Thursday, May 27, 2010

The Word Tropical Does Not Only Refer to the Region Between 23 Degrees North and South of the Equator

There are unmistakable patterns in my life, events and ideas and feelings that crop up again and again, no matter how uncanny or incongruous it may seem. I suppose everyone's life is like this--repetitions of various minute details or overarching life "themes" (much as I hate applying that terms to anything but fiction). Or perhaps I shouldn't assume as much, and perhaps the rest of the world is beset by constant spontaneity and NEW THINGS! Everyday!

It has taken me a while to come to terms with them, but I have identified two tropes in my life, two ideas or events or acts or situations I have observed time and time again. No, I don't tend to crave eggs on Tuesdays. I am not beset by missed buses or constantly find places that I have been pictured in films. I think it is safe to say that my tropes are far more bizarre--and also more illegal--than your average, run-of-the-mill repeated details in life.

I see drug deals. And always manage to be around the weird sexual behavior of strangers.

Witnessing drug deals began back in Bellingam. I suppose, however, that it is fair to say that those witnessed in Bellingham do not make this a trope in my life--one would be hard-pressed to find a solitary soul in the city who has not seen a drug deal take place. I mean, we've all been on the corner of Railroad and Holly, haven't we? But this pattern repeated as I moved to France--a sneaky hand reaching through the schoolyard fence to a car waiting outside--and continued in New Hampshire as well--a swift touch of hands between classes in front of Thompson Hall, two men quickly moving apart in a parking lot at 4 in the morning as my headlights illuminate their evil doings.

Perhaps odder still is the amount of times I've been around the sexual behavior of total strangers. There was the wanker on the beach, and who could forget the loving Polish couple who wanted everyone to know just how truly, madly, and deeply their feelings went? It all began, however, with the man who mistook the Washington State Tourism hotline for a 900 number on my second week at VGP, and who was curiously turned on by the digits in a Seattle hotel's telephone number.

While I do think it is energy misplaced to divine the meaning of these tropes, I do find myself wondering about their connection to me, specifically. What is it about me that invites such behavior in those around me? What is this weird magnetism that draws drug-dealing and sex-crazed strangers to my door? At the risk of betraying a bit too much of my current existential crisis (and of my secret identity as a wandering Beat poet), these questions seem far more pertinent in determining who this person named Ashley is.

And though I may have identified these patterns, these tropes, their recurrence in my life is by no means predictable, and knowing that they will inevitably happen again (and probably soon, too!) does not take the spontaneity out of life. Where will I see a drug deal next?! Will I be forever scarred or oddly amused by the next couple I see having sex on the beach--and not the chilled kind that comes in glasses?!


Scar said...

you just think you're so big-time. and what does the title have to do with anything???

Ashley said...

Tropical is also the adjective form of the word "trope". BOOMSIES.

Ian D said...

Whoa. I had no idea. Learn something new ever day.