The Gearhead collects stuff. [Gearhead edits: hence the moniker] [Wife edits: don’t you love how the Gearhead leans toward formal English when waxing eloquently about the barn? He reserves redneck speak for dinner parties when I’ve invited my boss. When bored with conversation he’ll whip off his sweater to reveal a camo t-shirt emblazoned with “Save a Horse, Ride a Tractor”].
He squirrels all sorts of things away in the barn: old doors, used windows, barn board, screws, nails, chain saws, petrol cans, snowmobiles, spare engines, spare parts cars, etc. Readying for the coming apocalypse, you know, takes planning and interior decorating. The place resembles the set of a Mad Max film. Yes, of course I mean the 1979 version, the one shot on an extremely low budget. [Gearhead edits: get to the point why don’t you!]. Okay! All this to say he’s an expert hunter of steals and deals, the most recent of which was an electric garage door opener. He installed the new-to-us opener on my side of the garage, and I must say, I feel like the chauffeur in the Grey Poupon commercials, shutting the heavy door against the winter gales with the simple push of a button. At least I did until I thanked him and he replied, “Happy Birthday!”
Let me list a few points for clarification: 1) my birthday is still a few weeks away; 2) a garage door opener was not on my list; 3) I’m grateful for a garage door opener, I really am, but I didn’t want it to burn my chances for a birthday present; 4) isn’t this similar to buying me something like an iron? 6) I wanted a bracelet 5) I’m a whinging ingrate.
It got me thinking about how differently we think. I’m still surprised by the discrepancies, despite twenty years of living together.
At the turn of the new year, we reminisced, highlighting our favourite moments. All of mine involve food: sipping chilled Muscadet and slipping fresh oysters from their shells into my mouth; tasting honeys harvested from the corners of the earth with a wooden stir stick; appreciating the golden threads of saffron melting amid cream-steamed muscles; the last purple drop of Gigondas in a hotel room.
The Gearhead’s memories all involve adrenalin rushes: skiing couloirs; rolling cars in ditches; downhill mountain biking; car racing. [Gearhead edits: you make me seem so shallow. One of my better memories was meeting you in the Vancouver airport.] Hmm. I remember that too.
There’s always room for transformation. I like the idea of persimmons as a symbol of transformation. When they’re unripe, they’re bitter and tannic, almost inedible, but with time, their colour softens to a burnished orange and they’re flesh becomes squishy and luscious. They are far better with age and patience. The transformation from youth to maturity can be sweet.