Life and Death Are Not Simple Matters

On Leap Day, it is traditional to move around the place in small leaps and to eat frog legs for dinner. Frog leg eating has been banned due to the severe lack of frogs, due to the severe lack of reliable weather, due to the severe lack of humans doing anything about spewing mega tonnes of carbon dioxide into the air.

The vast majority of people refuse to leap about on Leap Day. They say it is a ridiculous tradition. Mind you, the same people seem to have no problem with the worshipping of Gods and all the silly rituals that go along with that lark.

I am going to leap around the supermarket and delight in all the looks of vicarious embarrassment that will no doubt come my way. I will buy some kangaroo steak as a substitute for frog legs. With a bit of luck there will be some other leapers around and we can nod knowingly at each other.

Another tradition of Leap Day is that it is the one day when women are allowed, encouraged even, to propose marriage. This happen to me sixteen years ago. I was leaping around down at the beach when one Aileen Richtenhofer leapt up to me and popped the question. I was carefree and liked her front, as well as several other of her perspectives, and said, “Yes.”

You may think that my immediate positive response was an invitation for hell to enter my life. And I have learned, I even knew it back then sixteen years ago, that what you think is none of my business and, therefore, I don’t care. I did it. I remember thinking, if Aileen Richtenhofer turns out to be a nightmare, I’ll just get a divorce, no big deal. It was spontaneous and reckless and I ended up having the best eight years of my life, after Leap Day, 2004.

Aileen loved to dance. She could jive and tap and waltz and contemporary like the very best. She brought joy to people’s hearts and toes. No one could resist her force of dance attraction and whenever and wherever she moved to the music, the dance floor would fill in no time. And she could eat and drink like the very best as well. Oh, the dinner parties we had in our little shack down by the lazy river.

It’s been eight years since Aileen departed this mortal coil. I don’t blame the truck driver. He no doubt has his own hell to deal with as he sits out his sentence behind the walls down by the bay. Yes, he was speeding, and yes, he was chock a block full of pills, but he had a wife and kids and was a renter saving for a deposit. Life and death are not simple matters.

These days I don’t dance often. I haven’t found a partner so electrically light on her feet. But every Leap Day, I’m out and about leaping around. Perhaps it’s my protest at a world gone wrong, or, perhaps I entertain the silly notion that out of the blue a woman will ask me to marry her.

Aileen Richtenhofer would approve.