Thursday, October 06, 2005

Q as in Coupon

A lady said that to me on the phone once. You know how people always say "V as in Victor?" This black lady was giving me her password for her website when I worked at Tahitian Noni International, and she said "S as in syphilis, E as in eye, and Q as in Coupon." I couldn't tell if she was stupid or hilarious.

So Chris tells me I need to write something amazing to make up for my not having written for the last week while the internet was on the blink. The problem is, I never know what to write about. I wish my blog could illuminate the entire human experience. I wish people could read it and know in that moment exactly what it's like to be me. But I can't even write about things as fast as new things are happening to me. There's just no way. Like what Ed Harris' character says in "The Hours":

"I wanted to write about it all, everything that happens in a moment. Way the flowers looked when you carried them in your arms. This towel, how it smells, how it feels, this thread, all our feelings, yours and mine. The history of it. Who we once were, everything in the world, everything all mixed up. Like it's all mixed up now. And I failed. I failed... no matter what you start with, it ends up being so much less... "

I was told by a friend today that I am hard to read. I get told that by my friends all the time. How can that be? I spend most of my social energy on being straightforward. Have I failed so completely? Even my best friends tell me that I'm hard to read. Possible reasons why:

1. I spent so much time in my youth hiding "who I really was" that now I've become inaccessible.

2. (This is my guess) I am so interested in other people and how they think and feel and exist that I forget to let thim into my world, as well. I feel like such an alien in the world. Sometimes people realize that I'm cutting them open and seeing how they work, that I've got them tied down in my spaceship, and it disconcerts them. Sorry, folks.

3. I'm just so open that I actually say all the things I'm thinking and people just assume there must be more.

4. I am shielding you all from the bizarre and banal thoughts in my head. We're sitting there having a conversation, and while I'm talking to you about how delicious the spaghetti is you think "I wonder what he is really thinking about, and whether he likes this spaghetti or he's just saying that, and if he's lying then is he doing it because he likes me or because he's trying to avoid having to talk to me about it?" and I'm thinking, "Man, I wonder why there aren't really any colors that start with 'D.' I mean, I guess there's 'dandelion,' but that seems like a stretch, and Crayola only carried that color for less than ten years, anyway. And it's kinda cheap to count colors that are just named after some flower. I wonder whether violets were named after the color, or whether the color got its name from the flower. Maybe it was just 'purple' before that. Man, this is good spaghetti."

I have a feeling it's a bit of all four.


Those of you who read my blog and saw my concert last week can tell the rest how great it was. Lend me some credibility so next time I invite people top something, they come. Some really hot girls from my ward came, actually. That made me swell with happiness.

I made friends with the first chair violinist afterward. The kid is really cool. I introduced myself at Pinetree's behest, and we ended up hanging out after both nights of the concert. After the Friday concert we went on a nice little hike with Wiggle and Blue Shorts and Pinetree and everybody. We also had pizza at an underground place called "The Pie." That pizza was incredible. The Violinist invited me to do the whole conference thing at his cabin. So I did.

We drove up on Saturday morning. The cabin is at Sundance. We(when I say we I am including two other strangers who were there; there was nothing illicit going on, dirty people) listened to the Saturday morning session on the radio. It was pretty cold up there, so we sat with quilts, and then when the sun hit the porch I moved outside to the deck. The air was redolent with the smells of decaying leaves and pine smoke, and carried the sounds of the nearby stream and the wind through the aspen trees. Every time the chilly breeze picked up at all, the golden maple leaves would come tumbling all around us as though we were in a giant mystical snow globe. White and orange butterflies intermingled with the leaves. The trees themselves were yellow with a sun-kissed red spot at the top, exactly like a peach. I basked in the warm sunlight and the warmer spirit, listening to the words of the speakers. President Faust's words struck me particularly, as he spoke of gaining the image of Christ in our countenance and surrounding ourselves with those who have the light of Christ in their eyes. And about how the lord leaves us alone for a while to see if we will be righteous in the dark. I have always thought that: that maybe the good I do while the sun is high and the days are long just gets stored up for the long winters I invariably encounter from time to time--a sort of spiritual hibernation. Now I have to go read "The Ant and the Grasshopper" again. I think there might be more to that story. Maybe it's just the Greek version of the ten virgins.

Well, after that session, we hiked up to the waterfall. At one point, as we were crossing the logs over the stream that meanders through the meadow up there, a stiff wind came up and the motley forest to our left came ablaze with millions of tiny leaves flying high up to the sky and raining down all around us. We got up to the waterfall and I ran into my old friends Josh and Megan, and their baby. That was strange, since they live in California, but I was very happy to see them. My new friends and I sat around and sang hymns in four-part harmony over the roar of the falls and amid the flecks of white water that surrounded us like a mist.

We went back to the cabin, and listened to the rest of Saturday's conference (I must say I loved the tag-team combo if Elders Oaks and Holland--my two favorite apostles--on the whole woman issue). The Violinist made whole-wheat spaghetti (the new friends are hippies, by the way), and it was great to sit and be nourished physically and spiritually.

Sunday we had even more friends, and so we baked biscuits and cinnamon rolls with home-made lemon glaze and we had fresh-baked bread with home-made apricot jam, and mango juice, and pine nuts and yogurt. It was incredible. Sunday followed the same pattern as Saturday had, except that this time we lit a fire in the huge two-story fireplace, and sat in the couches in front of it as we listened, looking out the humongous single-pane windows that stretched from floor to ceiling on either side. There were stellar jays on the deck, and the leaves continued to shed themselves for our benefit.

When conference had ended, we listend to classical music and read books. The cabin was chock-full of bookshelves, which held, between the candles and teddy bears and model sailboats and pine cones and other bric-a-brac, tons of books. There were Caldecott winners and classics and camic books and religious books. We all sat there serenely, sanguinely reading and looking at nature and listening to the music and smelling the fire and feeling the glow of happiness and friendship. The entire experience was sublime.

Once upon a time I would have felt antsy about not doing anything, and not talking, but I think I am past that now. I just sat there and enjoyed the feeling I was having, and the knowledge that it was okay for me to feel that happy.

Anyway, if you find yourself wondering what's really happening in my head these days, it's probably a lot of this stuff, recycling through.

I have to go to work now, but one more story for the benefit of some ladies in Colorado:

I got home from work the other day and my roommate said, "Someone called for you. It sounded like Satan."

I laughed. "How do you know what Satan sounds like?" I chided.

"No, she said her name, and it sounded like she said 'Satan.'"

"Oh. That makes sense."

Sure enough, the message said, "Hey, smurf, this is Satan Satan Satan," and then faded out. Then back in the chirpy voice, "Call me back!"

"So how do you know Satan?" retorted my roommate.

"Oh. It's my mom." Thanks, mom. It's nice to have characters like you in my life so I can write about them. You're so weird. Elder Oaks says we can't get released from our families, so I guess there will be a lot more stories like this one in the future. Weirdo.


Anonymous said...

Smurf, you are so cool. We have been friends for only a short while and there are many miles betwixt us, but I hope we can eventually find ourselves nearer both in friendship and geography. Until then, I'll continue to faithfully read your blog.

blueshorts said...

Satan, eh? That's one hell of a family you've got Smurf (sorry, it was just too easy).

blueshorts said...

On another note, if you've yet to look it up, both uses of violet appear to have come into common usage about the same time, 1380. However, there is at least one recorded instance of violet as a flower as early as 1330. So I would guess that the name of the flower came first.

Toasteroven said...

Reason #1 accounts for 90% of it, #4 for 5 of it (which is kind of an extension of 1 anyway), and the rest for 2 and 3, which I don't buy, because of # 1. That's seriously it, man. If you think about it hard enough and the stuff that's gone on between us you'll see that that's what's given you more problems than most of the other stuff.

Also, you're the only person I know who's mom is crazier than

Star said...

I love that she said "S as in syphilis." Precious.