June was my last month in Greenville, SC. It was a busy time–defined by finishing up work for this assignment, a brief visit to Grand Rapids, MI, some more publishing with Ugly Sapling, and getting up close and personal with a 17-year cicada.
It was my first time in Grand Rapids this year, for the occasion of my sister’s graduation. Since two of our cousins shared a party with her, it was a good opportunity for me to see friends and family in a single gathering. I also played 9 holes of golf with another cousin and scored high enough for an 18-hole game. (I later redeemed myself in spades with mini-golf.)
Ugly Sapling published two more works–our first unsolicited novel and a lit journal. Both are good reads and feature work not created by me. This realization is significant for a few secret reasons.
I also had the pleasure of finding a 17-year cicada by the pool. It was much larger than I would’ve thought–its body was about the size of my thumb; length, girth, and probably weight. I hope to see it again in 17 years.
This month’s video features large millipedes, geese, and a heron slowly squeezing the air out of a pufferfish. I had mixed thoughts on the latter matter. First, I felt bad for the suffocating pufferfish. Second, I conceded that this was merely nature. Third, I thought pufferfish excreted a poison and that maybe the heron was being paralyzed because of it. Fourth, the third made me feel bad for the ignorant heron. Fifth, the third made me grin at the cruel irony. It was the perfect lose-lose situation.
That experience occurred while on an extended weekend trip to Clearwater Beach, Florida. A friend and I saw a pod of dolphins swimming near the shore and a shark beneath us while parasailing. The rest of May was spent using my library card, working, and buying then selling boxing equipment that was too loud to have in my apartment. My parents and sister visited over Memorial Weekend, and we got to spent a good deal of time hiking around the area’s various parks.
I tend to use – – because I struggle to select the appropriate punctuation. Commas are tricky, since they are so often overused or spliced. Semicolons are even trickier; I often misplace them. Colons, though, are beyond sexy: just look at this statement. Yet my dashes are more conversational – – inviting a new thought in the midst of another – – freeing me from the constraints of proper punctuation.
There were few showers, but there are now many flowers. This April, I explored several state parks around Greenville and found a handful of waterfalls. I had the pleasure of navigating the South Carolina DMV to legalize my motorcycle. Despite the complicated process of crossing streets to pay taxes and register a plate, I use the word “pleasure” without sarcasm–the DMV workers were exceptionally helpful. A pleasant surprise indeed. Also, I spent my 23rd birthday with a friend in Durham, NC promoting Ugly Sapling at Zine Machine. And aging somehow bettered my eyesight. According to the eye doctor, my vision improved by .25 points, likely due to less eye strain–now being out of school and on a somewhat consistent sleep schedule. This is more likely due to my incessant gnawing on carrots. Anyway, the month concluded with a 5K color run. For the record, the dyed corn starch is worth a lick. Or two.
This month, I experienced springtime in South Carolina. It was reminiscent of childhood spring breaks to Myrtle Beach–new experiences and temperatures that can’t be felt. During the month, a friend who had exposed me to House of Cards visited and accompanied me to Gaffney’s Peachoid. We, too, were surprised at its existence. At Greenville Tech, I took and passed a motorcycle safety course. On the final day of March, I bought a 2009 250 CC Honda Rebel on Craigslist. Until I acquire insurance, registration, and a license; I will live up to the model name.
Another month has passed. We all know that 2016 isn’t getting any younger, but I’m surprised it’s already March. February was an interesting month for me, as I transitioned into a new work assignment in Greenville, South Carolina. Moving south in mid-winter is a dream to many; and although it was never one for me, the change of pace has been nice. It was a bit short-lived, as the last week of February was spent back in New York. But I’ve now returned to my new routine, much of which was depicted in the following video:
This year I made a resolution to take daily two-second videos. At the end of each month, I’ll compile the clips into a minute movie. By the end of the year, I’ll have a twelve-minute film. The purpose of the project is self-serving: to help catalogue daily experiences and trigger smaller memories with each playback. The act of filming something each day, even if it’s only a couple seconds, challenges me to be mindful. Even if I haven’t done something “exciting,” I’ve been more in-tune with the present and my immediate surroundings. With one month down, I’m curious how the next eleven months will change my perspective.