I’ve always considered Winter to be a holy season. As the Earth’s axis tilts backward in relation to the Sun, the constellations that are typically below the equatorial line at night move north and become visible once again. The first time I see Orion bounding low and large across the horizon, I stop and gasp. It’s that feeling of seeing an old friend and confidant after months of separation.
Orion was there when I took my frosty night walks through the fields north of my college campus. I had all the troubles of youth, I spoke them to the sky, and he looked down and smiled while he did cartwheels over my head. He never said anything, but after years of praying to an intercessor that I could not see, even a pattern of lights in the sky was more concrete than nothing and offered me a better sense of peace. After leaving all the gods on the shelf, I still felt drawn to apply some manner of animism to Orion’s cluster of stars. The belt, the scabbard, the trapezoid — they’ve all become part of my soul. Instantly recognizable, immediately reunited.
When he comes around again, we have a moment. “Hey, old man,” I say with a warm grin. “Long time, no see.” It’s a thing I still do. I’m fine with this.
What would you do?
You’re at the cafe, head out to your car. You notice the cute girl you previously saw inside the cafe out by her car a few stalls down from your own. She’s monkeying around in the dark near her front tire. You notice she’s moving her foot up and down like she’s stepping on an air pump. You remember that you have an electric pump in the trunk of your own car. What do you do?
The correct answer is that you do nothing at all. She has a pump and a gauge and is fully aware of what she’s doing and doesn’t appear helpless at all. So leave her alone already.
It bothers me immensely that I had to have this conversation with myself as I left the cafe. The dude-bros in my past social groups would’ve punched me for turning down the opportunity to make a new friend by being the white knight coming in with sword swinging to defend the helpless damsel. The ladies in my past social groups would’ve thrown acid at me for being a chauvinist pig who hit on a girl who didn’t actually need my help.
Really, once I was able to take in enough of the scene to sense what was going on, I determined then and there that she was doing well enough without me. If I passed up an chance to connect with another human who happened to be the opposite gender, I don’t care. Move along now.
That’s the crux of gender equality, isn’t it?
Oh, what damage and disgraces
Cause me to wear two faces!
One for the world to see,
And one who I want to be.
Went to Texarkana last weekend to visit the family. Had 4 days off and needed to get out of Austin for a few. Started bellyaching on the way up, and eventually went to the ER – docs don’t know what it is, just gave me some pills and a bill. Spent the rest of the time hanging out with the mom, watching TV, refreshing Facebook. Spent some time upgrading her computer to the latest version of Ubuntu so she would still get security updates. Met with the sister, the nephew, and one of the nieces. Overall, it was a vanilla time, the kind of vanilla I needed, health notwithstanding. Now spending my work week convalescing back in Austin.
I’ve been invited to submit an original story for a friend’s Halloween story anthology. It’s a first for him, and he’s opened the invite to a select group of staff, former staff, and regulars of Epoch Coffee. When I was driving home from Texarkana, I was considering some stories, plots, and ideas. Things are flowing, at least on the back-end mythos behind the actual story. The problem now is follow-through and execution of the writing. I have a basic skeleton mapped out — it’s a space horror ghost story — and I have a handful of characters, ships, planets, legends, etc., but the mood, the tone, the writing…I think I need to work on that. More to come as it develops.