46 tagged with #interactions

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"I'm having an extremely surreal day," he starts, a look of resignation on his face as he's about to ask me something he knows is strange. "But my key won't open the door to the lab."


"It's like glued shut or something."


"Just come with me. I want you to watch me try."


And he wasn't kidding. The key turns in the lock and the door flexes inwards slightly before it sticks with a curious plastic stretching noise. The door had been recently painted, and I can see the edges of latex pulling strands like melted cheese.

"We have no choice. We'll have to break it down," I announce with mock gravity.

"I was hoping you'd say that," he responds, before giving the door a hefty kick.

17 March 2014 17:48

A Compilation

"You bikepacking or something?" shouted the runner as we crossed paths.

"No, dude, just running a shit ton of errands." I had climbing shoes sticking out of the side of my pack, and my jacket was rolled up and strapped on top. Maybe he could smell the fruit getting crushed under the books that I hadn't yet gotten around to reading.

"You can do it!" cheered the girl blasting down the hill in the opposite lane. I'd shouted the same thing at cyclists muscling their way uphill, too, and always wondered if it was ever appreciated.

"Yeah, working on it," I returned, and I could hear her shouting encouraging noises even as I crested the top.

It's one beautiful day after another long string of rough late-winter days, and how can anyone turn down friendly hollers across the street? We're all humans together.

07 March 2014 21:58

Home Sick

"It's not like it's anyone's fault that you're sick," is what he told me, and in that instant I realized everything about my associations with illness that make me so unwilling to stay in bed all day. I dragged myself through a 10F bike ride to work yesterday, despite my boss's gentle suggestion that perhaps I didn't need to pretend that I wasn't sick.

"You're not having fun now, are you?" my mother used to ask me, when I'd try to burrow into the bean bag in a corner of the kitchen, a mop bucket slowly filling up with my inability to keep down food. "I told you not to get sick."

It's why I'm happy to have the house to myself when I can wallow, when I don't have to either look more pathetic than I feel or sit up straight without sniffling to prove that I am well enough for more soup. The hammock is filled with blankets, a carefully arranged cocooning with interlocking layers that keep the cold air out. The downside is that once I've exited, peeling back the edges so I can ooze out and slowly drop to the ground, I can never return, because it will never be the warm and cozy burrito it was before I disturbed the shell.

I still easily forget that being sick isn't necessarily a poor reflection on one's moral character. I still steadfastly claim that I am not sick through a hoarse throat and a layer of phlegm. My boss still sends me home early.

04 March 2014 16:05

Every Day a Snow Day

I wish everyone moved as carefully and thoughtfully as they do on the first day of fresh snowfall. I wish every approached intersections with caution and attentiveness, made eye contact with others, negotiated paths of travel in a reasonable manner, understood that the world is dangerous but is navigable with some vigilance.


The rope is stiff and dries my hand as it slides over callouses not quite ready; even though I know I'm safe, the sound and tiny jolts that come from the knot settling into itself beat a moment of fear through me. Resting while dangling is not a rest when I can't relax my hands.

"Put your hands in your chalk bag," he orders me from the other end of the rope.

"No, it's terrifying."

"That's why I'm telling you to do it."

My hands reach behind me, almost without my permission, and tentatively search for the fleece pocket dangling from the base of my spine like a broken tail. The movement tips my balance, and I start spinning, gently. I close my eyes, so the slow oscillation as my face passes from light to shadow is my only cue for movement.

"Now get back on the rock."

I get back on the rock.

02 March 2014 17:29


I heard the sounds of our neighborhood kids plotting before I left the garage, and when I rolled down the driveway, I realized the sounds were coming from our front yard. Three boys crouched in the grass, armed with Nerf rifles, holding conference. They stopped when my screeching brakes caught their attention, and I locked eyes with the oldest one for a brief moment.

The first thing that popped into my head was, literally, "Hey, you kids, that's my yard!" Thankfully, before I became the stereotypical 'get off my lawn'er, I just laughed and kept biking.

On relating this story to a friend over coffee, we decided it would be perfectly acceptable if I grew up to be the sort of person who sat on my front porch with a cane and a bowl of pistachios, crunching on nuts and yelling at kids for getting off my lawn. Inevitably, I would confiscate a slingshot and use it to ping wandering children with empty shells.

I suppose this means I should start practicing with a slingshot again.

01 March 2014 19:39

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