Dream of the Dragon

Category: rising above

Skipping heartbeats.

by Justin

Does resonance diminish over time? More often that not, probably.

An EKG revealed that I have striking respiratory sinus arrhythmia, as indicated by digital scribbles that looked quite a bit like polygraph readouts. I suspect this is part of the natural progression of my relationship with my dog, who has a clear and beautiful arrhythmic resting heart rate. Whippet hearts are like John Bonham drums in muffled miniature.

I sat on a black stool in a tiny white room, sealed and soundproofed, observed through glass by a nurse. From inside the booth, only her black, center-parted hair was visible, draped over a notepad. It felt a bit like Peter Venkman’s ESP tests, and a bit like an army screening room untouched since 1940. The latter may not be inaccurate. I was in there for a hearing test, though, and it lacked the excitement of either.

But, in the end, my hearing proved to be nearly perfect, and well beyond most humans in catching both high and low frequencies. Again, this is a product of Icarus and efforts to hear a deer before he does.

An old physicist – a caricature of the unkempt, graying, and slightly rotund scientist– stood in an academic hallway talking to a student as I walked past. “The inside word is that they’ve seen promising glimmers of a dark matter particle,” he said.

Two broken branches, no thicker than a thumb, had been broken and twisted by the wind. They hung from hardier branches, swaying just inches off the ground, forming an unmistakable ‘4’.

And I came to appreciate the softer side of the Demon Princess of Pomerania – often the life of the party, but seldom the belle of the ball. She’s a real heartbreaker.

Helena Bonham Carter, somehow mistaken for Helen Mirren.



Safety first.

by Justin

Last night three leaves approached me from three different directions, each gliding across the concrete on independent winds.

At least a dozen deer rose out of darkness at once, shocking the dog into unbridled madness as they vanished into the distant tree-line. Just above them, a decommissioned fission reactor’s tower blinked red.

The Department of Energy, contrary to what you may think, takes safety very, very seriously.

And this, ladies and gentlemen, is how the modern professional prepare’s for his first day on the job:

Nicole thought we should celebrate my birthday with haphazard fort-building and a slumber party. It was, despite the quality of sleep, absolutely the right call.

Unlocking Charm.

by Justin

A yellow Grand Cherokee parked outside the convenience store wore the license plate CUREOUS. The license plate reminded me of my father and his choice of HEEL EM, which was a nod to his profession as doctor and his alma mater of UNC Chapel Hill. CUREOUS may be a variation on that theme, though more suitable to some hotshot, misanthropic diagnostician.

The unnaturally blond woman behind the counter tossed the following nicknames my way, all in the span of one minute, and all as charmingly as you can imagine: Sweetie, Honey, Darling, My Love. That last one accompanied the request that I sign the credit card receipt.

I walked past a small, silver sports car parked in a driveway some 15 feet from the street. The rear mirror rocked a single decal with a single word: Alohomora. I’ll grant that the letters were both small and distant, but even after careful scrutiny (from the non-trespassing vantage of the road) I could only see Alohomora.

The Unlocking Charm is, of course, extremely useful, but simple bewitchments can guard against its effects. Over Christmas my niece shared a special affection for that spell. “I just realized how much I love saying Alohomora,” she said. “It’s just really fun to say.”