Romance

This bit was written on a plane, right after finding out the free wifi wasn't actually free. Instead of working on the thing that needed doing, I started scribbling in my notebook. I'm not sure if this is supposed to be about me, or some character I haven't really defined yet. Either way, the narrator is pretentious as hell.

I'm not a romantic, not in the popular sense. I'm not one to light candles, or play your favourite movie, soldiering on through. I don't date, but I'll hang out with you. I'll treat you like a lady, but I'd hardly call myself a gentleman. However, I do find romance in small things, rather than the people around me. Romance is achieved in the way you look at what's in front of you, rather than trying to conjure it out of frigid February air.

I'm reminded of a time, years ago, when her and I were sitting on steps across from a club. Sweat still trickled from our brow but our feet had yet to ache. Still, we found ourselves talking at length. It was still early, we hadn't yet started cracking. I remember being enamoured by the way light played with the railing, buzzing its way through. I can't remember whether it cast a particularly alluring shadow, or if its metal reflected some subtle universal truth. I can't remember how I described it, but it was surely long and filled with barely grasped adjectives. I was still a boy trying to impress a girl, after all. I was a designer then, the graphic kind. At least that's what my education said. I had no more desire to design than I did to hand out traffic tickets (or fight crime), a career I'd discarded because I wanted to keep my hair long. But to her, I was an artist. In her eyes, the words I used to describe mundane beauty painted an idea of the way I see the world. For a mind governed by numbers and molecules, I guess it would be impressive. She was fascinated by my artistic ways, for a time.

I've never expressed myself particularly well, even on the page. Somehow I still call myself a writer with a straight face. I keep a particularly serious expression; neutral but vaguely threatening. My vocabulary has two speeds: expressway nonsense or the erosion of stone. Those who barely know me get the latter. Those who care enough are left hopelessly confused between the two. The second speed is usually when truth comes out, for those with patience enough to pry it out of the bedrock. Few people try, and a handful have had marginal success. Thus my romance is typically kept thoroughly private: locked up like a national secret. There are glimpses of it in the few scribbles I share, blinding light shining through dusty windows.

There's a view I've seen a thousand times, yet its banal majesty still manages to occasionally sneak up on me. I drive down this highway with the mismatched regularity of a household after daylight savings. On each side of it are cliff faces carved by dynamite a year past. They strike me most when ecrusted with fresh snow. They speak to the rigid power of the Earth, this rocky sphere holding us all through a repeated cycle through space. The idea that we live on a planet tumbling through a void of incomprehensible size is routinely accepted. It shirks the awe that should latch on to it.

Beyond, ahead stretches the mixed foliage of trees that undoubtedly identify my country the most. The trees themselves aren't noteworthy, especially in their frozen state, save for their scope. They reach beyond the horizon, meeting with the sky, sealing a globe around me. This view isn't noticeable for its colour or relief, but for its scale. While only a small portion of the globe that houses us, it stretches for miles, encapsulating my awareness. Scope seizes to be this abstract, intangible thing as it fills your senses. I feel isolated in my globe, yet know I'm a minuscule dot in a massive network of landscapes.

This romantic view is condusive to rambling. I have an affinity for it only matched by some of the greatest (or more twisted) minds. Mine is neither of these, likely only short circuited into some adjacent category.

I can't aptly describe this purview as either a blessing or a curse; it improves nothing and certainly brings me no real strife. Like every teenager in the world, I just believe I can't be understood, regardless of my aversion to communication.