Saturday, May 29, 2010

Fire and ice

"Some say the world will end in fire..." Gotta love Robert Frost for his lucid observations of nature and human nature. I am thinking that, despite the beauty of his words and thoughts, he probably hated being right about certain things.
I'm with ya, Bob.
I usually like to be right. It's validating. Being right says, "Hey, good job. You know your sh*t. Once again, you hit the nail right on the head. Nice going, Nichole."
But these moments are somewhat rare. It's the moments when you know you're right and you really wish you weren't, that's what kills me, because those moments are becoming commonplace for me. The universe is practicing the Socratic method on me. A bit late, don't you think? Even this scholar hates learning sometimes.
Yesterday I used the fire water analogy to describe the slow hissing of the human flame. Water representing doubt (and common sense) and fire representing the raging inferno of lust, love and new emotions.
Well, there is another analogy which, I think, deserves some attention.
You guessed it; fire and ice.
The instantaneous transformation of fire into ice is only possible with human beings. Ever feel a handshake go completely cold? Ever see a marriage that began with smiles end in tight-lipped indifference? Ever feel your heart surge at the sight of someone only to be laid cold hours later?
That is human fire and human ice. The transition happens when you buy 800 honey yogurts at the store because your weird-ass nine-year-old loves Greek, honey yogurt, has been eating it voraciously, even on her pancakes, and suddenly tells you, when you proudly show her the stockpile of yogurt, that she doesn't even like yogurt anymore.
Poof, just like that. And suddenly you're stuck with all of that yogurt.
The transition is almost too much to bear. It is confusing, it is a left field pop fly that you would've caught, no problem, if the goddamn sun hadn't been in your eyes.
The goddamn fire.
So, I missed the pop fly, I bought the f*cking crate of Chobani, how the hell was I supposed to know?!
Hints, words and indications are always helpful. I had no idea they were a luxury. I wish I had some warning that I was supposed to bring my skates. It was 80 degrees today, I was happy, I was wearing my favorite red shoes.
But I should've brought the skates.
Lucky for me, I have friends who don't require me to wear ice skates. Once I chipped the freezer burn off of shoulders and small parts of my heart, I had two margaritas and an amazing meal with my friend Jerome, my sort-of-sage. With full bellies, the sun waning and some overly serious conversation about being too broken to be fixed, he said the nicest thing I have heard in many months.
"You're a hero to me."
"Excuse me?" I laughed nervously. It just seemed so preposterous.
"I'm serious, you're a hero. You've had all of this sh*t happen to you and you just lock it away and say f*ck it, I'm moving on with my life."
"I'm a happy person. I don't like getting in my own way. I want other people to be happy when they see me. I don't always inspire this reaction for some reason, even when I'm at my happiest. Like today, for instance."
"Well, still..."
Yes, still. No ice, no blinding, heart-rending transition from fire to ice. Just a nice thing to say to someone who needed to hear a nice thing. That should keep the flame lit for a little longer.

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