Nate Abrupticates a Snapcaster: or, My Magic Relationship

Back before Nate, when I spent a lot of time with my journal articulating What I Wanted in a Relationship and making Man Lists with the hope that I’d end up with Something Awesome instead of drama and heartbreak or endless lonely doom, I distinctly remember saying I wanted a relationship with “a lot of magic in it.”

Well, I got that. Not only is Nate a guy who is deep and unafraid of mysteries and pretty much kicks ass at being a boyfriend, he’s also really into magic. Or I should say Magic, as in Magic: The Gathering, which if you don’t know, is an insanely strategic game with a cheesy fantasy guise. Nate plays online. A lot. You may have heard me struggle with this. Sometimes his relationship with me and Magic feels like polyamory, only without any risk of STI’s. To be fair, I’m writing a novel, which is its own kind of love affair. I just do more of it during working hours.

Anyhow, Nate plays lots of Magic, and watches lots of videos where people talk about “killing people infinitely with murderous redcap” and “trotting birthpod out there with three untapped manna.” These things make sense to him. When I eavesdrop, I can’t even tell when I’m mishearing the names of the cards: Celestial Purge, Kitchen Finks, Turmeric Zurich, Birds in Noble, Man a Leak — which of these are plausible? Nate knows.

Nate’s passion isn’t misplaced. He’s really good at the game. He just got invited to play in a prelim championship tournament because he was ranked in the top 150 players in his type of Magic. That’s the top 150 in the world. During the tournament, he kept coming inside with a dazed look, as if he’d just pulled a sword from a stone, having won again. He placed 34th (remember, that’s in the world), and was kind of disappointed. This is a man with some standards.

I’m bragging on him because he won’t do it himself. And also because I’m really glad he’s getting some outward recognition for his awesomeness. Because it may look like he’s just a guy in a shed with a computer and a hot sauce bottle — it might even feel like that to him — but there he is, in the top 150 in the world at something, and how many people can really say that? And beyond that, he’s a kind man, a smart man, a dedicated, persistent man, with a hot sauce bottle and a lot of inner, uncapitalized magic. The universe might like puns, but it sent me a good one.

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Ass and You Shall Receive

“I wish I had a bronze statue of your butt,” Nate told me a couple of months ago. “With a plaque: Becca’s butt, age thirty two.” Careful what you ask for, Nate.

Bronze was outside the scope of my budget, so I used Sculptamold.

“How would you make a casting of an, uh, torso?” I asked the art store guy. He suggested painting on latex, then supporting it with plaster.  He stressed the importance of thorough Vaseline. You have hairs you’ve never even noticed, he warned. I enlisted my friend Brigid, an artist who has seen my rear end plenty of times at the ladies’ spa.  She coated me up in latex like some sci-fi movie heroine.

“It’s like I’m just making art,” she said, “but then I remember, it’s your butt.”

Hours went by. But the latex wouldn’t dry. It kept, well, cracking. I worried about the efficacy of my vaseline. Brigid got out the blowdryer. Squinchy looked on, confused. He never has understood fine art. Finally, we thought it was dry enough. She put on the plaster casting. But when she peeled it off, the latex came off in shreds, dissolved by the moisture in the plaster. Now I was the sci-fi swamp monster. Hours of lying very still while someone painted my butt with tropical tree sap were wasted. And somehow I had to get all those shreds off of myself. I was rightly worried about the vaseline.

Displaying photo 4.JPGHowever, the plaster cast was good on its own. I loaded it up with sculptamold and voila — there was a statue of my rear. Very white and kind of pockmarked, but still totally my butt.

“You’re going to love your birthday present,” I told Nate. “But it isn’t ready yet.”

“Is it a puppy?”

“Noooo….”

Days went by. It still was not dry completely. I stuck it in the oven on warm for a few hours, then wrapped it in a couple of towels and drove it over to Nate’s.

When Nate unwrapped it, the statue was steaming.

“This is an amazing present,” said Nate, with deep sincerity. Yep Nate, it’s a benevolent universe.

I told my brother about it, and he thought Nate and I should each make one yearly, and line our basement with them. That’s an idea, Aidan, but forget the basement. Nate wants to hang it on his wall. Though for now it’s on an oven rack on his table, still drying.