Saturday, January 10, 2009

Love and Flying Saucers

NOTE: Moved to this blog from "Modern Artifacts"

I'm apparently on a love story jag right now. Below is a scene from a story that is not fully fleshed out but I liked the analogy one of characters makes about first sights and so forth. How is it that one special person can affect you so much that it can shake you to your core? It is outright interesting, exhilarating and a bit scary all at once. Such an event does remind us that we are humans, I suppose.

Maybe next week I'll write something less gushy, but for the last few weeks, romance has dominated my thoughts. Imagine, a man my age engaging in such frivolous mental pursuits!

Oh well, I do hope to finish this story someday.

Love and Flying Saucers

“I remember the first time I ever saw her,” I explained, “and without knowing it, that day changed everything.”

We had been sitting in the darkened tavern for the better part of an afternoon. Outside, rain continued to cause customers to run ducking in, let out a sigh and give a silly grin to everyone in the room as if to say, “hey, I made it!!” It doesn’t rain much in my neck of the woods, the southern California weather is as predictable as the phases of the moon – small gradual changes with the occasional surprise storm happening as often as a lunar eclipse. But here in San Francisco, especially at Pompeii’s Grotto at the Wharf, if you didn’t like the weather just wait 20 minutes, it’ll change.

My friend sitting across from me had known me for years. Unlike other male buddies, I shared a great deal of my inner thoughts and feelings with him and he likewise with me. We called it “revealing our feminine side” to one another. It was a bonding without fear of being judged. We saw ourselves as nothing less than more fully evolved male type humans. Obviously.

A few stiff drinks didn’t hurt to loosen the tongue either, and both of us were definitely in the reveal-inner-secrets-mode. But this time was different. I was doing most of the talking and by observing the look on my face, he knew I had never been so sincere. This conversation was the back story of all back stories. If ever a straight man could reveal his heartfelt emotions to another, this was the time and place.

“How so?” he asked.

I knew the answer but didn’t know if I could explain it well enough with two martinis in me. But he asked so I tried. “Imagine that your entire life had been spent on an island. You were born there, raised there and everything you knew about the world was contained within that island. For all you knew, this island was the entire world. You’d be happy because you didn’t know anything else and thought that life would follow a particular pattern since that is what you were always told and lead to believe the world existed a certain way,” I began. “You think you understand everything…you’ve got the entire view of the entire world as you know it to be.”

“Where is this going, Tyson?” he groaned.

“Hang with my analogy for a bit, just drink your drink and listen,” I replied. Shifting in my seat and looking at the half-submerged olive in my glass, I continued. “Okay, so one day a sailing ship lands at the beach…NO, a space ship lands on the beach and out walks people that look like us but begin telling you things that make no real sense and pretty much impossible to understand at first.”

“They say that you’re living on an island and that the world doesn’t begin and end here and that there are many different places to see, things to do and people to meet. And they tell you that all of your ideas about the world are wrong and then they prove it to you by showing you pictures and movies and let you experience the world as it really is with some weird device that downloads all of this information to you in an instant.” I took a gulp of the cool vodka and finished my point.

“Then after they take the machine off of your head, they stand back and say, ‘Well, whattaya think NOW, smart guy?’ What are you going to think, what are you going to do and how are you going to feel?”

He looked after a bit and said, “Well, I probably wouldn’t believe them at first. Then I might be depressed that everything I thought was right, was in fact wrong.”

I smiled, “Exactly my point, my wise friend. Your comfortable niche and view of life and the world has been shown to be flawed at best because it was based on limited information. Eventually you’d be pissed either at your world for deceiving you or the space people for bursting your bubble and proving you were wrong all of your measly life. That’s what happened when I first saw her.”

“The moment I saw her, everything changed. The real world, a world of other possibilities came into focus and it scared the bejezus outta me. In fact, it still shakes me up now and again.” I said.

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