Thursday, December 22, 2005

Acceptance News, Thoughts on Women, & Unanswered Questions in Life

SLAB, a literary magazine affiliated with Slippery Rock University in Pennsylvania, wants to publish my three-page poem “Drive.” SLAB stands for Sound and Literary Art Book ( They sent the acceptance information in a Slippery Rock University envelope, so I thought it was information about applying for a MFA program or something. What a pleasant surprise. They misspelled my last name though as “Humi,” which I can kind of understand since a lower-case “L” could be mistaken for an “i” since I have such an unusual last name. My family thinks that at one point we probably spelled our Czech name Humel (which is how HUML is pronounced), but the “e” was dropped at some point. My wife and I have all kinds of stories about people misspelling our last name, usually on junk mail. I’ve seen Humel, Hummel, Hume, Home, and to my amusement even Homo--to name a few. SLAB has a rather detailed acceptance contract that I need clarification on before I officially accept. The legalese is difficult to untangle, so I e-mailed them a few questions today. The issue is to come out in the spring of 2006.

As a treat to myself in celebration of my acceptance letter, I decided to stop at Starbucks on the way to work and get myself an espresso drink. A pretty redheaded woman about my age entered the store right before me, and I stood in line behind her. She had shoulder-length red hair and was smartly dressed in a red overcoat, black slacks, and pointed black shoes. I noticed that she kept turning her head slightly in profile in my direction, and I felt that maybe she was checking me out. I felt that tension or energy, but a part of me doubted that she was actually appreciating me. Like poem acceptances, it seems these things always happen when I least expect them. My wife says that I am a little dense when it comes to sensing when women find me attractive. We both ended up ordering the same drink, and while we waited for our drinks I felt nervous standing near her. Luckily I had my sunglasses on, so I could glance at her a bit more than normal to test my hypothesis. She did seem to be stealing glances in my direction and seemed as nervous as me. I had a meeting this morning, so I was rather dressed up in my own black slacks, black shoes, with a blue dress shirt (no tie yet, I put that on right before the meeting), and a black leather jacket. I noticed through my sunglasses that she had a wedding band on, which I found very curious and made me think that perhaps what I was feeling as mutual attraction was really just my attraction towards her. Anyway, she got her drink and left, and I am left wondering what that was all about.

This will probably sound chauvinistic or like the objectification of women, but I’ve often wondered why I prefer brunettes and redheads over blonde women. Brunettes hold a special place in my heart, and my wife is a brunette. My first girlfriend when I was 15 was a brunette. Freud would note that my mother is a brunette. Here comes the objectification or over generalizations based upon my personal experiences and associations. To me, I associate the dark hair of brunettes with mystery, brains, and being interesting. Redheads are rare, so they seem exotic to me. I’ve met some attractive, sophisticated, and smart blonde women, but overall I associate blondes with being flashy, obvious, and shallow. Asian women and Hispanic women seem both mysterious and exotic to me.

The encounter with the pretty redhead this morning reminds me of a wish I have. If there is indeed some kind of an afterlife, it would be very nice if all or at least some of those little questions in life were answered. For example, if there is some kind of weighing or judgment about how you conducted your life, it would be nice if during or after that judgment process if you could ask some questions about your life and receive 100% certain answers. I would be curious to know what was going through the pretty redhead’s mind this morning and know if my perceptions were accurate. Wouldn’t it be nice if at some point all unanswered questions would be answered, even if our memory of the answers were just temporary? Maybe if there is reincarnation all our memories and knowledge get wiped before our next incarnation.


At 8:30 AM, Blogger Justin Evans said...

Congratulations on the publication. This is really awesome for you.

As for being dense, I am the same way. On more than one occasion, I have been told by peope that a woman was hitting on me and I had no clue. My wife has pointed it out at least three or four times, though not in recent years, as I become a fatter version of myself every day.

Again, congrats. I think it's wonderful news. I hope you get through the acceptance contract without losing a limb.


as for the Mozart Kugel, google German-Grocery, or look up Mozart Kugel(n) and follow a few links. I found the store with 'discount German food' I think.

At 10:05 AM, Blogger Gerald Huml said...

Thanks for the congrats and the Mozart Kugel information. I'll be curious to see how the contract thing works out.


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