If you’ve ever been on a boat in the middle of an ocean without a horizon line to guide you - with no skyscrapers speckled across a sunset or mountain ranges moving towards the moonlight - you know that all you can see is blue water cascading into blue skies.
And it suddenly becomes clearer why people used to think the world was flat. How could they not? Isn’t it obvious? There must be a point where the sky stops holding everything together. In fact, it doesn’t look very far away, the place where the ground goes vertical.
Sepia images from ages ago come to mind: men with handlebar moustaches clad in tankinis, falling from the world’s most magnificent waterfall where everything comes to an end. You can image the conversations people must have had.
HENRY: Why, Victoria, would you like to go for a swim in the Atlantic later?
VICTORIA: Really, Henry, I’d rather not. I don’t much like to swim.
HENRY: Is that so, my dear? And why not?
VICTORIA: Don’t you know, love? Isn’t it obvious? It could be the end of the world.
(I may be mixing my centuries here, but this is creative writing and not a history lesson, so if you are worried about it you are missing the point.)
The point is that it could have been the end of the world, but it wasn’t. We invented science to quell our fears of God and gave ourselves Gravity instead. We discovered that the world was just a big ball to play with and that we could swim to its’ ends in a big, tired circle if we wanted. And we can even swim in November, like the song says, because we discovered global warming too.
But isn’t it obvious? There still must be a point where the sky stops holding everything together. In fact, it doesn’t look that far away.
- (A Facebook Chat conversation between my mother and my sister)
- MOM: Had Appleby's take out for dinner, sitting in my motel room, waiting for Dancing with the Stars to be on.
- LARA: Enjoy dancing with the stars, I'm voting for Kristin and Rob.
- MOM: I love Chaz...
I have walked so many places for so many boys. And in so many types of weather. Just last Saturday I walked in the pouring rain for a boy. And in February I walked back to my house in the morning in southwestern Michigan lake-effect snow for a boy. (And if you have lived on both sides of the great lakes state, you know that it is actually much different than southeastern snow – heavier, but less gray and slushy, making both just about equal levels of depressing.)
Two years ago I walked all the way from Detroit to D.C. in a near apocalypse for a boy, which was really not as romantic as it sounds. Many times I walked from Kalamazoo to Chicago when the leaves were just starting to turn brown and when I was in Chicago I walked around Chicago when they turned green again and when I was in Kalamazoo I walked around Kalamazoo when it was so hot that nobody cared about the damn leaves except when they were looking for shade and the whole time I did it all for a boy.
I am always walking everywhere for a boy. When a boy says, “You know, pizza sounds good right now,” I say, “Okay, well why don’t we go for a walk?” And when a boy says, “You know, sex sounds good right now,” I say, “Okay, well why don’t we go for a walk?”
This is the way that boys are, always thinking about pizza and sex. And this is how girls can be, saying they’re going for a walk when they’re really answering in the affirmative. “Yes, you can have both pizza and sex with me, but you should know that I’m convincing myself I am simply going for a walk.”
When will I learn from all these grease stains on my shirts and blisters on my soles?
Do you remember the last time you fell in love with a fictional character? Or maybe an author? Because they knew exactly how to say the things you had always thought but had never even whispered in the dark when you were sure the person laying next to you was sleeping? When you finished reading the first paragraph of a borrowed book that smelt like the tips of someone else’s fingers and felt your cheeks get warm like the first time another person kissed them?
Do you remember the last time a book took you places? When you had been to New York and Seattle and in love, all in twenty-five minutes? And when you lifted your head up to peer out the bus window, you were in Cumbaya - exactly where you needed to be and sooner than you needed to be there? Because you weren’t fiddling with the things in the front pockets of your backpack or buttoning and unbuttoning your sweater or watching the clock on your cell phone? You were just traveling. And everyone knows that time goes by faster when you are just traveling and not watching the clock on your cell phone.
Do you remember how good you felt when you stepped off the bus? Yoga high good. Scalp massage good. Sander’s Bumpy Cake ice cream good. Like you had stretched your mind around the places where your feet had been and suddenly all of you knew exactly where you were going? Like your ears were still resonating from the augmented eighths that rang out in the adverbs of the last sentence? Like your lips tickled from humming the philosophy tucked between plot twists? Like you had to close your eyes because you needed to shut off one of your senses to keep your body from overwhelming itself?
And do you remember how you were both completely pleased and filled with heart-pounding anticipation because you knew your inner-monologue would make you proud that day? Because your thoughts would be scattered with the vocabulary of an accomplished writer? Maybe some of them would escape from your mouth and anyone unassuming would think that such creativity had flourished in the wrinkles in your brain?
Because when you lifted your head to peer out the bus window in Cumbaya, you were exactly where you needed to be sooner than you needed to be there. And you had been to New York and Seattle and in love. All in twenty-five minutes.
Learning to love another country is a lot like learning to love another person. At first you are enamored. Everything is wonderful and beautiful and perfect. Why were you ever with another person or in another place? You’ve already kind of thought about moving in together - just in your imagination, because you are a worrier which makes you a long-term planner which makes you a list-maker, a checker of things to-do. But here there is no structure, only serenity. And you can’t imagine ever leaving.
And then the little things start to add up. You can’t breathe. You need your space. You need your space. They’re just so different from you. You don’t speak the same language. You have trouble understanding one another. The person you used to be with would never do something like that to you. What do they mean they don’t like chocolate? Why did it take you this long to believe the people who told you this was dangerous? Or that it would not be easy? What happened to feeling at home?
No matter where you are, you are always missing something. There is always someone who looks prettier lit up in nostalgia. There will always be places you will want to wrap your arms around when you are sleeping.
The so-called Hani, kin to the Detroit’s famous National Coney Island is very delicious and enjoyable. Hanis are the most popular sandwich ordered at this restaurant.
The Hani is made up of simple ingredients for a mouth-watering taste. The ingredients include: sliced golden brown chicken tenders, with melted Swiss and American cheese, served on pita bread with shredded lettuce, tomato, and mayonnaise.
This is made-to-order, so you can get everything or minus tomato. It is ordered as a ‘small’ meaning a half sandwich or ‘large’, a full or 2 halves. Most Hani lovers utter ‘Hani Deluxe’ which is a full sandwich plus golden fries.” —
You guys, I almost cried reading this definition of a Hani. I’m not kidding.
Although mine would be fries well done, no mayo, side of ranch.