After a few bad years, I’m staring to believe in meaning again. Weirdly cosmic things are happening again, but maybe belief is precipitated by a willingness to believe, rather than forcing its way into your life. Maybe it knows that I’m a student of subtlety.

I found a stretch of road on Route 55 in Poughkeepsie which has a Trading Post, a pinball supply shop, a comic shop, and a diner called The Daily Planet with a huge Superman on the wall. Well, Beckie found two of these things, but their proximity to each other is pretty impressive.

The Trading Post promised to trade my NES games for theirs, if I so chose – so I packed up a box of spares (mostly Super Mario Bros and TMNTs, with an extra Dragon Warrior and Kirby’s Adventure thrown in for good measure), and an armload of LPs and made my way north. When I arrived, their NES list didn’t match what they had online, they didn’t have Battletoads & Double Dragon, and the owners weren’t there, so my hot car full of plastic things was of no use to them. It was a bit disappointing, since their e-mail implied that I could stop by any time, so I bought 4 overpriced NES games and left.

The pinball supply place was a parking lot over, so we found it and walked inside, only to realize that it was not actually a shop but a warehouse, and not a walk-in kind of place. The owner was really awesome and actually hung out and talked with us for a few minutes, and apparently, there’s a significant need for a pinball repairman in the Hudson Valley. I didn’t get to poke through boxes of pieces for art ideas, but the whole thing was really informative. I came home and ordered a classic book on pinball machine repair, and started browsing eBay and Craigslist for machines I could possibly fix up for practice. Bride of Pinbot is especially appealing – it’s cheap and in Kansas, and needs some minor electrical repairs. Something about stumbling across this place on a map without actually looking for it, and this information – it might mean something. I’m good at fixing stuff, and I know where to get cheap acrylic parts in any shape I want.

The comic shop was tiny, but really nice and clear, and a shelf full of $5 graphic novels, and ‘Crazy Hair’ with art by Dave McKean, which I never bought for full price because I’m fundamentally opposed to giving Neil Gaiman my money, though it seems like ‘Countdown to Adventure’ is the victim of some kind of spill. You can’t complain for 5 bucks.

The Daily Planet was a really, honest diner with huge food and sassy waitresses, and nothing with goat cheese or grape leaves on the whole menu. I got the biggest burger I’ve ever seen and only managed to eat half of it, and they even cooked it rare.

The rest of life is writing and rewriting and hoping that something catches on fire and propels me away from everything else at a terrifying, exhilarating speed.