White Christmas

Craig Romrell saw me on the road on Thursday, just after I got off the bus at Albertson’s near my house.  He called me later and offered to drive me to the singles ward, which he said was on… 2800 East 3000 South, I think.  He has been chosen as the elders quorum president.
 
I started working as a crossing guard again on Monday.  School started two weeks before that, but I still had classes to go to, so my supervisor Paula got another guy to substitute, whose school doesn’t start till the 28th.  That intersection is already back to the circus I remember.  Some crazy guy down there keeps crossing right before the red, the drivers are still terribly rushed or inattentive, some of the nicer kids are already threatening me with snowballs come winter, and I almost saw two fights erupt from moronic, anger-addicted street kids on their baby bikes almost getting hit by cars.  I travel by bus now, and sometimes the State Street bus is up to 5 or 6 minutes late, screwing up my tight schedule.  The weighty passengers (most of whom seem to be smokers, and many of whom seem mentally defective) take the longest they can to get on and off the bus, and the drivers sometimes seem oblivious to their schedule.  This is not Korea.  The other routes are timelier, though.
 
I said my schedule was tight, but it’s about to get tighter.  I tried getting my supervisor to only schedule me in the mornings because I was carless and thought I couldn’t make it in time.  She said she’d try, although she wasn’t thrilled with the idea since it was hard to find somebody willing to work only one hour.  I mentioned that I could try again to re-arrange my schedule, and she encouraged me.  I went to school and looked long and hard at the bus timetables, and surprisingly found that after switching one class time, I apparently would be able to fit in the afternoon shift after all, travelling by bus.  I let Paula know.  I would have to miss a little time from two other classes to catch the bus, but one of them’s a repeat anyway.  I thought it would be worth the income, which will be nearly 800 more dollars for the semester.  Next summer, I’ll surely take that awaited Mongolia trip.  And then… …I’ll be an old man, I guess.  Or anyway, it’ll be another good wait before I travel again.
 
My maternal cousin Alyssa, Carl’s daughter, had a wedding this week, a guy named Hennefer.  We visited the reception last night.  Some relatives were there, and the food was nice.  I found out my cousin Ryan was going to be teaching a lesson in the singles ward.  Anyway, they performed this disgusting tradition of throwing the bride’s "garter" to the guys.  I refused to participate until seeing the trouble my uncle was having rounding up the young men; but even then, I stood behind the others.  In fact, none of us wanted to be up there.  The groom flipped the thing, and the poor guy in the front reflexively snatched it before it hit the ground, as the rest of us stood like statues.  What a sick idea, anyway, hurling that garment.  I find most of our cultural wedding ‘musts’ to be idiotic, in fact.  One of my wishes is that I not fall in love with a girl who demands to put on such stupid shows and do things she doesn’t understand in the slightest just because others have done it.  On the other hand, I would gladly take part in a well-understood, carefully researched tradition, especially a synthesis or duplication of cultures, that was performed entirely for meaning and not at all for obligation.
 
That, by the way, was my complaint against my second Canadian friend — that she lived as she did without understanding why.  We stopped talking last week, intentionally.  She was a bright girl with some potential… but I just got tired one day of seeing her type like a thug, mimicking the stupidity around her.  There was just too much brainless Canadian boy inside of her.  These poor, dumb Internet kids…  Their subculture fences them in, turning them into grazing livestock.  And anyway, she had insisted too much on closeness, which, although it was beginning to wear me down, was never my idea in the first place.
 
Now then… my FIRST Canadian friend… I also stopped talking with, months ago.  But she asked me some time ago for the pictures I’d taken on my trip there.  So, that’s what these videos are.  I’ll put more on, and then I’ll put all the relevant pictures into an album here.
 
The first video is not of Canada; that’s a Christmas video I made in January of 2007.  It’s very choppy and could have been edited better, but I refuse to get back into that time-consuming project.  The reason for the bumpiness, of course, is that I fell lame just before Christmas that year, a work injury.  The Taylors are Dave’s parents; Ruth is my mother’s mother.
 
I guess the video finishes up nicely, but the first few songs make me… very sad somehow…
 
…Two reasons, I think.  One, I see the old Tugsuu in it — a girl who was part of my family and part of me, but who is lost somewhere now, perhaps dead — I mean in her own mind.  I tried to hold her up… but… what could I do, in the end…
 
Well, Craig Romrell asked about her on the phone yesterday.  He now openly assumes we were a couple.  I had no good news for him…  I asked him to remember her in his meditations.
 
Anyway, the other reason…  Maybe you noticed the part where I went downstairs to open an IM window on my computer.
 
…I had lost my mobility that Christmas, yes… I had those two sticks, and was as good as a three-legged dog… but it didn’t matter.  I had something much greater.
 
…And I was making that video for her, to show her.
 
I was 24.  She would come the next year…  And the year after that, well… if everything worked out… I’d be doing those same silly traditions, for her sake…
 
…But before I’d even finished making the video…
 
…she was suddenly telling me… how she didn’t need me, didn’t want me anymore…
 
For a week, I couldn’t even begin to believe it.
 
For a month, I didn’t want to accept it.
 
For a year, I wasn’t able to forget it.
 
 
It’s almost two years now.  That dream is faded; the details have left me; the only things left are the whispers that come when I replay that video.  I find myself wondering if I will ever talk with her again.  Yes or no, it’s the same either way.  We inhabit one city again, but two different worlds.  In this new reality, this resurrection, I have no need of such things… and no desire to be the poor fool in front who has to stoop forward and catch that falling band.
 
I’ll surely die childless… standing statuesque among all the others whose hearts have turned hard.
 
Well, I was reading my old journals today, though…  I used to criticize singles.  Anyway, for me, it was always just one girl after the next.  What did it matter if each time was worse?  The love was still seasonal.  …Although this winter seems unseasonably long.
 
But may it last forever, that I never have to cry like that again.  Those girls have given me these ugly wrinkles.  I’m looking like Abe Lincoln, old before my time.
 
I’m still questing, anyway; I haven’t even found my grail yet.  So close, though…
 
-Steve
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