Halfway Down the Bunny Trail

IMG_12535 questions worth asking your blind date:

“Would you describe yourself as a clothesline or a kite string?”

“How do you feel about Brussel sprouts?”

“What’s the worst job you ever had?”

“If you were a Lucky Charm, which one would you be and why?”

“Have you ever had a conversation with a whale?”

***

3 ways Portland, Maine differs from New York City:

The official mascot is a lobster, which is really a giant cockroach that lives in the water, but they turn red when they get too hot. Cockroaches don’t. And we eat them.

They have storefront psychics who smile.

Men sport facial hair that would put a Brooklyn hipster to shame.

***

6 things to do while waiting for a date in New Hampshire:

Drink coffee.

Shop for toys for the kids in your life.

Shop for silly gifts for the people you know but don’t really know.

Pet an alpaca.

Bury secret spells at American Stonehenge.

Compile a list of questions to ask on blind dates.

***

Things to do on a gloomy day on the Way Upper West Side of Manhattan when the walls are closing in and threatening to crush you to bits:

Walk your dog.

Pet your dog.

Smother your dog with kisses.

Share popcorn with your dog.

Take a nap with your dog.

Things to do on a gloomy day on the Way Upper West Side of Manhattan when you have come to terms with the fact that you can no longer see:

Check your emotional weather report to see if the great thunder-clap storm from the night before was a metaphor for your life.

Consider whether a second cup of coffee will break up cloud formations in said emotional weather systems and produce sunshine.

Listen to the rain.

Check seedlings to see if they are growing.

Talk to seedlings and encourage them to grow.

Wonder if seedling that you thought was a sunflower is really a watermelon masquerading as a sunflower.

Look to see if Groupon is offering a special on optometrist appointments.

***

Late last week, my dear friend and associate Dr. Kelly G. PhD., etc., etc., primed me with extensive anecdotal information of dating culture in New Hampshire. She has been on speed dates and internet dates, been picked up at bars while performing karaoke, and during group Irish sing-a-longs. She’s been of dates on boats, beaches, fields, and dry land. I consider her an expert.

Residing over a healthy bottle of white wine, we spent an evening considering strategies for our field research. We investigated the singles sculpture park meet-up, only to discover that it was a ploy for a matchmaking service to ensnare unwitting singles to sign up for the service. Under further investigation, we also concluded that the demographic of the seven unwitting singles signed up for the trip was quite specific: five single, middle-aged, female, art enthusiasts and two zealous, possibly hung-over social scientists, also female.

How exciting and stimulating it was to converse with someone as well-versed in first dating as I am.

‘Finally,’ I thought, ‘I have met my equal.’

We chewed on our academic musings, wrote notes, read notes, shared notes. Rambling towards the apex of the evening, seeing me struggle, she offered me a pair of glasses.

I refused at first, but succumbed to the allure of proving her, and thus the rest of the world, wrong about my failing, or rather unfailing, vision.

However, when I slid them on, I saw how right she was.

“I’m sorry I made you middle-aged,” she said.

I was too busy seeing to care.

***

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Material one can cover in a 45 minute date in New Hampshire if one’s date has had over two cups of coffee within the hour:

the allure of honey, how sweet green tea is a wonderful sin, quantum physics and the science of caring, writing research grants, PhD. programs, nutrition studies, MFA programs, the true nature of love, mountains versus beaches, why certain individuals prefer mountains over beaches and vice versa, what it’s like to climb a mountain, how many mountains an individual can climb within the year, how a time-consuming hobby such as climbing multiple mountains can interrupt the flow of romantic relationships, how beautiful clouds are, the best place to purchase watch batteries, if it’s true that even though the days, weeks, and months fly by, that life as a whole can be lived one fat and generous breath at a time, and whether Groupon is the best place to arrange an appointment with an optometrist.

***

The five stages of age-related loss of eyesight:

Denial:

– my eyes are simply tired. All the time.

– If I can pass a driver’s vision test by squinting, I don’t need glasses.

– If only I could stop living and working under the oppressive blanket of fluorescent lighting, I would see perfectly.

– If I can read, I can see.

Bargaining:

– If I buy a book on eye exercises, I will not need glasses.

– If I read a book on eye exercises while I’m still able to see, I’ll reverse the cruel hand of passing time.

– If I change my diet and ingest more fatty acids and leafy greens, my eyesight will improve, I know it.

– If I’m really, really nice to people and stop eating white sugar and white flour, this will resolve itself, right?

Anger:

– Why me????

– If the stupid Hurricane hadn’t shoved his phone in my face to show me a stupid picture, thus revealing my challenged and fading focus facilities, I would’ve never noticed that things were blurry.

– This totally sucks.

– Fuck it. There’s nothing worth seeing, anyway.

Depression:

– I mean, used to care.

– May as well eat more chocolate and potato chips. It’s all going to pot, anyway.

– At least I won’t be able to see myself going grey.

– Oh well.

Acceptance:

– Fuck it. Maybe glasses will be cool.

– If I get glasses, I might actually enjoy reading Wuthering Heights.

– Maybe glasses will make me look smart.

– With glasses, I can see life like an impressionist or like a realist! Whichever I feel, whenever I feel.

***

“Imagine if we can get two dates in one day,” she said as we were driving to Maine.

“Here’s to hoping,” I said.

The skies were clear blue in the afternoon, the clouds arranged like a story-book.

“Do you fall in love with every place you visit,” she asked.

I admitted, “usually, I do.”

In that moment, vision blurred by the passing landscape, I saw one thing so clearly that it almost made me swoon. It was an idea, an understanding, that went something like this:

if you wish to be inspired, spend time with inspiring people.

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2 thoughts on “Halfway Down the Bunny Trail

  1. Your vision is so very true. Of all the places you have visited, which one gave you the best feeling of satisfaction? Just wondering… Also, I hope the glasses adventure goes well!

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