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One of the biggest perks of having a science-related career is free travel.  I have been all over the globe in the name of research and collaboration.  Central America.  The Caribbean.  Southeast Asia.  And now, Canada (the most alien and mysterious of them all).  It has permitted me to see things that most people from my region will never get to see, experience things that they will only haphazardly experience through cinema.  It also gives me a chance to stretch my legs, take a break from married life, and sow some wildly exotic oats.

I’m not sure that my oats are necessarily exotic, but I like the way that sounds, so I’m sticking with it.

Admittedly, it’s hard to be away from Ashley for extended periods.  I do enjoy her company terribly, even if our interactions have become almost strictly platonic, but there is something incredibly thrilling about meeting new people, talking, laughing, feeling that spark ignite between you for the first time, the euphoria of discovering that this stranger wants to become more than friendly acquaintances.  And you never know where it will happen.  In Central America, it happened at a house party that I never planned on attending but was forced to visit.  In the Caribbean, it happened on the beach while sipping rosemary-flavored rum with the shop owner’s daughter.  In Southeast Asia, it happened outside a “foreigner bar”, in the middle of a crowded street.  Today, in Canada, it happened at a gas station, beside a cluttered desk, listening to Clutch.

See, no one listens to Clutch.  They’re one of those bands that people may have heard of, but no one actually follows.  No one but me, anyway.  And, apparently, the girl who does the books at the local gas station and mechanic’s shop. Today she was listening to their album Pure Rock Fury, specifically the song Careful With That Mike, bobbing her head absently to the rhythm.  I was surprised because 1) NO ONE listens to Clutch, and 2) she’s a lot cuter than most girls I’ve encountered this far north.  She’s chubby but not overweight, fair skinned, dark haired, and possessed of enough visible tattoos and piercings to perk the interest of my inner would-be rocker.  So, I decided to feel her out by suggesting that, if she likes Clutch, she should check out the lead singer’s other band, The Company Band.

She froze solid, looked at me in shock, and said, “You listen to The Company Band?  No one listens to The Company Band.  Oh my god I love you.”

I was hooked.  When she should have been working, we sat and talked for a solid two hours while I waited for my company vehicle to get fixed up.  Music.  Concerts we’d attended.  My work.  Her school and career goals.  Why she lives in what I am convinced is the coldest place on Earth.  (The scientist in me tries to say otherwise, but the beach bum in me just won’t listen.)  Turns out, aside from keeping the books at the shop, she also tends the local bar.  The ONE local bar, within an hour and a half drive.  I told her I might have to swing by sometime.

“You should.  Your first one will be on me.”

“Figuratively, or literally?”

“………I’ll let you find out yourself.”

And that, ladies and gentlemen, is that.  No novice attempts at fancy prose or eloquence.  Just a simple retelling of how I get myself into these situations.  Should anything actually come of this, I’m sure it will find its way here.



  1. How fun! Sounds to me like you’re living a beautiful life 🙂

    • Certain elements are beautiful. Others are more bittersweet, or just downright disappointing. But for the most part, yeah, it’s been pretty good so far.

      Thanks for the support. 🙂

  2. You seem to be having a whale of a time!

    • It hasn’t been too bad so far. Research trips are usually rough on me, but this one has some definite high points…

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  1. […] If you have no idea what the following post is about, I suggest referencing my recent post about connecting with a woman at the mechanic’s shop. […]

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