posted on Jun, 4 2012 @ 11:32 PM
Carrie noted how the sunlight streaming through the leaves and branches of the surrounding trees looked like luminescent waves crashing upon a
forested beach and she marveled at how sunlight, like water, was insidious. Kevin noted that light is not a wave but instead is a steady stream of
energy packets called photons and marveled at how an elementary particle like photons, that quantum of light could shine so brightly.
Carrie could feel the annoyance start to rise within her and imagined Kevin pointing out that the cortex of her brain was capable of regulating such
emotions in what he called "executive processing". "Executive processing be damned" she muttered under her breath but loud enough to catch
Kevin's attention. "What" he said distractedly buried in his own thoughts. "Nothing" Carrie replied as the annoyance grew now mingling with a
new emotion, that shameful emotion that sticks in the craw of your gut emotion, that emotion we call guilt. She didn't want to be annoyed at Kevin,
and she certainly didn't want to feel guilty so she looked down to the ground looking for something to focus on desperately trying to access her
"executive" to "process" her emotions.
She kept her stare focused on an oak leaf, forest green except for the tip and the edge of the left side of the leaf which looked more like a rust
color. Curious, she picked up a stick nearby and poked at the green and rust oak leaf. "Phytophthora ramorum." Kevin muttered. "Excuse me?"
Carrie asked a bit to incredulously. "Phytophthora ramorum. It's a water mold that causes sudden oak death. It's an invasive species to this
area." Ha! Thought Carrie to herself, or at least she hoped that exclamatory ha was a thought she kept to herself, but even so...Ha! There is no
greater invasive species, she thought to herself, than the husband too comfortable with a marriage that has lasted too long, and then she started
feeling guilty again.
"The proliferation of invasive species in this forest is a real threat to the old growth habitat. It's a biotic factor that leeches the necessary
sunlight, water, and nutrients..." Yadda yadda yadda, blah blah blah, meek meek and merk merk Carrie had no idea what Kevin was yammering on about
and wished he would just shut up and enjoy the solitude of this ancient forest. This was supposed to be a day where the two of them tried to rekindle
the lost romance between them, but if Kevin thought describing the nature of nature in his usual prosaic way was romance then...well, it occurred to
Carrie that their marriage just may be over.
Then suddenly, and without warning, only a soft sigh, Kevin shut up. Even in his silence, Carrie had come to know so well, Kevin couldn't really
keep quiet and he breathed heavily, with purpose, inhaling loudly as if he were snorting the air around him as if it were coc aine. He exhaled
and then took a deeper, even louder breath, enjoying the sweet smell of rain. It had stopped raining over an hour ago but the freshness of air hung
stubbornly behind and Kevin wanted to share with Carrie why it was that air smelled so sweet after a rain. He wanted to explain how rain disrupts the
environment, how the disruption mingled with ozone had the effect of freshness pleasing to many people's olfactory senses enjoyed the smell, but he
sensed that Carrie was getting annoyed with him so he took one more deep loud breath, held it for a few seconds savoring that breath before letting
out another soft sigh.
The both of them remained silent as the setting sun ushered in the twilight that looked a lot like darkness underneath the redwood trees that
surrounded them. Not a word was spoken for more than an hour as Kevin's mind raced back and forth with equations and postulates as Carrie sat
serenely thinking of nothing in particular. She had that ability, thought Kevin, to just sit there and think of nothing as if such a thing were even
possible, let alone probable. How does one think of nothing? Why thinking of nothing is like not thinking at all, and then it occurred to him that
maybe Carrie wasn't thinking at all, just sitting silently being Carrie.
As Kevin's mind remained the effect of his popping neurons Carrie, who was thinking even if it did not look that way, thought about their struggling
marriage and how maybe they were never intended to be together. She was an actress and dancer when they met, and came from a large family of bohemian
artists types who loved to read Balzac and Baudelaire, and smugly dismiss Blake and Byron as dilettantes, wanna be poets, poseurs who paled beside
Balzac and Baudelaire, but Carrie had long known her family were the real poseurs and the first opportunity she got she left upstate New York and ran
to Los Angeles to become a film star and dancer like Ida Lupino and Ginger Rogers, although Ida Lupino wasn't really a dancer and Ginger Rogers
wasn't really an actress, both of them were certainly movie stars.
Of course, Ida Lupino and Ginger Rogers came from a different time, back in a time when men wore hats and women painted their legs to look like panty
hose. A time when no one had anything to fear but fear itself, a time when greatest generations were coming home from war, those who survived, and a
middle class rising largely because of a G.I. Bill and a recovering economy threatening to become roundly robust. Today, veterans come home from less
popular wars bringing back post traumatic stress disorders and no hopes of a job, and families were being evicted from their homes because they
couldn't pay the mortgage. This was a time long past Jennifer Beals who had a dancer double do the flash dance, and Madonna could dance, but just
like Ginger Rogers couldn't really act, and Jennifer Lopez could dance and sometimes act, but none were anything like the movie stars that once were
Ida Lupino and Ginger Rogers.
Carrie ran to L.A. to get away from her pretentious family who pretended to be bohemians because they could afford to do so, and loved to look down
their noses at self made men who created wealth as being vulgar and crass, as only those who've inherited wealth can do. She supposes now this is
what attracted her so much to Kevin. His utter artlessness, his plain and simple mathematical sensibilities were nothing at all like anyone from her
family. His frugality, his tidiness, his dyed in the wool good old American Boy Scoutedness was everything her family wasn't and so she married him.
Now, she sits deep in the Redwood Forest wondering why it was she thought she could be happy with a physicist, a sting theorist who would punch the
air as if he were pressing imaginary buttons while he calculated the wonder of nature and the universe.
She looked over at him doing his level best to sit there quietly as the crickets began to chirp the song of twilight, but his fingers were tapping
silently on the log they sat and she knew he was calculating some phenomenon or another...it was his nature. It was really time for them to go back
to the city, but the air still smelled so sweet, and the dusk welcomed their presence and suddenly she realized he why he was keeping so quiet. She
realized he was doing it for her! She then realized how much she had once loved him and how she loved him still and she tenderly placed her hand atop
his tapping fingers and intertwined her fingers with his. The looked at each other under the approaching night and she smiled softly...it was her