The Gearhead is a charmer. Not like a snake charmer, more like a snake oil salesman. He’s a person who, given a reason and a mind to do so, could charm you out of the socks you’re wearing. Could charm the soles right off your own feet. Maybe that’s why I didn’t notice the engine parts in his kitchen sink so many years ago. A woman can overlook anything when she’s in love. In fact, I think the cascade of attraction hormones is
designed to do just that: increase attachment and amnesia.
Twenty years later the charm is still there. The golden spark in his eye rests as a mellow glow until deployed, flaring like the flame of a match when match point must be made in an argument. [wife edits full of exasperation: a new tractor? Just what we need!] [Gearhead edits: it was a fantastic deal! When the sh*t hits the fan we’ll be able to plow our own fields!] [wife edits: we’ll still need fuel!][Gearhead edits: you can burn anything fermented.][wife edits: great, I’ll start with your embalming fluid.]
Sitting in the chair at my hair salon, staring at my own 40+ reflection in the mirror, the large table-cloth cape tied round my neck at a most unflattering point, I listened as my hairstylist gushed, “You’re husband is so wonderful!” Duty bound to dull the spark, I relayed the car farm, the racing, the barn restoration. I tried to keep the curdle from my voice. She fanned all my complaints away, like tiny golden hairs, and told me how lucky I was to have landed such a man.
The Geahead also visited my massage therapist. [wife edits: before you go all first world problems on me, reader—I can hear your sassiness stripping the sentences—I was visiting the massage therapist for a back injury. The therapist is less masseuse, more physio oriented.][Gearhead edits: get to the point!] Following the Gearhead’s visit, the charmed massage therapist was moved to write an entry for the Lululemon “this is yoga” campaign. Here’s the post:
“Recently, I had the opportunity to discuss a unique hobby with a gentleman who shared with me his passion – formula racing. The sensation he experiences of being entirely present in the moment during a race; being aware of his body and the alternating moments of stillness and movement, as he blends with the car and the surroundings. The focus that becomes effortless and practiced, as he lands in the moment without hesitation or resistance to what’s going on. His heightened attention to breath, as he knows it’s a gateway to a calm nervous system and keeps his body going in long periods of challenge. For Danby, this is his yoga.
All of the above mentioned experiences are what many turn to the yoga mat for. Whether you’re going 220km/h in a formula car around a track, or 0km/h in Shavasana on a mat…connecting to the present, being with your body, and utilizing your breath offers extensive benefits to help set you free and land you in the moment.” -Greg Moss, Lululemon Ambassador – Kingston, ON
I tell you though, after a week of race preparation with the Gearhead—think: swearing fits in the garage; exponential requests [wife edits: demands] to hold this! Twist this! Push this! Hammer this!; the clang of metal on cement; the roar of engine vibrating the foundation of the house; the octane scent gaseous in our noses—I’m waiting for the moment when the long white car trailer rounds the curve out of our drive to a race circuit far far away. In that moment, when the songbirds call from the lilac bush and the frenzy shimmers into memory, I dust the gold sparkles from my shoulders and breathe deeply, knowing I have some hours of peace. Maybe I’ll use those hours to write. And I think: this, yes this, is my yoga.
Okay, it’s summer, everything is green, and when honey doesn’t drip from your silver tongue when retaliation is needed, you need something in your kitchen pocket to spice up all kinds of dishes [wife edits: and have the final tongue wrenching of the day]. This one’s from The Joy of Cooking (1997 edition).
Fresh Mint-Cilantro Chutney
1 cup lightly packed mint leaves
½ cup lightly packed fresh cilantro leaves
½ cup coarsely chopped onions
3 small scallions, cut into small pieces
3 fresh jalapeno peppers, seeded and cut into small pieces (I use 1 small bird’s eye with the seeds)
3 tablespoons of water
¼ teaspoon of salt
(I usually add some olive oil too)
Combine everything in a food processor or blender and puree, stopping to scrape down the sides as needed. Makes 1 cup or so. Best to eat this fresh. Refrigerate any leftovers but know the flavours dull with extended storage.