Blogging in E minor
Usually just a bunch of silly crap.

How I Met My Muse, Part V: Stargirl

            “What was wrong with the name your parents gave you?”
            “Nothing. It was a good name.”
            “So, why did you drop it?”
            “Because I didn’t feel like a Susan anymore.”
            “Do you change your name whenever you get tired of it?”
            “Whenever it doesn’t fit anymore. I’m not my name. My name is something I wear, like a shirt. It gets worn. I outgrow it. I change it.”
                                                          excerpt from Jerry Spinelli’s “Stargirl”

October 2009

I have a time machine. It is about 13” x 9” x 1,” fits easily into my attaché case and can go wherever I go. With my time machine, I can connect with the entire world — past, present and future. The only downside is that it makes work more convenient, thus, enables me to work more.

It thrives in coffee houses.

           My time machine allows me to visit any age in the history of the universe. I can watch old music videos from bands I have long since forgotten or by those that may as well never existed. Hilarious footage of total strangers doing incredibly stupid things is just a few clicks away.

            I can pay my bills before I receive them with virtual money before I get paid.

            Then there’s Facebook. During the year and a half since I’ve signed on, I’ve managed to connect with folks from every chapter of my life: grade school chums, high school buddies, coworkers from past jobs, former band mates, college roomies, old girlfriends, etc. It even allows me to stay in touch with my wife, LOL!

 

            When a friend request from Maria popped up on the screen, I recognized her immediately. Sure, she was 30 years older, fully mature, and lacked all the signature characteristics that have been permanently incorporated into my “Maria schema.” This woman wore no braces, lacked a platinum blonde cocker spaniel hairdo, and it was unlikely she would still fit into a size zero dress. Nevertheless, it was her.

           Or was it? Apparently, this person was called “Stargirl,” and she had two new last names. “WTF?” I thought aloud, “She’s turned weird.”  

            I considered ignoring the request. Then the phrase “we made direct amends to tho such people,” came to mind, so I immediately clicked “confirm.” I sent her a brief, friendly note to the effect of, “Good to hear from you. How are you?”

            Accepting the friend request enabled me access to worlds of information on this Stargirl person who looked somewhat like my freshman Homecoming date. She played guitar these days, and there were crude videos on her fb page of her performing her own songs. A rich, powerful voice had replaced the mousey squeakings I had remembered from decades past, perhaps as the result of her theatre training in college, which was indicated on her profile. There were pictures of her two teenaged kids, her daughter being close in age to my own.

            And then there was her blog.

            I scanned a wide range of entries that spanned nearly two years’ time. Stargirl was now a full-fledged play-in-the-grass hippie who practiced polyamory. At one time, she was in a triadic relationship with two men, one being the father of her children. She currently lived with her daughter, a younger man and a herd of squirrelly critters in a small box next to railroad tracks in a little town called Iowa, which was situated on a flood plain amidst cornfields, silos and grain elevators.

            How was it possible that this was the same squeaky-clean child I dated in high school?

            What was obvious from reading her blog and listening to her music was that her creative genius had come to fruition. Once I overcame my jealousy of her superior writing skills, I was awestruck by her ability to effortlessly blend sophisticated ideas and observations with an entertaining, whimsical, absurdly silly writing style. She had even created her own punctuation!

            Then it occurred to me that these remarkable talents and her unusual lifestyle were among the tell-tale traits of gifted individuals. Unlike highly intelligent people, who are typically highly functioning “normal” people, the gifted frequently live in their own world, operate under idiosyncratic assumptions about reality and play by different rules.  

            And as I was reading about one of her numerous misadventures with temperamental cars, Stargirl popped into the corner of my time machine window via an IM dialog box: “Are you spying on me?” it read.

            Thus began the process of becoming re-acquainted.

 to be continued

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One Response to “How I Met My Muse, Part V: Stargirl”


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