2010. november 27., szombat

A Pinky and the Brain Duet

This is an exclusive blog entry. Written in two languages. Two authors. One story. Only an attempt to achieve nonexistent perfection. The golden ratio in literally terms. Excavated. From the past.
„It’s been awhile since I’ve done this, write I mean. I always hated the beginning- starting my thoughts. I usually have no way of expressing them into words. So I’ll simply try to tell you how it was or is… simple as that.”

I am still in the same mood I was last night. I mean, in the lack of mood. Because you, Typical (Non) Dutch would assume an entire gym would explode with excitement and applause when two fully armed soldiers – complete with their neon green sunglasses, party buzzers and the „bling bling” hats - march through with an exploding cake, engulfed in flames. But Nico’s birthday is another story. This locked away excitement burst open and unveiled the mirrored feelings that were shared on Ryan’s big day.
„I turned 21 years old this year. I am an American, imagine that, and have been living these past 11 months in Holland. October 1st is where it all went down, my birthday. When it came upon me I had been here long enough to have a baby. But don’t worry, I didn’t have a baby. Anyway, it was a Friday. I was walking on water you could say. Being in EUROPE! may have had something to do with it. I am living with a beautiful family and have the most brilliant and fascinating young women around me- so that may have had something to do with it too. Just maybe.”

It was a chilly and rainy Autumn evening. I was on my rustic blue bike, pedaling the vacant, dead street. The corners of my mouth twisting into a wicked grin. Everything appeared lifeless. The neighborhood stalked me with curiosity. His curtain pulled tight. Porous fibers between him and I, with only shadows dancing and skipping about. He walks to his closet and is looking for something. Hoping there is leftover wine from the past weekend.
„The eve of, at midnight, I sat in bed and ate a chocolate bunny I had gotten the day before- you know as a HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO ME type thing. And of course just like with any good story, it only gets better from here.”

Tape in hand, I crouch in the dewey bush while my fingers lose grip of the roll. My job is almost complete. I must hurry up or the rain will ruin everything. „Oh, Serafina you damn rodent!” Must be the cat’s natural sense to be in the wrong place at the wrong time. Passerbys stare, dumbfounded at the look of a stranger mounting a poster on the window.
„So I wake up the next morning and pull my curtains to find a huge HAPPY BIRTHDAY sign taped to my window. It had to be Gyorgyi. One of the three women I was telling you about. She lives here with me, in Hattem. I was so happy! But on your birthday aren’t you suppose to feel the happiest or something? I don’t know. I do know that being spoiled went without fail on this day. I had nothing to worry about and not that I had been worrying. I was not even sad because I wasn’t with my family- not at all. Would I say this was a special day for me? Of course! I felt like a rock star and everyone was around ME! Me, me, me… See, I kind of hate birthdays because it’s the one day it is all about you. Or me. Or someone. And well, I get uncomfortable when all of the focus is on me. Sorry, I’ve strayed.”

Ryan’s schedule is a well-oiled machine. So surprising him was not an extra thought for me. Confusion or a break in routine is precisely what he needs. And how to distract a gym junky? Bring him down with his sister addiction: chocolate. Birthday cupcakes for Ryan Salonen: Put the brownie batter in the cup followed by a heaping spoonful of Nutella. The baked Calorie Killer drowned with pure chocolate and topped with creamy peanut butter. Don’t forget the super thick frosting.
„ANYWAY, that Friday I eventually made my way to the gym and instead of burning calories I only inhaled them. About 2000 or so. Easily. Gyorgyi made Chocolate Nutella Peanut Butter cupcakes for me! WOW! I had 5 that day and of course shared with other people but ask me if I wanted to share with anyone? I didn’t! I later had lunch with my family and guess what my 4 year old princess made me? A birthday crown. Yeah, exactly. Could it get any better?”

I am confused with the smell lingering in the afternoon air. It tastes of fried cheese and white bread when it should smell of Chinese. Chinese food I mean. I can’t recall what Chinese people smell like. The restaurant is familiar. From my birthday. The people are new. We attempt the impossible: sample everything on the menu. After ten minutes I feel like an unplugged drain… and DranoMax is on vacation.
„It does. I suppose sometime around 1700 or 1900… yeah, somewhere around there we all (the family, Gyorgyi and I) went to eat. That was an experience for sure. Imagine: picking and choosing exactly what you eat. Of course I chose to eat almost everything! Not really. I did limit myself or at least tried. The restaurant had an icecream bar as dessert and I have no limits when it comes to icecream. But who knew it could be so fun? No one told me! But it was!”

During his European Experience, Ryan surrounded himself with a collection of women, all with very different temprements and nationalities. He used this social network as a trampoline to amuse himself. N and J represent two of the main threads of this net. Instead of joining us they chose to take a Sightseeing Train Tour around Holland. When they finally arrived we were anxiously waiting to attack the only place in Hattem that is open after 8: the Pub! So the four of us, along with Ryan’s baby blanket set out to get inebriated.
„After dinner, the other two joys of my life came to my house. Something with wine, loud music, and a lot of laughing followed. No details necessary. And not because I don’t remember but because I think everyone has had a night or two like this in his or her life. You know how it goes.”

This was one of my fullest weekends. Dead tired from bustling myself from the house to Party Headquarters.
„Explain how my birthday turned into three full days? The two days that followed were just as good as the first: morning runs, pancakes, house parties, slow dancing with the sun, house wines, beanies, FRIENDS (the one with Central Perk), playlists on the pod, terrace dinners… and the best part of it all, a surprise.”
Sitting on the terrace in front of the Italian Pizzeria. Listening to the rain rhythmically dancing on the canvas roof. Pizza slices passed around and wine glasses clinked. Our laughter was tossed back and forth like a baseball on the wet streets. We talked about saying goodbye, about life, about faith, about happiness, falling in love and falling apart… and we laughed. Because the only thing to do was laugh.

„A surprise that people who were strangers to me a few months ago could touch my heart in the way they did. Was it their job to make it the best for me? Yes. Did they accomplish that, above and beyond? Yes they did. And I have to say that actually remembering my birthday and all of the details is a huge plus. Because if I would have been in the states I probably would have remembered NOTHING! Which would have not been fun.”

I think Ryan is right. It is always better to celebrate someone else’s birthday. To remove him from his everyday, to fill each moment with colors.
„So my 21st birthday from my perspective: The most surprising of all. And the one I am going to try really hard not to forget.”

I think I need to say thank you for the work and shared ideas we had together.
Turning 21 in Europe. Turning Europe into 21.
I mean, filling each of us with all of your being. All of who you are. Who you were. And everything we are together.
I think that is what we were celebrating on this memorable weekend.

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