Sunday, September 30, 2012

The Perks of Being a Wallflower

SPOILER ALERT: Don't read on if you plan to see the movie and haven't yet.
Heroes by David Bowie is playing as Patrick drives Sam and Charlie through the Fort Pitt tunnel. Charlie climbs to the back of the pickup truck and in a voice over that brings the story full circle says:

I don't know if I will have the time to write anymore letters because I might be too busy trying to participate. So if this does end up being the last letter, I just want you to know that I was in a bad place before I started high school and you helped me. Even if you didn't know what I was talking about or know someone who has gone through it, you made me not feel alone. Because I know there are people who say all these things don't happen. And there are people who forget what it's like to be 16 when they turn 17. I know these will all be stories someday. And our pictures will become old photographs. We'll all become somebody's mom or dad. But right now these moments are not stories. This is happening, I am here and I am looking at her. And she is so beautiful. I can see it. This one moment when you know you're not a sad story. You are alive, and you stand up and see the lights on the buildings and everything that makes you wonder. And you're listening to that song and that drive with the people you love most in this world. And in this moment I swear, we are infinite.

I keep thinking back to the part where he says, "But right now these moments are not stories. This is happening." Time doesn’t stop but you get those moments where it slows down just enough for you to look around and be thankful: for the friendship, for the music, for the ride, for those moments where a smile is the most organic thing ever.

Saturday, September 29, 2012

Café Tales VIII

So I walk into the office of this guy, this Indian guy – he’s new to the company, but here’s the thing – he was a chess grandmaster back in the day in Calcutta. And this intimidates me. The chess thing, the way it stood out on the newspaper clipping he had pinned to his board – ‘Youngest Indian Grandmaster at 13 years, 4 months and 22 days'. And, he may be big and wide and tall but it’s the chess thing that makes me uncomfortable, you know what I mean, anyway I walk into his office to convince him on a design that I’d come up with, and it’s a good design let me tell you, but I slipped into that mode I slip into when I need to convince someone that I’m smart and that I can come up with good ideas, and I start by making polite conversation with him – it’s getting chilly, eh? – stupid, inane shit and he’s nodding and nodding, not really saying anything, not even looking up at me from his computer screen, and I feel like I’m losing him, part of me has already started working out excuses to explain to my manager why I couldn’t convince an entry level engineer to implement her design, fine it was her design but I helped refine it, and… I’m intimidated by this guy right now, the fact that he’s a couple of seconds away from forgetting that I’m at the door talking to him, making shitty, small talk, and just as I decide, to hell with it, I’m just gonna get to the point, he turns his computer screen towards me and I see that he’s solved the problem, the logic’s different to my manager’s, but it’s simpler and gets the job done... and so I say “Hope the sun comes out soon.”

Motherfucker was always five moves ahead of me. 

Inspired by the punchline delivered by this awesome story teller. More tales this way.

Monday, September 17, 2012

Flight, turn & bowled.

It's not been the greatest season of cricket with the ball for me. I haven't been as economical with my spin bowling as I've needed to be what with my trademark half tracker or two per over ruining spells that were looking pretty darn good till that point. Yesterday, just when it looked like the usual story was playing out, loose balls getting smacked out of the (tiny) park, I bowled one that was just right.

The delivery prior to the one I'm gushing about was full, outside the off stump and driven over the covers for four. It was a shot contrary to the cross-bat hoicker impression given by the batsman's stance - his front leg was covering the middle stump and his back leg the off. I decided to risk it and toss the next ball up as well - it's how I got most of my wickets in Austin - with the hope of tempting him to go for a big heave. As soon as I released the ball, from the way the seam brushed against my fingers, I knew I had him.

He went back and across just as the ball began it's descent and then, deceived by the pace, pushed forward with his bat. Too soon.

The ball drifted in, pitched slightly outside off, gripped the surface and spun in just a bit to beat the bat-pad gap and meet the top of off-stump.

Flight, turn & bowled. Just a perfect feeling.