Friday, July 10, 2009

True Story.

There was a pretty girl in the hot tub tonight. She was having an "awful day. Absolutely the worst." It's a Friday, and so every male not on a date (about fifteen) was also in the hot tub, and as she was certainly pretty, she instantly garnered the attention and concern of all of us.

What's wrong? we asked. "A guy rejected me!" came the horrible reply.

Shocked gasps from those assorted. A few stifled chuckles from a certain few (I admit my participation therein).

She continued, "I can count on one hand how many times I've been rejected, and that was one of them." She raised her right hand out of the steaming water and waved it in the air for the more visual learners, a look of preposterous shock and disgust on her face, as though merely the sight of those damning, rejection-representing fingers insulted her by their existential necessity. In the fingers' defense, it's not as though they could help it.

A young fellow who'd come with her countered that the rejector in question had not rejected her, that he'd merely vacated his seat to get a glass of water, but our victimized heroine was adamant. "He rejected me. He definitely rejected me. He rejected me right in front of me. I know. I was there. He rejected me to my face." Her companion insisted that the offender meant no such thing by the gesture.

By way of a quick vote, it was determined by those assembled that the matter of whether it was a TRUE REJECTION had to be concluded by an impartial third-party, represented by a committee headed by yours truly (appointed as I was by unanimous decision on account of my speaking voice), and whose membership comprised of all other males in the hot tub (with the exception of a few exchange students from Japan who had no interest in the matter and soon left to have chicken wars in the pool).

From the testimonies of the two witnesses present at the scene of the so-called "rejection" has been the following description of the relationship between the victim and the offender, as well as the event itself:

They had hung out for two weeks now as part of a larger group. He was nice, smart and handsome. They had spent Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday at group activities. Then, earlier today, she had seen him sitting on a couch at another gathering of friends. She had sat on the opposite side of the couch ("not right next to him or anything" the victim made clear to us), when the horrible fellow had actually stood up, fetched himself a glass of water from across the room, and sat on another couch without so much as a howdy-do.

Upon the conclusion of the story, the Committee of Impartial Third-Partiness held its collective breath, waiting for the rest of the story. As spokesman, it rested upon me to voice the question:


The reply?

"I can't believe he actually would reject me like that."

Wishing somewhat to soften the blow for this sadly confused individual, I asked if the young man was aware that she liked him.

"I'm pretty sure that his roommate has told him that I might like him maybe. I even pretended to like chess, for crying out loud!" She also reminded me that they had been hanging out for two weeks as part of a larger group, and also that this group had hung out three days before today this very week (Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday, to be exact).

I expressed that I held such evidence as very circumstantial. I believe my exact phrasing was "So?" I informed her that we were in fact talking about a male, an adolescent male what's more, one of the most terrifically oblivious creatures to stumble about on God's Green Earth. In all likelihood, unless you've told him yourself that you like him, it is highly unlikely that he is even aware of your interest.

"But it's his job to do tell me he likes me, not mine," she insisted, quite blissfully unaware of the howling error of logic lying within that tepid pool of thought.

I attempted to enlighten her of this particular monstrosity explaining that sometimes guys don't know that they like someone until such a relationship is presented through a wonderful tool known as communication. To my understanding, I stated for the Committee, I see no evidence that the boy is even aware that you like him, and that therefore his rejection, if it could even be called such, must have been done in ignorance, and not as the horrible drama it had been presented as. I encouraged her to tell him how she felt, saying that oftentimes the direct approach is exactly what is needed.

"It's creepy when people are direct, though," she countered.

You would rather it be all deceit and guile?

"Well, it's his job anyways to tell me that he likes me, not mine," she said.

Perhaps he doesn't like you, I said, by way of hypothetical exercise.

The reaction was, as you can probably imagine, immediate, dreadful and violent.

"Why wouldn't he like me? Everyone likes me! I've never met anyone who doesn't like me! If he doesn't like me then he must be an idiot. Or gay. I can count on one hand how many guys have ever rejected me. One hand!" (She deigned it necessary once more to present her hand for our viewing, this time the left one.) "Why wouldn't he like me? I'm amazing! I'm prettier than any other girl who comes to this pool." (An untrue statement.)

Eventually she got what she needed to out of her system while the Committee sat silent in (slightly offended and indignant) shock, a few dunking their heads under water to ostensibly wet their faces (we all knew otherwise, of course, and sat jealous of their quick thinking, as not all of us could suddenly go beneath the water to escape the blood-thirsty tirade).

I would suggest moving on, I said to her. The rest nodded their agreement.

"Oh, I have," she said, nodding with us sagely, "I'm done with him. He had his chance with me. I've totally moved on."

The Committee sat still and silent, confusion screwing our brows into interesting arrangements. Then why did we just go over all of that? I put forth.

"Because he's a jerk. He actually rejected me. He had his chance," she said. She stood out of the hot tub, hot water steaming off her embarrassing swimwear. "This water's too hot. Anyone want to go into the pool?"

Naturally, we all declined.


Monday, July 6, 2009

The Silvered Road

The Silvered Road
Dane Ficklin

Wanderlust and restlessness
Called him from his bed one night;
He sent himself upon the road
While the moon above shone bright.

A fog moved between the hills,
Mist wove amid the leafy trees,
The lamps lit fire to golden pools
By dark windowed homes of shady dreams.

His footsteps did not tire nor wane,
As the journey thrilled his heart.
No thought gave he of turning back
While the golden lamps drew more apart.

A mile he walked, and a mile more;
The city vanished far behind.
And as lamplight now was scarce indeed,
Disquiet grew within his mind:

For the final lamp now shone before
An expanse of shaded mystery,
And he paused within the shining light,
Torn between the future and his history.

He looked then upon the path -
A silver ribbon 'neath moon and star;
His route was there, beneath the sky,
With dreams lain out both near and far.

Thus, firm of mind and set in course,
He stepped without the golden light.
He sent himself upon the road
While the moon above shone bright.

And so he walks and wanders still,
A trail of silver shows the way:
The moon above looks down at night,
And the sunshine leads him in the day.

And when he sleeps a whisp'ring voice
Murmurs softly in his ear:
"Your dreams await you now, my child,
You have nothing now to fear."


Sunday, July 5, 2009

Who Would've Thought

BE YE WARNED: This blog is more random than a Doctor Steel album.

Is it weird that I sometimes look myself up on google? No? Good. Because sometimes I look myself up on google, just to make sure I haven't been put up on "Most Wanted" lists or anything like that.

In sooth, I jest.

I found this article written by an old friend of mine. It's strange... I remember that night clearly. In fact, I wrote a few blogs on the occasion myself. It was my birthday. I don't usually think of myself as someone who makes a difference in someone's life, or who can positively (or negatively) influence the course. It's strange for me to consider. I'm not used to it.

On another note: Another party! Or rather, another night spent with new folks. I don't know if they're friends yet. There's that whole rating system to deal with (don't think me a cad for suggesting it, because I KNOW it's much the same for most of you):

Acquaintance (a person whose face (not name) I will recognize in a certain environment but woefully (blissfully?) ignorant of outside of that habitat);

Lowercase friend (a person with a conversational history or with whom mutual benevolent attitude is shared: I may be aware of their name - I'm dreadful with them);

Uppercase Friend (a person with whom I spend time with in social settings, (i.e. parties, movie nights, car trips, performances) and with whom I engage in frequent conversation, the topic of which is generally of no real specific import other than the task at hand);

Best Friend (a person with whom trust is given freely and returned in kind, a person with whom I spend a great deal of time thinking on, and whose concerns are both shared and mirrored by me);

Dear Friend (a person of singular importance and trust from whom no secret is withheld, who knows intuitively when something is wrong even when a smile is on your face, who overlooks your failures and tolerates your successes, who knows everything there is to know about you and is still there every time you need them. You would gladly give your life for one such as this, and think it an even trade.)

Anyways, these new folks, some of the first I've met since coming up here... they're certainly above acquaintance level. They've included me two nights in a row for outings and I know their names (which is odd, for me). A., outgoing, friendly and a fan of fireworks, pines for his gal in Idaho, W. is a friendly sort who always seems preoccupied and busy even when sitting watching a movie, like his hand he's been dealt is making decisions for him without consent. Don't get me wrong, he's a swell fellow with an incredible smoke cooker, courteous and generous. Then there's H. a lovely miss who resembles Audrey Hepburn in nearly every way from looks to spunk (an unflattering sounding word that does no justice to the sentiment), as well as incredible fashion sense.

... Heh.

I think I just realized why so many guys have tried to get me to come out of the closet. Sorry, but straight men can also be sensitive (while tough) and fashionable (yet rugged). This calls for...


My Top Five (5) Occupational Choices/ Categories (I'm so indecisive... there are worse things to be):
1. Novelist/Screen-/Playwright
2. Musical/ Theatrical Performer
3. Fashion/ Interior Designer/ Architect
4. Park Ranger (Or any job that gets me out into glorious nature)
5. Painter (which, incidentally, is my current profession)

Civilized society (and especially the Church) encourages us to become as well-rounded as possible, to cultivate not only our minds and bodies, but also our sensibilities and tastes. It helps that so many aspects of artistic culture are so intricately interlinked (music, dance, sculpture, architecture, painting) and that within each of these categories lie categories which progress, develop and expand ad infinitum, and that beauty in physical, emotional and spiritual form can be found through so many diverse mediums. Are we not taught to "seek after these things"?

I'm a lover of beauty. Of creation. Of emotion made physical and tangible, or perhaps just more ethereal and penetrating. The world needs more.

That's all for now. I'm to bed; I need to help set up the Sacrament in the morning (I love being able).


Friday, July 3, 2009

Speak ye?

I'm happy where I am, with who I am, and with what I'm doing. I don't know many people here, and I suppose that's much to do with my dreadful habit of spending my nights watching films on my laptop on my massive bed, but that hasn't happened so much of late. I've been swimming a lot, nearly every night now for the past two weeks, and even though I don't know many people, a night doesn't pass where I fail to make a new acquaintance. It still surprises me (a bit) and confuses me (a little) when complete strangers take to me like a long-lost relative, and soon we're romping around playing very rough basketball, throwing elbows and shoulders and anyone smaller than ourselves (my favorite part). I guess that's just Provo. I still hold myself as hard to get to know, and while that has yet to be disproved, the fact that I am easy to talk to is becoming more and more clear.

Who would've thought. :) Little wonders.

It's probably got a lot to do with the way I talk. I hate calling it an accent (it makes me feel weird and, well, kind of like a freak) but it's the first thing that people notice when I'm talking around them. "Do you have an accent? Where's it from?" I counted, the other day, how many times I had to explain my entire locational history since birth (Oregon, Canada, Ohio, Indiana, Washington, Idaho, Washington, Mexico, Arizona, Utah), and you will notice that nowhere in there is anyplace outrageously foreign (Canada is, at best, moderately foreign). Ten times. It was a Sunday, so that might explain it (Church and all).

Funny story: My junior year was my second year living in Washington, and for the first two or three weeks of it I had several people question me on why I was still there. Apparently I was believed to be a foreign exchange student by some of them. Heh. Weird.

It's tiring, and somewhat embarrassing, for reasons mentioned previously, but even so, it's my thing, and it makes me feel kinda neat even as it embarrasses me. It's what I've done my entire life. My mom says I've talked that way since I was a little kid. A customer of mine a few months ago was a speech pathologist, and she swore it was from Canada. I've never heard a Canadian speak like that (nor anyone else, for that matter), but who am I to argue with a PhD? But I digress. It's my thing, my little slice of uniqueness, and it adds a little flavor to, well, me. I think most everyone has that one thing, that one quirk that makes them stand out from the crowd, if not readily then at least after a bit of observation.

It doesn't really matter though. Not in the end. I don't think I can take credit for making new friends... ever, now that I think of it. Looking at it from a removed distance, I can definitely see how I put off a show of indifference and aloofness, which (admittedly) merely masks a more pervasive trait of shyness... which is weird to say as well. I do talk easily to people, at least when answering questions, but unless I know and trust them I almost never offer information beyond that. I like to keep people at a safe distance, so that I can't hurt them and they can't hurt me. ... It's pathetic, but I've got to work on it. I mean, for crying out loud, I even do it with my own family! I'm not sure I'm linked with anyone's morphic field right now, which is a silly little thing. Ah, well. It could always be worse.

Much worse. Because, right now, I'm happy where I am, with who I am, and with what I'm doing.