Who am I?

August 18th, 2009

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Charlie-

First off, I have no idea what you’re talking about.  Nuclear reactors?  Used on a consumer level?  Metaphor?  I’ll be honest, if I know you, and to be fair, I really don’t, I’d say you’re trying to to tell me something about eating a really good hot dog, but one that is very old.  But like I said, I don’t know, I’ve never been able to parse your science-is-poetry nonsense.  That isn’t to say I don’t like it.  To be sure, I steal a lot of it to help pick up chicks; but understanding it, well, that’s beyond me.  I’m a nuts-and-bolts kind of guy.  If I want to talk about hot dogs, I talk about hot dogs, not sliding rods and German precision.

That being said, it hit me pretty hard the other day when you wrote [in our other textual correspondence: face tattoos, written backwards as to be read in a mirror] this to me:  “Ben, I don’t even know you anymore.”  Well, Charlie, fret not, for I shall now give you a glimpse into my recent daily life, revealing the idiosyncratic whimsy that makes Ben… Ben.

I’ve been starting my days promptly at 7 am.  I’ll lay in bed for a few minutes perfectly still staring at the ceiling reviewing the schedule for the day then in exactly 78 milliseconds I’m sitting perfectly upright taking in a deep breath.  I glance over my shoulder at T who is sleeping in her own precious way, snoring loudly and flailing her arms.  Once content I slip into my running attire and jog over to Central Park and do a few loops around Harlem Meer.  There are three solar panels in the middle of the meer, and I can’t figure out what they could possibly be powering… perhaps it’s a feeding station for the electric eels that infest most of New York’s bodies of water.  None can say.

After my run I take somewhere close to ten gallons of water from our third floor apartment to the our container vegetable garden out back.  Every few weeks I will infuse this water with fish and seaweed oils to help fertilize the plants.  Our tomatoes are just coming in, the eggplant are getting plump, and soon enough we will have some habaneros, not too mention the herbs and bluebonnets and nasturtium (an edible flower that tastes peppery).  I make sure to inspect the tomato plants for Late Blight - the same fungus that caused the infamous Irish Potato Famine and which is now rapidly spreading through the Northeastern and Mid-Atlantic states.  So far, we’ve been lucky.  I’ll more than likely pick some parsley and basil to put in scrambled eggs for breakfast.

After breakfast, I’ll take some time and read my latest neuroscience book or do some calculus problems.  I’ve been refreshing my math skills in case this whole going back to college thing works out.  At this point, perhaps I’ll organize my video cables or do some other home improvement task around the apartment like hanging my projection screen from our concrete ceilings using a rented hammer drill and the 3D glasses from seeing Up as eye protection.  T will probably be involved and we will complete the task like a good couple:  fighting passive-aggressively.  If it’s Sunday or Tuesday I will pick up our veggies from the CSA and when I return we will make Kale chips since belonging to a CSA means you will receive tons of kale and you can only make kale-potato soup every so often.

What else, Charlie?  Oh, nothing terribly exciting I suppose.  Maybe reserving a Zipcar and running some errands or browsing craigslist for a new stereo receiver.  This is real life.  This is growing up, and I love it.  I enjoy switching the little magnet on the dishwasher from signaling clean to dirty or vice-versa.  I enjoy negotiating which pillows are allowed on the bed and which are not.  And I enjoy the meager amount of closet space allocated for my belongs.

Perhaps I’ll see you in the next few days while you’re in town.  We’d love to have you over for some enchiladas or homemade ice cream, at the moment we have peach.   I’ll show you our new tupperware set or the tomato sauce we’ve made and canned (note that canning is still called canning even if you are using jars… trust me, I didn’t want to believe it either).  It’ll be fun!  Real, adult fun.

Cheers and be well, Charlie.

-Ben

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