The Space Between

I was going to write a long, rambling, unfocussed column on the trials and tribulations of carrying on a long-distance relationship. I thought I had it in me. Having dropped Brianna off at the airport about an hour-and-a-half ago I was filled with so much pent-up emotion I felt a brilliant, Pulitzer Prize-contending piece was in the pipeline. Then I came home, started talking to Adam about the Steelers loss…and hit the wall running. In other words, I got nothing–other than an acknowledgement that Bri has left, that I’ve been missing her since I left Pearson International Airport with Tom Waits’ mind-boggling Rain Dogs album providing the soundtrack to my solitude, and that it sucks having the person for whom you’re falling in a city three hours away. I’m sure Angela would kill me if she was reading this. Or Talia, whose relationship with Doug Irwin Anderson, King of the Dudes, is crossing international boundaries between Toronto and, uh, Baltimore. But still, three hours feels like three time zones when you’re in my situation. I used to think I’d be able to pull off one of these things no problem…till I actually found myself involved in a long-distance relationship. Only then did I begin to realize just how hard they are to maintain. Your life becomes necessarily altered, your days built around late night phone calls, your morning departures delayed by MSN conversations, your phone company telling you that you’ve saved in excess of $600 in a single month by using their long-distance plan.

Is it worth it? The answer to that question is the most emphatic “yes” I can muster. In case you haven’t clued in, Bri is one of the top five best things that’s ever happened to me, right up there with seeing Pearl Jam for the first time and asking Paul Hatcher if he’d gone to Woodstock ’99. It makes the distance seem negligible. The two of us are working overtime to make sure this “mistake” of ours can succeed. So far, she’s the one who’s done all the travelling, having been to Toronto now four times since we’ve gotten together–although I should mention that a, she flies free, and b, I’m going to Kingston this weekend. Our time together is precious, which makes her visits that much more incredible; the time flies, the hours disappear, and before you know it we’re back at Pearson saying goodbye and I’m listening to Rain Dogs and cursing the fact that we didn’t meet back in September 2001. The point, I guess, is that this long distance thing is hard–and that there is no way it could possibly work if I weren’t dating the most incredible human being who’s ever waltzed into my life. The fact that I am makes it worth every ounce of effort–which still doesn’t change the fact that I’d give up another Minnesota Viking season just to have her back here right now.

Wow…I had no idea I could write something so…well, heartfelt, for lack of a better word. I feel like I need to jot down a few random observations just to dull the edges.

  • The most useless accessory I own is my Hart House carabeener.
  • Speaking of said carabeener, if I see that stupid Dodge commercial with the guy and the table and the motorbike one more time I’m going to take it and throw it through my t.v. screen.
  • Did I mention that Rain Dogs is an utterly phenomenal album? I still can’t believe I omitted it from my top five discs list…I mean, this thing is a masterpiece. Tom Waits writes the kind of music that makes me wish I was into opium; at some point I’m going to sit down and write a blog entry devoted exclusively to this album (and Paul, you need to listen to Rain Dogs the same way I needed to listen to the Dresden Dolls).
  • Can someone explain to me the point of grad school? No one? I thought not.
  • If you’re into Vietnamese food and want to eat something so good it will make you wish you were in the Vietcong, go to Pho Hung @ Bloor and Avenue and order #44.
  • Watched High Fidelity again last night–that movie will never, ever get boring.
  • Also saw Friday Night Lights this weekend (Bri and I had these two spectacular nights mapped out, then crashed and spent the weekend watching movies and playing crib). Decent sports flick, and about a quarter as good as the book. I realize a movie based on a book doesn’t have to be faithful to its source in order to be good…but still, Friday Night Lights the book is a masterpiece, and it was disappointing to see it reduced to your typical standard issue sports movie.
  • I would imagine that the makers of The Day After Tomorrow found inspiration for their movie in a day like yesterday. Thank goodness Walkhome has passed me by.

And so it goes. Off to bed before a long, uneventful day spent reading about theories on state-building and such…hard to argue with grad school idn’t it?

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