Fascinating things keep happening. They probably always did, but now you’re an awake witness.
A year ago, I stayed up until dawn to write you a love letter, actively experiencing the emotion with each keystroke. I was gushing with a love for words, the devotion to my blog, and if ever so briefly, for all my co-habitants on the good earth. And then there was you, the reader — a vague collective, yet made up of distinct mosaic pieces of your personalities. I loved you then and I love you now. I know this because in spite of sparks ricocheting in my head on the occasions I wanted to rush back to tell you a story during the past four months, this love day is what’s finally compelled me.
It is Saturday, brunch time, downright balmy, and my love is occupying himself with reading at the kitchen table while I finish “work.” You can hear about him some other time. Today I did not fire up any of my hard drives containing footage my hands ache to edit every morning. I know well the daylong fall through these editing holes, so on this sunny love day, it’s crucial not to turn on a hard drive.
“That’s my Valentine’s Day present to you,” I told him.
His Valentine’s gift to me was a flock of wild green parrots appropriating the skies of east Los Angeles.
You see, one late day while driving, I pointed to a massive flock of birds — the ordinary sort you’d expect in a city sky — mid-flight in formation. I was mesmerized as their undersides glowed white when the low sun hit their angling turns. It was then that my love brought up the wild parrots of the Eastside for the first time. I had never known of them, so my head filled with fantasies of forging to the artsy east in search of the emerald flock.
Then I forgot.
But this morning, he enchanted my mind once more with their surreal existence.
“Yesterday I came closer than ever to the flock of parrots,” he said as we were waking up. “They were shrieking, all of them at once.”
My love letter to you last year was my subjective, meandering way of reminding you that just as everyone breathes oxygen, everyone experiences love. Today I’m thinking that everyone receives gifts.
I don’t see Valentine’s Day as too different from Thanksgiving, other than there’s less tryptophan and more schmaltz. Both are days of appreciation that shouldn’t be relegated to one day.
I left you right before Halloween, and I kept wanting to come back. Instead, I digitally stored away all the moments I wanted to write for you. So in the spirit of 365-day appreciation, let me present to you on Valentine’s Day what I had for you on Thanksgiving:
“I’m thankful every day of the year for health, wonder and the people in my life. But I’m most thankful that I’m not unthankful for anything long enough to remember it.
Having said that, let me tackle the paradox of thankfulness.
Superstition – I’m thankful for superstition because humming birds and butterflies are considered good omens, so every time I see one, I perk up in expectance of something good to come. I’m unthankful for superstition because I’m terrified of handling mirrors in case I break one and doom myself for seven years.
Coffee – I’m thankful for coffee because it makes the pain of being awake go away. I’m unthankful for coffee because its absence makes my mind stop and my nose run like a junky.
My Exes – I’m thankful for both the good ones and the bad ones. That’s because the good ones made me a better girlfriend, and ditching the bad ones made me available for someone good.
Hyperbole – I’m thankful for hyperbole because I’m not really afraid of mirrors, and even without coffee, I have it easier than the aforementioned junky.”
For Valentine’s Day, I got my gift of green parrots. But in deference to the eye-rolling bunch who find this day nauseating, I’m including a story that’s both vomitous and filled with Valentine-red imagery. Don’t say you weren’t warned.
Last night, my body decided that for no reason at all, without a hint of nausea, it wanted to expel…stuff. Yes, we’re embarking on literal vomit. Because I’m not altogether normal, I have a tendency to analyze everything under creation, or at least in my field of view, whether it be swirling dust particles or the origin of “os” (having to do with bones) that exists both in English and my native language of Persian. To further venture on this oddball digression, let me give you the examples of osteopathy and ostekhan (bone), and in fact, osso of Italian osso buco fame, which I found delectable prior to becoming a vegetarian.
So naturally, last night, the red fluid with the translucent half-bitten cranberry-looking particles transmitted from my insides, in spite of the fact that I’d eaten brown lentils, was subject to my examination. Sure, there may have been some modest amount of red wine accounting for color, but not for the translucent shapes. Tears streamed down my face as I called out to my love, “The devil just came out of me in tiny red chunks.”
But that’s when it occurred to me: the mysterious heart-shaped bits weren’t chunks of the devil at all, but Valentine’s Eve-appropriate. After all, on varying romance-o-meters, the day is both gag-inducing and heart-filled.
One of the many reasons my vivacious Whatsapp partner-in-crime — whose-name-I-will-now-invoke-so-that-her-blogging-fame-might-rub-off-on-me — Aussa and I get along swimmingly, is our mutual inclination to draw the extraordinary out of the seemingly ordinary. Once on this glorious path of bizarre gifts, fascination flutters around you like a flock of urban parrots. It probably always did, but now you’re an awake witness. I’ll have more to say about this later with accompanying photos. But for now, I will leave you with this:
Even the saddest swan gets a wishing star. She just needs to look up to see it’s right there with the oxygen (see picture).
A Love Letter for you.
- Not today.
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