#5 In Roads-Mystic Myque
Today was a great day for meeting people. It’s especially easy to chat with someone when you have him or her trapped in the window seat of an airplane. Locale not withstanding, it’s also easy to talk to someone who is engaging. And an entertainer.
Myque (pronounced Mike, in case the creative spelling threw you) leapt out of his seat and announced that he had forgotten his luggage on the concourse and went frantically sprinting down the aisle as the completely sold out plane was boarding. Upon his return, I noticed he had a very waxed handlebar moustache and I instantly had to know his story. He uses flamboyant hand gestures a lot and speaks clearly and slowly in a Victorian cadence. We chatted for hours.
From Cedar Rapids, Iowa, my new friend cast off the typical trappings of the family farm. When I asked his vocation he declared with great flair that he is a theatrical artist. I smile and ask for his card, which he presents with an apologetic, “It’s not a very good card, but here you are.” It introduces Myque as an actor, acrobat, dream maker, and director as well as announcing his abilities at commedia, clowning, and Grand Guignol. And he has a MFA in ensemble based physical theatre. Needless to say, I am intrigued. He has fond memories of growing up on a pig farm and brags of the trials and tribulations of farming throughout the years. These days, in addition to raising traditional crops, the family also operates canoe rentals and he organizes interactive plays along the banks of the river for canoers as they float by. Additionally, his family has a line of fishing bait ATM machines, something I’ve never heard of and instantly laugh at. Wow, who knew you can pop your credit card in a machine and, in return, it spits out a tub of night crawlers, bloodworms or minnows. On occasion, you can even get leeches, though not the blood sucking kind. He says it’s pretty cool, but warns that I never want to be the one who has to clean out the machines if the power goes out, and I take him at his word.
He’s given his heart to a Canadian girl and they are newly married. She is a student working on her Ph.D. and doesn’t love the small town farm life that her husband does. He doesn’t embrace the big city life that she is comfortable in but they have worked out a five-year plan that includes living under one roof and building a family. For now, they try to see each other at least every two months and utilize Skype and Ma Bell extensively.
“When I was single, I had to worry about being single. Now, I’m not so I can go about the business of living my life and feeling connected. It’s not that hard, really.” I tell him that makes sense to me. He smiles and I realize that I’ve met a very wise 32 year old who has the world by the tail.