april, 2006

Sat, 8 Apr 2006 22:09:09 -0700

It's appropriate, I suppose, for me to end the first week of Daylight Savings Time by buying a new watch. The old one has not only been through the washer at the Goat House a few times, had its band destroyed and its second hand slowed, but finally disappeared into the aether of the shuttle Monday morning. I hate losing things, and I'd say I don't often, but recent activity doesn't support me on this one -- my belovèd green scarf that I've had since early high school, which I almost lost behind an upright piano in a practice room at the Humanities building, one night staying late after the UW Symphony's rehearsal, or which I wore all over Paris the winter break of 2001, has now vanished somewhere into the mists of Google; now this Frakensteined watch (newer red band; older, slow-ticking face), which I'd put in my lap (instead of my usual pocket or glasses case, d'oh!) while emailing my way in on the shuttle the other day, but which must have just fallen to the floor when I slammed the powerbook shut, tossed the iPod back in the bag, and rushed off the bus. So, there it is -- along with an hour of sleep last Saturday night, gone.

I started off more upset about the loss of the hour than of the watch. The whole week, everyone has seemed jetlagged. I overcame my sleepiness to join James, back from Argentina, for a tango lesson Wednesday night -- the previous weekend, at a party at Eric's, his roommate Wojtek and five other thirtysomething Europeans started spontaneously tangoing to Gorillaz, which immediately instilled in me a need to learn the dance -- James and I tried to step around the floor in some impenetrable time. Where were the beats? When did you step? Where is that lost hour that makes me stay up until 1 reading, which in turn makes me too tired to concentrate on my footwork the next evening?

But the gain in daylight has offset my week of extra coffee (an espresso plus a cup of Peet's the other day did nothing to shake me out of my four-o'clock slump) -- it is still light when I leave work in the six-o'clock hour, even around seven! I got off the shuttle Monday, exhausted, thinking I'd go home and read; seeing the sky still light, I revised my ideas and only stuck to Plan A when I realized that most people I would have wanted to call for dinner would still be at work. It makes the commute more humane, to not always leave work in the dark.

Yesterday, I refilled on sleep -- after a glass or two of champagne in a conference room to celebrate the launch of my first-ever project this week, Matt and I drove the 40ish miles up the 101 with his nano on random, my brain abuzz with geometric shapes. I scarfed dinner, and, scuttling plans for reggaeton with James, fell asleep wholly in my clothes and contacts, waking up only in the middle of the night to divest myself of same. Twelve hours' sleep.

This is the third instantiation of this watch for me. (No, really, I don't lose things. And don't ask me where my pink duck umbrella is, either.) The most recent began life a year ago, in an April consistent with the T.S. Eliot of my overactive sense of metaphor; this April, I've thankfully had no such metaphysical crises. But maybe that's because the seasons work differently here, which toys with my growing catalog of existential and literary tropes. While it's beginning to feel like spring in my new understanding of the word, there's now no sense of rebirth and green -- the lushest part of the year, in which it rains constantly, watering grass, jasmine, and wild calla lilies alike, is now mostly past. For April to not breed lilacs out of the dead ground means, perhaps, that I can get my emotional angst out of the way earlier in the year. So far, so good -- this spring, of late, has been just about blissful.

Instead of in weather, the spring here has manifested itself in daylight. Spring forward. And I have a new watch by which to enumerate that last gained hour of sun.

Wed, 19 Apr 2006 11:11:09 -0700

Off on a morning errand, I whir down Charleston on a little yellow electronic scooter. The sun has been out since Monday (yesterday, during lunch at our all-day, off-site meeting, we sat on deck chairs in the sun, soaking it up), and the air has recently shifted from a cold-dandelion scent to that of new leaves and freshly-cut grass. My hair whips behind me; the wind runs its fingers over the nape of my neck, a not unfamiliar sensation. Linden trees blossomed on Fillmore this morning as I walked up to Haight to satisfy my bagel-and-tofutti craving. The gradual spring -- not as obvious as those in more normal climes, but welcome nonetheless -- with its flowers on trees, a sip of Matt's tequila at dinner with the team in Palo Alto last night, put me in mind of sophomore year, when Laurel (who appeared in my dream last night, conjured, no doubt, by the tequila) and I would take shots out of demitasse cups in my four-color-theorem basement, on the lawn trying to picnic before spring would come and hide us in the blossoms of the tree in the courtard (in which it was preferable, really, to drink Woodchuck). That, and the Bob Dylan I found on Matt's nano on the later trip up 101. Unsurety gave way to mere self-restraint; the wind (was it?) ran its fingers over my hair while Dylan crooned. And, despite the triggering scents, I don't mean to draw too many parallels between this and five years ago -- metaphorical threads are useful post-facto; nothing informs that which reīnvents itself every time.

all this Šnori heikkinen, April 2006

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