Porkpie Hat – A Small Renaissance

I can blow a smoke ring and bake a Boston cream pie. I can write a sonnet, if it doesn’t have to be a good one.

I can’t fix a toaster, I can’t skate backwards. I can play foosball, and fingerpick ?House of the Rising Sun.? I’ve never been good at geometry. Because I’ve paid attention, I know all your names.

You can turn a cartwheel and make a perfect paper crane. You can peel an apple in one long piece. You can’t stay awake for late-night shows. You remember melodies perfectly, but never the singers.

I know all the words to ?Hallelujah,? and ?Send in the Clowns.? I can drive a stick shift, balance dishes to the ceiling, and make you laugh when you least expect it.

I can do the hokey-pokey, and tell you which actress played Frankenstein’s bride. I can’t do the Macarena and I can’t work a crowd. For some reason, I happen to know the Russian word for snow.

You can shoot three-pointers, and find your way around strange cities. You can read my mind, and make me laugh at myself when I don’t really want to, both of which sometimes piss me off. You can identify obscure constellations. You can’t fall asleep when there’s something on your mind.

I can imitate Columbo and Truman Capote. I can tie a sheepshank and hold my breath a long time underwater. I can tell a pretty good ghost story around the campfire, and make shadow puppet rabbits. I can’t set the clock on the DVD player, but I can cover it with electrical tape, so the flashing doesn’t bother us.

You can knit a sweater and play the ukulele. You can charm the cranky merchants in Little Italy. You can follow instruction manuals while you paint your toenails. You can read road maps, but you can’t re-fold them.

We can talk for hours about everything and nothing. We can swim naked when no one is looking. We can get people dancing at boring office parties. We can make friends with unlikely people. We can see the magic in snowbanks and compost. We can read books until four in the morning. We can’t do without coffee. We can’t find the car keys when It’s time to leave. We can’t stay on top of budgets or laundry.

We can spend forever getting a little bit better.

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