Micha Tales: #1

The inaugural edition of Micha Tales, in which Michelle's longtime friend Stephen Dodd recounts some episodes from the past. Stephen currently resides in Edmonton, Alberta and runs Black Type, White Page, a DTP firm.



When I was first asked to pioneer Micha tales, I was filled with some apprehension. Not for lack of juicy gossip but quite the contrary, where to start. Unfortunately, I do not see the net as an ideal repository for "truth" on this Michelle-type person. There are certain things that are meant to live and propagate in public circles, growing, changing and dieing like the stories and 'truth" told mouth to mouth by our ancestors. Some tales are not meant to be imprisoned in static stone, paper or pixels. For some part, the rumors of events past tend to magnify in the telling, particularly when talking of Michelle. And perhaps, so should it be, for Michelle in person is indeed larger than life. She is like those elusive particles that do not exist in fixed states. Any attempt to measure throws the situation out of whack.

I propose the tales, stories and rumors outlined here need not be grand nor detailed--the beauty and joy of life come not from the big events but simply our reaction to the moments of each day, each second we are alive. And this is the experience most of us receive from Michelle; moments of intense time, small, somehow memorable slices of life...


Act 1)

Where: Her parent's house.
When: The night before leaving for Switzerland, Fall 1995

Scene: Michelle's parent's living room is in an unusual situation. It is filled wall to floor with books. Michelle grabs a stack the size of a small chair and carefully picks four or five books out.

"These are the books you're taking with you?", I ask.

"No. Those stay, these come with me," she says as she casually tosses it into another sofa-sized pile. It becomes clear to me why she is taking a couple steamer trunks to Switzerland.

Later we are driving to the airport where she will later send hundreds of pounds of "stuff" at a lower price than regular mortals can accomplish by means of a process involving the Micha-chaos field and a beaming smile. Meanwhile, we are wondering why the traffic sounds so loud... boy sure is windy in the car isn't it... GAK, the hatchback is open. Well, you didn't want ALL those boxes, did you?


Flashback 1)

Michelle is singing and doing cartwheels down the halls of the University of Alberta. "This is not possible," she later says. "I can't do cartwheels and sing at the same time." Still, I recall vividly the expressions of random strangers, eyes wide, at once attracted to the strange noises of joy in a place like this and repelled by the vision of a stray foot in the mouth.


Office Rumor Denial (ORD) 1) Any reference to "The Pancake Incident" did not happen. Don't believe it, buddy.


Act 2)

Where: Vancouver, B.C.
When: 1990(?), early summer, tea-time

Scene: I have imposed upon Michelle to transport my bike box which is about the size of flattened elephant to the bus depot. Michelle's car is less than the size of a flattened elephant so we tie it to the roof. Having no roof rack, we roll down the windows and twine around and around the box never realizing that the doors will never open again until they are de-twined. After a Dukes of Hazzard style entry, we're on the open road. Unfortunately our twining skills are not up to par and the box starts to declare its independence in the middle of the freeway. An open skyroof and strong, blood-drained fingers are all the hope I have. I'm sure Michelle didn't slow down a wink despite the growing wrinkles on my face...


Act 3)

Where: Edmonton, Alberta. On the rolling, grassy hills by the Muttart Conservatory
When: Ages ago in a time of youth.

Scene: The lure of the steep, green grass is too irresistible. Somehow Michelle finds herself rolling sideways over and over down the slope. Being ever so marginally more sure of head, I notice a nice, large mud puddle in her path and launch myself (somewhat heroically I am thinking) in a series of head over heels rolls with the intention of catching up to her and invoking some form of warning. Or, at least to tackle her before the crucial splash. Unfortunately, action is faster than thought and Michelle gives out a joy-fading-to-surprise shriek as she lands muddily. A second shriek follows micro-seconds later as she looks up to see me about land in a heap on top of her.

Later that evening we both sit down to a 'formal" dinner with her parents and try to explain away the incriminating evidence lightly covering head to foot.... Ah, to be young and foolish.

-Stephen Dodd


Michelle A. Hoyle
Micha Tales: #1, Created: February 19th, 1996