You would think that after getting burned once by meeting someone online, I would think twice about doing it. Well, it's happened again. I met someone in the online game Second Life, and the rest is going to be history come July, 2008. I met her by chance, during the time my father was dying, and we grew closer every day. To start, we talked online daily, for a good few hours, and eventually we moved to speaking to each other on the phone. Our feelings grew for each other, and it wasn't long before we knew we would be together.

We spent a few months, talking to each other, getting to know each other, and falling for each other. There was one slight problem with all of this, and that was she was in Georgia and I was in Pennsylvania. Not to worry though, as come December my company was sending me to the home office in Atlanta for some training. Once I knew for sure, I told her and we arranged a meeting. Upon my arrival to the hotel, I was greeted by the most beautiful woman I had ever seen, and from there we were inseparable. It was at that point I began to make arrangements to make the thirteen hour trek to Georgia as often as I could. It was sealed, I finally found the one I was looking for.

Now, here I am, months later. I've moved to Georgia, we're engaged, and we have a beautiful daughter. These are things I would not do if I were not totally sure of the person I'm with. I can tell you, my search is finally over.

Fever dreams.

First, I was underwater in a swimming pool. I twisted and turned but could not find the surface. I woke as I finally had no choice but to inhale water and my vision filled with stars on black.

Then the vertical tunnel with flashing neon stripes and I seem to fall forever. Then the worst of all of them. The tiny noise somewhere that I can't identify. It stays there, bugging me. Then it gets louder and louder until eventually it is roaring, bellowing in my ears. I clutch my head, unable to wake. It does not stop and the sound kills all other sensations and I just want to scream and eventually it fades away and I pray it's gone but the tiny noise is still there and I know it will be back again and again and again...

The olfactory of wet leaves reminds me of youth. Every rainy autumn day with the cornucopia of leaf hues stuck to sidewalks I walk. A natural repose of season. Of my first kiss, of my last evening waiting for dawn. This is my fall.

Any season succumbs to another, our process of time emulated with the sensory cues allowed us through the natural process. How often a song fades into these times and then, some day in the car, the song will emerge. The lost love or forgotten place will be reminded of and even a hiccup of remembrance will evolve. These are mere moments of life. The myriad of people creating a mosaic of our lives with seasons and music. This is how I want my life. Even when it aches.

The other day I was in a gallery and a box elder bug fell onto the back of my shirt. Someone brushed it off and told me and I thanked them for brushing the bug off me. At the time, I could only think of my lover taking the shirt from the closet that morning and holding it up to the breaking light in front of her face.

“What are you looking for? Stains?” I asked.

“No stains”. She replied.

Some mornings I wake up and curl my knees to my chest and pull the covers close around me. I think about how awful sad I get and wonder if I must manifest a during of happiness to become. My mongrel dog sighs at the end of the bed in unison with my thoughts.

In my mind, I am always gathering a semblance of this whole of me. I try to piece together little puzzle pieces that never fit to get a picture of yesterday and tomorrow. I rather wallow in the today with hopes of understanding the rest. Each today is a surprise filled with tasks to complete that I wish I’d done yesterday and would rather do tomorrow. This is today.

I can’t see my shadow on the wet pavement of the oil slick rainbow puddles of the boulevard. I bet my shadow is somewhere though and remains as a reminder of where I’ve been. There is one place here in Minneapolis where I have been many times. It is my spiritual grounds on the northern inlet of Lake of The Isles. The bench that was there is gone now, raised with renovation, but the place is still there and on autumn days I often visit it. The place is of my spirit, of my hopes and dreams and the place I went when my heart grew too big for my body. It is a sanctuary only for me and it remembers as much as I do. I can see my shadow there even in the dark.

If only I could grasp a sometimes of my life, I figure if then, I could be fine. Instead, I let go of everything once in a while each day and float through the life of mine. It is wonderful and fills me with a great clarity of being when I let go. My spirit relaxes with the ebb of momentum that suffocates my general being. There is no substitute for thyself.

I can’t help but wonder, but in moments like these of autumn leaves and feelings of place I subconsciously mandate a process within itself. One that occurs naturally and with not pressure or planing, only with serendipitous motion of will and love.

So yesterday was our big, huge two-hour ultrasound. And when they'd said it would take two hours, they were not lying. It took every bit of that two hours. The woman measured everything. Or tried to. She didn't get a good enough look at "Baby A's" brain and a few other things because of how he was lying in there.

Oh, don't worry, it was there. It's just that she couldn't get enough of a good look to measure something how she'd wanted.

So we finally know what we're having. Is the suspense killing you? Well if you were paying attention to pronouns you already know at least one was a boy. That guy may have not given us a perfect view of his gray matter but he showed off his stuff proudly. The other one, "Baby B," was shy with the umbilical cord between its legs. They let my wife go take a leak and when she came back they'd moved.

Well I was a little disappointed, but it turns out both are boys. I in the not-so-distant-future will be the proud papa of three boys. Holy shit how am I going to handle three boys, two of them twins? I'd wanted at least one girl. I had wanted a Daddy's little girl to dote on. Now it looks as if I may never get that. Are we just one of those couples that no matter how many times you try you always get the same sex? Like those families with four or five girls? Or boys? But at any rate, I'm gonna love 'em to death, just like my son now. :)

They're almost certain the twins are not identical. There's still some doubt. But even if they're not identical, they sure did look alike, as far as their features on the ultrasound.

The names we have picked out are Evan and Tristan - the name we'd almost named my now 3-year-old son. It's bringing back the old argument with most of our uncultured relatives, that Tristan isn't a boy's name. It doesn't matter how many times you tell them it IS a boy's name they won't listen. Well this time we're not changing it and I'm tired of taking crap for it. I do not think the name Tristan will get him made fun of. There are far worse things to worry about being made fun of for. Trust me, I know. And I've known several boy Tristans, never one girl Tristan. I'm gonna tell them, the day they're born, if they give us any crap... AT ALL... about that name they will be asked to leave the hospital. Nothing will taint that wonderful day.

Anyway, it's been an interesting few months in my life, of that you can be sure, between getting pregnant and flying down to Phoenix -- and I have to fly down there again Friday, by the way, and drive all the way back up to St. Louis Saturday and Sunday with my sister, grandmother, and a dog.

Ever taken a road trip with a dog? I haven't.

That will probably be the last time I go to Phoenix. That place... it's just too hot and brown for my tastes. I don't know what my sister ever saw in it. I'm glad she's coming home, though... this time for good. Goodbye, Arizona!

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