october, 2007

Mon, 8 Oct 2007 19:42:22 -0700

The monkeys were at Decompression yesterday. By which, of course, I mean the oversize zoetrope of a succession of chimps suspended from a circular, spinning tree, powered by solar panels and supplementarily charged by hippies covered in playa dust pedaling on the surrounding bicycles, while a contingent beat drums underneath: a strobe flashed a constant pulse, and as the monkeys spun up, they reached a frame rate such that the illusion in front of gawkers' eyes went from jerky stills to smoothly-swinging apes, loping from branch to vine and back. Amazing.

Scott, texting from nearby (so weird to be at a Burning-Man-like event, but with a pager, a cellphone, and things I didn't want to get dirty!), alerted me to their presence; and so I got to see them once more. I watched the contraption spin up, saw the illusion snap into focus (a collective gasp, and subsequent cheer, goes up from the onlookers all within a split second of each other, every time, as the proper speed is achieved), and zipped my leather jacket higher against what had morphed into a chillier night than any I'd seen on the playa. Finally, the spell broke, the parade of Busby-Berkeley primates shuddered back to a stop, and the crowd started to disperse. I looked around for a familiar face, and, finding none, went back to my solitary ramblings.

The monkeys were especially nice to see at the three-block-long party in the eastern side of Potrero Hill ("Dogpatch," I hear it's called), because the rest of the event was so Esplanade-y: clubs; the lanes filled with art cars; bars; people out in their Sunday best to strut; action action action. A place I mostly biked through on the way to others. The monkeys, on the other hand, had been a destination for me: I'd led Hanuman (fitting, in nomenclature; whose difficult asana I jarringly divined the etymology of in yoga Saturday morning) through the dark of the cooling desert one evening to their cyclical siren call, and we'd stood, watching them, nothing to wish for. Later in the week, I'd taken small groups out there, piloting blindly on our bikes through the subsuming black, heading vaguely up and right until we saw something faint, greenish, and flashing. And even by myself, I'd ended up there at some hour of the cold morning, shivering in a Wisconsin-spring sort of way ("50F is warm!") against the pre-dawn chill; just watching the beasts spinning, spinning, alone.

These California boys! They mistake Wordsworth for Pink Floyd; they can't be bothered to vote; they're into polyamory. And people on the east coast called me a hippie -- ha! That's only because they've never met a real one. Californian at heart I may be, but perhaps I'm Midwestern at head, or too much of a Swattie. More bicoastal than I thought. Or just more uptight.

I can't believe, in some ways, I'm still thinking about this. A quick up; a quick down -- even as deep as the short-lived spike was, you'd think (or I would) I'd've moved on by now. But god knows there's enough to keep this topic in my consciousness: Olivia's recent engagement; potential others; Emily at a spate of east-coast weddings; two for me this coming November; even Maya just had a baby! Something in the water, and either I'm not drinking it, or these California dudes need to brush up on their English romantic poets. In the meantime, an unscheduled, peopleless (and, I might add, minorly hormonal) week has left me at loose ends. Whence this ennui? Where are my friends? Whither I? (See how psychotic that sounds?!)

I've already packed my calendar this week full of activities and assignations. Hopefully, via human contact, I will answer at least the middle of the above three questions. And hopefully, through a little chocolate and perspective, Hanumanasana, while remaining damn near impossible, will lose its semantic overlays.

Sun, 21 Oct 2007 22:55:17 -0700

Jaime's crashed out on my couch, the end-of-day Múm piped from my peripatetic silver computer into the speakers perched on the armrest. Mentally exhausting: An evening of hotel-booking and gift-shopping online for a friend's wedding. Not that either of us has been to that many, yet, but all the same, they're starting to get taxing -- one mentally checks one's age, does a quick enumeration of one's résumé and endearing traits, and, finding nothing obviously lacking, sighs her way through the smiling faces of couples in the Sunday Styles; books one more flight to one more wedding.

And we're hardly old. Sure, the girl snoozing to my left is plotting her 30th birthday party in a few months. But our friends are pairing off, and we're beginning to break down: her wrists (she's taking at least a week off grad school due to this pipetting RSI); my foot. (The latest doctor, not mean or stupid or both, told me it was sesamoiditis; and while there's no clear prognosis and I was back on one knee again in yoga yesterday, to my great consternation, he didn't exactly laugh in my face when I told him I wanted to run another marathon. So, going to the opera in heels hurts, but damned if I'm not going to look good when I'm paying that much per ticket!)

Meanwhile, boys disappoint, near and far. It has not been a good vintage for them. At least I'll be going to Seattle next weekend.

The flip-side of this coin is that I'm going to be a Traffic SRE for six months at work(!!). All your base are belong to me. If there are no dateable boys around, at least there are plenty of smart ones whom to beat at whiteboard Connect 4; with whom to drink whiskey (never mind that I can't quite take mine cask strength) and argue about the respective merits of New York and San Francisco; and from whom to learn.

If you can't beat 'em, join 'em? Pass the Sazerac.

all this ©nori heikkinen, October 2007

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