I always intended to serve cheesiness in both the animal by-product form and a metaphorical incarnation on this blog. I like the idea of widening the meaning of cheesy things to include really, anything that can be called cheesy. It used to be easy for me to trumpet cheesiness – in the best, emotional sense – in writing. Then I went to journalism school and had a literary lobotomy – in the best, challenging sense. But there is still a place in my heart for cheesy essays. So here goes.
I have been feeling uninspired lately. You would likely expect this from looking at my blog thus far, which I refuse to backdate, because it has been spotty in its frequency at best. But I am talking about a lack of emotion altogether: Sister of apathy, cousin of boredom, a feeling I have wrongfully always dubbed in my head absent-minded. It is the description I relate most to, though not because it’s at all accurate. It actually feels like my brain has gone elsewhere, like I have not only been an inactive participant in my goings-on but a complete spectator.
It is the furthest feeling from my spectrum on an average day. One of my boyfriend’s favourite quirks to make fun of is my tendency to be overly excited about something at any given time, no matter how insignificant. Puppies (well, duh), a promotional nail file when I wanted one for my purse, special-edition quarters (holla, Vancouver 2010 ice dance), hand soap in said boyfriend’s bathroom when I’d been draining body wash out of bacterial necessity, wearing my turquoise running shoes on a day I’m reading about mermaids (shut up, they’re totally related) – it often doesn’t really matter.
I was walking home from work today, feeling absent-minded and trying to feel stunned by the universally-appealing colours, smells and weather bounding about my neighbourhood, when I heard a little boy – who I happen to live next door to – ask, firmly but plainly: “When will my energy be back?”
This normally-exuberant little munchkin was feeling the slump, too, all chipper red rubber boot evidence to the contrary.
So I took a step back, literally, and sat on my porch for a while, hoping that the sludgy, half-assed dissatisfaction might ooze out of my ears and be whisked away by the wind that had whipped up suddenly in the hour prior. Wishes (that is, dandelion seeds, but always wishes to me) were also jetting through the air, though I couldn’t help but view them as strutting purposefully, as if rushing to an appointment they had been looking forward to – projecting, I know.
I had caught one the day before and was struck by the idea that I could catch one, again. Make a wish! It might be a jolt.
I approached one and clasped it, swiftly, I thought. I had missed entirely, turning just quickly enough to see it sashay out of my peripheral. My fist stayed firmly clenched from the effort, as if the outcome had absolutely no bearing on the action’s effectiveness. I sat back down and found a bit of solace in surveying the leaves, maple seeds, wishes and other soothing detritus literally catching the breeze to go about their business. I thought of a line from The Fault in Our Stars, which I recently finished: “The universe just wants to be noticed.”
As if to prove my point, a maple key jerked my vision forward as it blew upward, a trajectory that seemed physically impossible. I realized it was a butterfly.
I revelled in the coincidence-or-sign while the little boy appeared almost at my side, at the steps of his house, joined to mine at the middle.
“Dada, can I pick some mint to bring with us?” He bent to pluck a leaf from their jungle of a garden and reappeared with one the size of his hand, examining it as he walked away. The breeze brought a whiff of sharp sweetness to me, a fleeting sliver of heightened sense, and then it was gone.
I caught the next wish.