introspective periscope : peeking inside since Y2K


until the street lights kick on

daylight at 8pm - 10 may 2015

the days are getting longer.

they called each other several times a day and then again every night. this was the time of year when they talked about how they loved the sunset coming later every day. with all this daylight, they could get so much done! every year it started subtly around the time daylight savings spring forward crap had it's way with the sleeping patterns of children and adults alike...just after that, they'd mention it with increasing gusto and hurrahs as the spring pressed on. without fail: the days are getting longer! to me, they were the only two people on the planet that lamented the first day of summer because they days would just get shorter after that, wouldn't they? and okay, yeah, they do but man, who wants to spend their summer feeling sorry for the shortening of the day? it's no wonder i've been a night owl most of my if to prove that the daylight doesn't even matter.

but of course it matters.

i used to make fun of them, beg them to stop focusing on the death of summer before we'd even had a summer at all. this will be the sixth summer since my grandmother died and this is the first year that my mother hasn't yet mentioned how long the days are getting but i know she will. and even if she doesn't, i know i will. because i don't know how to get through spring without thinking about it.

on monday night, my little son had a little sleepover away and i got to fly solo for the night. i packed a few beers in a little cooler bag and headed for Bride of Pittsburgh Pinball League, the ladies league in which i've been playing. it was the first time i went without the little dude and the first time i got to really relax into the space. i appreciate the women's league because i'm learning more about playing than i have with regular league which is a mix of dudes who are seriously nice guys and love the game and want to help you...and also there are sports! kinds of dudes who hit the glass when the ball drains or smash the flippers like the game is theirs to break and who mansplain every fucking thing to you (even if you're ahead by double their score.) the thing about regular league is you never know if you're gonna have to play with some really cool dudes or some dudes that make the whole 'this is my grown up time for the week please let's play for fun and just let me enjoy this' vibe seem a wistful sunday dream. the vibe at the pinball clubhouse on lady league night is relaxed and everyone is pretty welcoming. maybe because we're all just trying to have a good time for the most part? or am i just starting to get to that wise old lady stage where i really enjoy the company of other women? oh, god, i used to be so young. i had a lot of anxiety around hanging out with so many freaking strangers but i'm glad i've stepped out of that comfort zone because seriously, i'm really having a blast. i'm thankful that melissa invited me and have been enjoying the heck out of hanging out with a smart fun new friend, too. on monday night, we split the beers i brought and split up to play our rounds. we stayed late and played until the place was ready to empty out, dumping our quarters in, taking our turns. by nine o'clock, i was feeling ready to tackle some unpacking (easier to do without a toddler around, i admit) so we headed back to the bird's nest where we chatted like songbirds and laughed into the night as we sorted bed-linens, towels, and clothes into neat piles of keep/donate/storage. who knew unpacking could be such a good time?

but before we stepped out of the clubhouse, i gazed down the river from the south side and mused out loud: look. it's nine o'clock and it's still light out. melissa looked up, affirmed the obvious, and headed for her car to follow me home.

as i caught the birmingham bridge to the boulevard and crossed over the veteran's bridge, the last light was still disappearing and i thought of how i loved those long days in maine. how fascinated i was with how much about a place could be different in the space of just a few degrees of latitude. i got homesick for maine and i thought of my grandmother and how much i miss her. she was my favorite person on the planet and now, i see her everywhere. she is the cardinals in the winter snow and the long light and flowers that come in spring. she is picking strawberries in the summer sun and the warmth of a greenhouse. she is a farm stand selling tomatoes and cucumbers and cantaloupe. i can still hear her laugh and i still smell her when i pass a lady who uses oil of olay. there isn't a day that i'm without her and yet my heart aches at the absence of her; at all the things that have happened since.

the days are getting longer and i'll probably always notice it and i will lament on the first day of summer that the days will start getting shorter...and i will mention it to my mother...until my mother is gone and then...if i'm lucky, my kid will notice things like that, too. i'm trying to show him and teach him all the things i've been so lucky to have been taught. the names of the flowers. the way to make things grow. the joy of being outside in it. and when the wheel of the seasons turn, he will say 'there are the crocus! here are the daffodils!' and hopefully those kinds of things will bring him some joy long after i, too, am gone.

here's to the long days, friends.


.what came before. - .what happened next.

a diamond at the bottom of the drain - 20 october 2017
baseball season to football season, abbreviated - 25 september 2017
the doodles - 11 july 2017
at arm's length - 4 july 2017
like a sea-mammal needs a bicycle - 30 may 2017

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