Month: July 2014

Give Me the Night, Any Day

moonI do not wake up “happy.” I do not greet the dawn with “a smile on my face and a song in my heart.” In fact, my first thought when I awaken is usually, “Oh, crap. I didn’t die in my sleep again last night.”

The older I get, the more I see the daylight hours as something to “get through” in order to reach the night’s quiet solitude.

During the day, I am constrained – by obligations, expectations, and people who have put me in a tidy little box. “We know who you are. Please be that.” Come the night, that all falls away. Alone, in solitude, I can just be me, instead of that.

It is in the lack of light that I truly see. The daylight blinds. It is the night’s darkness that opens wide the eyes. Oh, look at that. How beautiful.

think better at night, or maybe just more. The days are filled with reacting, to people, situations, and an endless stimulus of sights accompanied by a cacophony of sounds. The night quells those things, leaving only me and my thoughts.

It is in the night that I know who I am and sometimes glimpse what I am to be.

It is in the night that I come to know the
endless
possibilities.

And it is in the night that I have come to know what Paul Simon meant when he wrote,

“Hello, Darkness, my old friend.”

It is in the night.

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Did you hear a duck?

duck_17203Last summer, I was in my backyard when the neighbor lady came out, and we started chatting over the fence.

It was not the best time for this, because I really, really had to fart, and neighbor lady is known to go on and on and on. (We used to have a beagle that would actually roll his eyes at her.)

So I’m smiling and nodding at her while simultaneously trying to ascertain if this impending fart would be a silent one or one that could knock a squirrel out of a tree.

It was a hot day, so the air conditioner was running, and the outside compressor is noisy, so I’m thinking that between its noise, a brisk breeze rustling through the trees, and the chattering of the birds, I’ve got some sonic cover.

So I let it rip.

Of course, that’s exactly when the AC kicked off, the wind died down, and the birds went mute.

“Did you hear a duck?” asks the neighbor lady, incredulously. There was excitement in her voice, because we don’t have ducks. We’re in the middle of a duckless city. “That sounded like a duck,” she says, as she’s looking around.

I should have said, “No, I didn’t hear anything at all.” Instead I said, “Huh. That’s weird.”

Now I can’t just stand there while she’s searching her yard like she’s hot on the trail of Bigfoot, so I have to start looking around my yard for a duck I know doesn’t exist, and there is no search more thorough than a fake search.  The person at the office who accidentally shredded the Higgins file yesterday will be the person pulling the filing cabinets away from the wall today because “It has to be here somewhere.”

So I’m peering behind the AC unit, moving the ivy around with my foot, and looking up in the trees (and I don’t think ducks perch in trees, but the fake search knows no boundaries).

I then make the mistake of bending over to check behind the hydrangea bush.

“There it goes again!” she exclaimed as, just out of her line of sight, a squirrel tumbled from a tree.

I rolled my eyes.

“Well, I have to go inside now,” I say, “but let me know if you find it.”

“I’m going to check the yard on the other side of me,” she says. “I’ll be sure to let you know.”

As I enter my kitchen, I say to my wife, “We have to buy a duck for the backyard.” When she asks why, I explain to her what had just happened.

“Then you may want to pick one up for the bedroom, too,” she responds.

Note: A slightly different version of this tale appeared on my blogspot blog a few years ago, but if you can’t steal from yourself, who can you steal from?

When actors collide

Anastasia Dualla on "Battlestar Galactica" and  Clementine Chausseur on "Hemlock Grove"

Kandyse McClure: Anastasia Dualla on “Battlestar Galactica” and Clementine Chausseur on “Hemlock Grove”

aaron_douglas_02

Aaron Douglas: Galen Tyrol on “Battlestar Galactica” and Sheriff Tom Sworn on “Hemlock Grove”

So I binge-watched “Battlestar Galatica” recently (the serious, “Edward James Olmos” one, not the cartoonish Lorne Greene version) and very much enjoyed it. Then this weekend I started Season One of “Hemlock Grove.” Now, I like to play “Hey! That’s the guy that was in…” as much as anyone, so when Aaron Douglas, who played Galen on Battlestar, showed up as the Sheriff, it was nice to see him again.

Then the unthinkable happened: ANOTHER actor from Battlestar shows up on Grove.  Kandyse McClure, who played Dualla on “Battlestar,” is now playing Clementine Chausseur on Grove, and she and Aaron Douglas are DOING SCENES TOGETHER.

That was unsettling.  And it took me a couple of days to figure out why.

If it’s just one actor from another show, that’s fine.  It’s easy to believe that the other actors on Grove don’t know that their Sheriff is really Galen from Battlestar, but when Dualla from Battlestar shows up and starts doing scenes with him, I know that she knows.  And he knows that she’s not who she’s pretending to be and this is all I can think about while I’m watching “Hemlock Grove” now and I don’t know what to believe.