Tuesday, August 11, 2009

It's Popcorn Day!

I had a very peculiar experience one morning as a high school senior. 

I rose out of bed, happily rested, over an hour before my alarm sounded.   Just as Tracey Turnblad wakes up in the opening song of Hairspray: The Musical, “Good Morning, Baltimore,” I was up and out of bed with enthusiasm and fervor and ready to face the day.  This was a day like no other day.  I sang in the shower, made myself a hearty breakfast of smiley eggs and bacon, sat down at the kitchen table and checked over my homework from the night before. Given that I did the last item on that list, I can say that yes, this was definitely a day like no other day. 

Since I had gotten ready so early, I decided that I would walk to school. It usually takes about ten minutes to drive from my house to school, so I set out for a nice, long walk. It was like I was walking through an Enzyte commercial (“…looks like Bob is still enjoying the big lift he gets from using Enzyte—natural male enhancement…”) except completely out of context, of course.  The sun, happier only to get higher in the sky, opened its arms and hugged the morning as if to say, “Today is going to be so awesome.  Birds took those words to song as I came to a quaint, charming neighborhood.  Small, uniformly white houses stretched along a street whose name I cannot remember now, but I am sure it would be something like “Walnut Lane,” or “Sunny Pancake Drive.”  Picket fences and daisies decorated the sidewalks on both sides; the grass was the kind of green that is only seen in fertilizer commercials.  The neighborhood was a picture of my happiness, and my happiness was a picture of the neighborhood.   

As I walked through, however, I noticed that each house was ornamented with a hanging basket in its doorway.  Strange, I thought, as I moved closer to one of them to see what was inside (naturally; why take time to smell the roses when one could be a completely different kind of nosy). I peered down into the basket, and found that it was filled with popcorn. 

When I saw this, I heard a rustling behind me, and I looked into the street to see discs like tiny asphalt manhole covers sliding away from a hole that they had formally covered.  Then, speakers the size of standard pop-tarts boxes on poles rose out of each opening—fifteen or so spread out across the street.  I heard the feedback of an adjusting microphone as the speakers clicked on, and then a voice—a voice with the tone of Ed McMahon, but the enthusiasm of Richard Simmons—exclaimed....

Before the word “day” had even gotten a chance to trail off, swing music circa the 1930s began to pour out of the small speakers.  People poured out of their houses as well and began dancing happily down the street, laughing and eating and throwing popcorn into the air—hundreds of them.  I watched in utter amazement, and Gloria Estefan was right when she said, “the rhythm is going to get you,” because it got me, and before I knew it I was dancing with them, in pure joy, down the street. Now I am not someone who would usually dance in public with people whom I do not even know, but that morning I came alive—a kind of alive that I had never experienced before. The happiness was heavenly.  

I arrived—with the crowd—at my high school, and was pleased to find that everyone inside had caught the jitterbug as well.  Popcorn filled the halls there, too, and students and teachers alike all danced in delight to the music being dispensed through the intercom. We continued this behavior until the bell rang.  The last kernel of popcorn fell to the ground, and we all went to our regular classes.  We were not disappointed or sad, but instead we were rejuvenated and excited to start the day. 

And then I woke up.  My alarm pierced the air and I fumbled for the off switch.  I slid out of bed and took a shower. I did not have time for breakfast, or to check over my homework (which, at that moment, I realized I had not even finished).  I hopped into my minivan and drove ten minutes through the February cold.  The sun had apparently hit the “snooze” button as I passed yards with chain-link fences and odd bumps of gray snow that hinted that there were dead plants and flowers underneath.  And in the middle of these yards were dirty, haphazard houses, all unlike and forgotten for the season.

But in my mind there were baskets hanging in every doorway.  It was Popcorn Day, as far as I was concerned; and I was still dancing down the street.

This is a blog about my dreams, both asleep and awake; about all the things that make me “Popcorn Day Happy” and all the other things that make my life mine. I hope you enjoy. 




  1. This is fantastic! Even better than I thought it would be!
    I want everyone to read that story! How cool!

    I love you so much. And this is why.

  2. I also love how descriptive it is, like "Sunny Pancake Drive" and the voice of Ed McMahon with the enthusiasm of Richard Simmons, and the sun was hugging the sky.


  3. I'm really happy that you've started this blog too! One thing I really miss when you're at college is getting to hear about your really strange and detailed dreams!!!! Very nice visuals! I especially love the popcorn basket!

  4. i want everyone to take notice that my friend tami (signed in as ebsgaltse) has made a test comment just to make sure that she can. i spent about twenty minutes with her on the phone trying to help her make a google account.

    welcome to the 21st century, tami.

  5. I love your pictures-very creative!

  6. this is great brian, i really appreciated this!


  7. AHH!! an anonymous commenter!! who could it be? who could it be??

    (glad you liked it.)

  8. Your pictures are adorable! And so creative! I love this blog!