I rarely lose my voice, so the silence that fell over me this week was uncharacteristic and unsettling. I have fully recovered and am back to being my bright, very busy, and occasionally grumpy self. Of course this means I’m exhausted.
On Tuesday night, I met a friend for tea at the coffee shop where I spent most of my high school and early college years. A cup of steaming Earl Grey with a touch of honey and a moonlit walk to the park near the coffee house led to hours of discussion and ended with me spinning on the playground apparatus that they don’t install at playgrounds anymore because of safety concerns.I spun around, growing dizzier and dizzier while I stared up at the trees.
I always used to mark the coming of summer by how the leaves grew. In the middle of winter, you could see straight up to the sky if you were laying on the spinning thing, and as the spring stretched into summer, the leaves grow until they form a thick foliage canopy until you can just make out the glint of the moon through the leaves. It’s so predictably cyclical – the growth, the death, the empty, the emergence, the growth…and so on. It’s the best. Apparently, adulthood has made me less prone to enjoying the dizzying stomach sensation, though, because I had to steady myself after I wobbled off the spinning thing, and I felt a wave of nausea rush through me. But I smashed the feeling with the glorious nostalgia, and we walked back in the middle of the quiet, dark street.
Last night, I played arcade games at the 1Up, a bar downtown. I didn’t grow up with video games, so I’m not sure how to play them, or even comfortable playing them, particularly in public. My friend Ely came down from Boulder because he’d never been to 1Up and because we’ve been meaning to hang out for like three months. (We do this regularly – we’ll be like, hang out soon? and we’ll keep pushing back plans until we finally manage to meet up. The system works, though, and I imagine I’ll see him again some time next quarter.)
I was hesitant to play video games. Normally I just watch. (I think it’s cheaper and less embarrassing.) But Ely wanted to play games with me, so we played Rampage (maybe it’s called that, maybe not) – where you are a donkey thing and have to jump and smash and stomp and kick buildings and airplanes and people. It was awesome! And I was not bad at it considering I was just randomly pushing buttons.
Invigorated by my success at building-smashing and general mayhem, we went and played shooting games. I’m terrible. I would get like 19 kills and Ely would have about 85. I also kept shooting our guys – a big red X would appear every time I did it. I complained that I had no problem hitting our team, but that I couldn’t hit the enemy to save my life. Still, super fun.
But we were really there for giant Jenga. Keep in mind that Ely is 6’6″. This tower would eventually get up past his eye-level. I won 2 out of 3 games. He would stand, incredulous, after I would gently pull a block from the tower. “Fairy fingers,” I told him. Actually, I’m just very lucky.