13 May 2005

yeah, he's real

I read anne of green gables again tonight, and now I'm (once again) firmly convinced that there must be someone out there...somewhere...that perfect-for-me guy, the combination of gilbert and taran and his own endearing qualities. I'm also in the mood for a lengthy rambling full of big words and poetic phrasing and romantic notions, but instead I'm going to bed. maybe I'll have a dream equivalent of the rambling I would've written.

but I will leave with you a copy of the fantastically mika-esque story I wrote yesterday. I sat down to email julia, I was just going to tell her about the san francisco trip, but it needed dressing up. it had to be a worthwhile email. so this came out...enjoy!

Once upon a time, there was a little girl named Mika. She was a delight to all those who knew her, bringing joy and happiness wherever she went. Her ready smile and easy laughter made even the most surly folk unwittingly smile. There wasn't a soul in the entire kingdom who didn't love her. That is, until Tommy and his family moved into the house next door.

Tommy was a little boy about the same age as Mika. Though she quickly befriended him, and they played together often, he had a dark secret that would eventually ruin all the joy Mika had created: Tommy was a boy. And because he was a boy, he liked being messy, and rude, and impish. Mika would never have understood that someone could *like* wreaking havoc. How could you bring suffering to the people around you, intentionally? It just didn't make sense. But that was what Tommy did. For months he made mischief around the house, tying things to the cat's tail and leaving the milk out all day. Mika did her best to exert a calming influence in his life, and being the wicked boy that he was, Tommy allowed Mika to *think* he was being good. The two of them spent hours together in quiet, happy recreation, and peace was restored to the kingdom.

Little did our dear Mika know that the peace would soon be shattered when she invited Tommy to a tea party. They met in the small grassy area connecting their two homes, and Mika laid out her best plastic tea set. It had every promise of being a delightful afternoon, when Tommy snatched the teapot and dashed to his driveway. There he swiped a tin can full of used motor oil and, as Mika watched in horror, poured the oil into the teapot. Mika pleaded with him to be a good boy as he advanced toward her, teapot in hand. But her pleading was in vain: Tommy quickly reached her, and before she could escape, poured the entire teapot of oil on her head! The oil dripped down her face and clothes, covering her in a viscous black goo (and ruining a perfectly good teapot). Tommy laughed, dropped the now-useless teapot, and ran into his house, leaving Mika dumbstruck and dripping.

Something changed inside Mika that day. She began to be less cheerful, less friendly, little by little, so that most people didn't notice it was happening. There were still smiles, of course, but these were accompanied by Mika's unspoken thoughts of how awful so-and-so looked or how ridiculous it was that so-and-so had done a school presentation on the same book for the third year in a row. Of course, inner thoughts affect outer appearance, and Mika slowly became more sharply-featured, more twisted at odd angles, more harsh, until as a young maiden of 20 years she was hunchbacked, deformed, and utterly cynical.

Having thus alienated herself from all meaningful relationships with the rest of the kingdom, Mika was forced to seek out employment in order to support herself. She found work as a laborer, at a small factory with several other societal misfits. Among these were Lauren, the farm girl; Tim, the long-haired rock musician technology guru; Daryll, the short guy cast for his ethnic background; and Mick Jr, the comedic relief.

One day these five laborers were called upon to make a trip to one of the larger nearby kingdoms. This trip was completely unnecessary, and would waste a full day of work, but there was no chance to argue. They set out in the early morning with hopes of finishing their task as quickly as possible, and returning to their homes ere the sun went down. The trip was long and bumpy, and cruel, jagged thoughts were tossed around in Mika's head as they went. When they finally reached their destination, the group was furious to learn that their appointment had been cancelled. This did little to change Mika's perception of the world as a dark, unhappy, altogether malicious place.

Hungry from the tiresome journey, someone suggested going to a local tavern for some food before returning home. "Perhaps our employer will be kind enough to give us money for the food," Lauren said. Mika had doubts about this, but said nothing. After much searching, a tavern was found in Union Square. It had a strange name: The Cheesecake Factory. An eight-story climb was required to reach the tavern, but the others insisted it would be worth the effort.

Entering the tavern was like walking into a fairy kingdom. Shimmery colors danced around the walls and ceiling, delicious smells wafted from the kitchen and dining areas, waiters with smiles and plates of towering food greeted the weary travelers. Mika was spellbound. This place was enchanted. With a dazed look on her face, she was led to a seat and given a menu. She looked inside -- what creations! There seemed to be every dish her pessimistic little heart had ever dreamed of or desired. "Pick one," the others told her, "just pick one. It will be enough." They were wrong, though; it was more than enough. A grilled portabella burger on a toasted bun with spicy mayonnaise and fries on the side filled her rumbling stomach and calmed her grumbling tongue. What was there to complain about? This was bliss, this was heaven, this was life as it should be.

But wait, what now? The waiter returned and offered dessert -- ice cream, pie, cheesecake any flavor imaginable. Tentatively, as if not wishing to break the spell, Mika asked for a slice of Limited Edition Godiva Chocolate Cheesecake. When the dish was placed before her, and she cautiously tasted the creation, it was as if she had been transported to Shangri-la. This was more than bliss.

With each bite she took, the chocolate melted in her mouth and her heart melted in her chest. Why had she been so crabby, so sour? There was more to life than a painful memory of a ruined teaset. There was more to life than Tommy, wherever he was now. Life was about joy and happiness and pure ecstasy, the last of which was edible and being pushed into the mouth of a delirious Mika.

Not much can be said about the long journey home, but this much can be said about Mika: after her experience in the tavern, her outlook changed. She returned to her former good cheer, and something miraculous happened -- whenever she ate again at that tavern, her body became less deformed. For as we know, as the inner reflects the outer, so did her inner peace shine through her once-misshapen body.

Let this be a lesson to us all.

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