Saturday, July 27, 2013

A Short Evening with Brothers.

11:04 PM Posted by Patrick No comments
I think the odds that I will some day be struck by lightning are slightly higher than average.

This evening was good. It was very good. I have come to realize, over time, that with very few exceptions, there is no pair I'd rather be marauding with than Jonathan and Andrew. Tonight, we went down to enjoy the sights and sounds of Foodstock before Jonathan went over to the Civic for Les Mis. Of course, there was no easy parking for a few blocks, so it began with a short walk.

Walking with my brothers is a separate experience, when we are not communicating in our own bizarre language of movie quotes, song lyrics, inside jokes, and favourite disses, even our body language and the way we walk and move--to say nothing of facial expressions--feels so comfortable familiar and natural, that even our silences do not feel empty or pregnant.

We were feeling amusing tonight, however, so there wasn't much silence at first.

We made it down to Foodstock in good order, just before it began to pour rain, truly pour. At the opening of the heavens, all of the patrons scurried like beetles for shelter. We followed a large portion of the beetles to beneath the mighty columns of One Summit Square. But as we stood there, looking at the soggy whippet faces of the people around us, we realized that we were hungry, we were us, and there was no way we where going to sit there and cower under cover because of a little downpour.

We had decided to go get some food, rain or no, when we heard thunder. That settled it. It was time to get something to eat. So out we went, into the rain, and off to find some quality chow. It is amazing how the decision to face the rain, the change in mindset, changes how you feel. Instead of standing there shivering, we strode through the rain--Andrew might have been strutting--and enjoyed every second of it.

There are two attitudes one can take when facing rain. You may decide to hide from it, or you may greet it as welcome. A simple change of mind, and even Booey, who had been looking grim--like a disgruntled wet hen--under cover, now was grinning as the water ran down over his face. We ordered overstuffed shrimp po-boys, the sun came out, and we exalted at having ordered before the crowds came back out of hiding. Po-boys in hand, we went to find a place to sit and eat, which we did, only then regretting that not one of us had thought to bring napkins.

Our food devoured, we realized that we still had plenty of time before Jonathan had call, so we decided to go to Starbucks. Mundane normal happenings, right? Wrong! Did I not tell you? Walking places with your brothers is not like walking places with other people, and walking to Starbucks is even better, because where you are going is really exciting!

Downtown was also quite the place to walk through--back and forth, multiple times--on this particular evening, because there were many sights to see. People. So many people. People we knew. People we knew not. People, at whose visages one could only say, hell no. There were a few primary strains. The leftover downtown presence left from Pride, the usual food truck contingent, the normal downtown people, and the Rock the Plaza people. While all of them can be interesting to watch, getting to watch them all at once--on the same streets--is even better. Note: Food truck peoples have better ink than Plaza peoples.

We finally walked our way down to the Civic--none of my usuals were in Freimann--bid adieu to the second born, and Dogmeat and I made our lonely way back to get Whip n' Chill.

I am already well accustomed to bald jokes.

But I think I was going to make some point about the rain. Oh yes.

Dogmeat and I, once upon a not so terribly long ago, sat out in the middle of a thunderstorm, just to watch it go by. We of course remained low to the ground, and would have gone in had the lightning strikes been too close, but we were kind of enjoying having the storm to ourselves. Since then, this has been just one more part of our crazy brother code, and it has even caught with Jonathan. When the storm drives all others under cover, we go out to greet it. We are odd creatures of tradition and custom, and it may some day get me struck by lightning, but it is part of the way we relate to each other, part of our own queer language, and I don't think I am likely to give it up.

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Drawing to the Close.

12:50 AM Posted by Patrick 2 comments
I really have not been in the mood to write on here, and because of this unreasonable frame of mind, I have kind of missed out on chronicling many of the things that I have done this summer while they were still fresh. Some I should have blogged about, others I would not have blogged about either way. Sometimes the things you would like to write out are the things that you least want a permanent public record of, and so forth. Perhaps it is better to allow certain summers to fade into memory, which gradually colors them to the point of being indistinguishable from fond imagination.

I was not so productive this summer as I thought I would be. I have kept up on my German, and have been making regular efforts to restore my lost--in some cases never acquired--mathematical acumen. Nonetheless, summer is flying, and I have limited yields to show of a useful nature. What I take from this summer are memories, and even those fade with time. I could write them all down in an effort to preserve them, perhaps I have written many of them down already, but next summer will hold new memories, and it seems silly to try to hold onto them all. Some of the best will win out, but ultimately they are all going to the same place.

Our visit to the Toledo Museum of Art this summer gave me a new appreciation for Van Gogh, whose work triggered my slightly morose meditations this evening.


In this painting, at least to my eyes, autumn is falling. Summer is fading into golden splendor, but the bare hard bones of winter are already lurking underneath. The summer is being swallowed; it was a fleeting thing and could not hold out against the inexorable march of time.

The old peasant knows this. He knows the summer can not and will not last, and so he is making preparations for the winter which is to come. For whatever reason, he makes his preparations alone. His house, jutting up before the darkening skies in the backdrop, appears to be perched precariously on its foundations.

That bent man and his rickety windmill have seen many of these summers come and go, but there will be spring and fall long after he has seen his last, and he may yet see more summers long after he has grown weary of them; perhaps he is weary of them already.

There are obviously other lenses through which the painting might be viewed, but this was the one that struck me on first glance.

My summer is fading and it is always a question whether I have sufficiently prepared for the time to come. Questions always rise up, taunting with imagined missed opportunities, and reproaching me that I did not drive myself like a madman to greater feats of self improvement. But why fret over such things? Next year will see another summer with new opportunities, new friends, and new memories to forget in the fullness of time.

What we learn from the peasant is persistence. Just because he has seen summer die every time does not mean that he gives up and dies with it. He prepares himself for his coming labors; he puts his head down, harvests, and remembers that there will always be the hope of good times ahead.

But let us be more optimistic yet, because we are not necessarily like this peasant. Fond though I am of the Sun's warm rays, summer is more beautiful in art and fiction than reality. It is also humid, and crowded, and pungent, and lazy; it can be green, but it is more often charred brown, and it is not forgiving to the weak.

Autumn is coming in all of her splendor. The caress of the wind will replace the stifling humidity, and temperance will stand in the stead of extreme heat. Winter will come, and that will suck royally, but better times will come before and follow after.

So I bid this summer, and its memories, adieu; not with the morose countenance of one leaving something behind, but with the contented recognition that the past can not be changed, nor re-lived, and we have but to accept it gracefully. I leave it with the expectation of one who has many summers yet to come, and who looks forward perhaps to better things even than summer.