pursue my musical and artistic whims. Then, fall came. Like the leaves on the trees, my free time was quickly disappearing. Between swimming, middle school, Chinese school, art lessons, fencing, clarinet, and sleeping, there wasn't much time for leisure.

The practicing went from half an hour a day to half an hour a week to fifteen minutes a week to none at all. The ambition of learning something new was slipping away as I tried desperately to simply keep up.

"I'll get back to it," I promised myself, "next week for sure."

"Next week for sure."

"Next week for sure."

One November morning, a huge, messy pile of stuff was on my desk (so much for my resolution to be organized). As I started to pick through it, I mused, "This pile of papers and books. They're all priorities. And it never gets cleaned up, because more and more things just get piled on. My guitar dream, that's at the bottom of the pile. It only exists when everything else has been cleared."

With a sigh, I came clean with myself. I quit. It wasn't the first thing in my life that I didn't live up to my own expectations. And each time, I had promised myself, "It won't happen again. I'll make a change."

The guitar is still in its case, leaning against the wall next to the desk-pile. Perhaps it'll fit in my arms better now, since I've grown? Perhaps the metallic strings won't hurt my fingers anymore, which have been toughened by a crescendo of household tasks and responsibilities.

Perhaps next week.

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Random ascii house... (not part of story)