A wonderfully slow summer afternoon and you on a reclining white deck chair, in the shade of the lilac bush rife with last blooms just beginning to fall to the full green grass below. You are nine years old and the promise of June, July and August stretch out before you like a never-ending Slip and Slid. The sky, cerulean above you, is perfect in its blueness except for a few horse-tail wisps of cloud just above the snow-topped mountains to the East, slow to learn the warmth of the season. You are sticky with a red Popsicle, savoring its sweetness, its coolness painting your tingly tongue, and then letting it drip, drip, drip into your mouth when the tingle becomes an ache. Life is good - perfect really, at this very moment in time.
Suddenly, not too far off in the glimmer of sunglare, you hear an ominous sound...soft to the point of almost not there at all, but you know this sound and it sends chills down your sweaty back. You sit straight up, forgotten Popsicle dangling in your hand, melting into the grass. You swing your legs over the side of the lounge, ready to run should your instincts be correct. They are correct, you are confident of their rightness due to early years spent running from this very predator, and sure enough, from around the side of the garage comes the enemy, flashing iridescent wings beating over-fast in their efforts to attack! It has you sized up and zeroed in on; your ragged breath and chaotic mind, kicked into over-drive, knows the chase will not be child's play. It hovers, seeming to wait for your move, but you're stuck in a quagmire of fear and stand stock-still with cherry rivulets running down the side of your leg and into your sandal. Will this be the day it finally gets you? A zillion thoughts race through your brain, unhappily remembering every lie you have ever told, especially that whopper you voiced last night at Gran's house. You told her "yes!", over-loud and unsmiling, looking her straight in the eye when she asked if you'd washed as you left the bathroom, water still swirling it's way down the toilet.
It zigs up, then zags down, toying with you. The hellacious, lip-stitching Darning Needle! Horror of childhood horrors! Your fear recedes, along with most of the blood flow to your brain, and you are up and running, Popsicle flung to the winds. In science class last year your teacher had tried to convince you they were nothing more than Dragon Flies, beautiful and harmless, even going so far as to say they were helpful, providing larvae for fish to feed on and make plentiful our ponds and lakes for anglers. This was a lie and you didn't buy into it for a minute. You have very wise older siblings and they have instructed you in the ways of the punishing Darning Needle Beast-Bug. You had been warned, more than once, that this devilish insect has been invented to seek out children who lie and sew their mouths shut. The dreadful Darning Needle's beautiful colors and stained-glass window wings are merely a ploy to pull in unsuspecting youthful falsifiers and fibbers and stitch their lying lips closed forever more.
You are not about to let this happen to slightly dishonest, but mostly just little white lies you! With hair whipping back and forth and pink spittle exploding from your wide open and shouting mouth, you pound around to the front porch, arms windmilling to jettison off any income threats, and slam your way into the sanctuary of the front hall, the door banging with a reassuring thud.
"Whose's slamming doors!" reverberates from the kitchen, where your mom is putting the finishing touches on a Tuna Casserole for Lady's Club.
"Not me." comes your innocent reply.
You're safe....for now.
Saturday, June 8, 2013
It's been a while,hu?
The title to this rant has a negative connotation...screams poor pitiful me, really, which is a turn-off to anyone who might chance upon it. Maybe that's the whole reason I'm screaming it, just to be left along in my poor, pitiful state of being...or maybe it's because somehow I sense I've hit bottom and I want to bounce back the other way for awhile. I have to believe there's more to me, I have to hope...
These days are different...these days I am alone, my days full of just me. I remember when a few hours to myself felt like a Heaven-sent escape; I lived and continued to breath thinking of those quiet times when I could have sound or no sound, sleep or no sleep, goings or comings...any old thing I wanted without answering to somebody else.
But these days are different. There is no choice now. I am alone with kids grown and gone and no significant other needing what I am. Now my t.v. runs nearly around the clock so something is making a noise other than just me breathing, rattling around. It's become a distraction to thoughts that scare the bejebbers out of me, like what if I die in my bed? Will it be days? weeks? How long before I am missed? Will I be missed?
Of course I know that's just silliness, I do. I know others are about in this world who know me and even still love me, but when I'm here, alone, night about me like an old gray shawl, tatty and torn with loneliness, silliness doesn't matter. Silliness becomes defunct, outdated and just another part of me that I don't notice because I won't look...can't look, in case it's not there at all.
Slowly I am struggling to find out who I am again. There was a time, when I had screaming kids, a husband demanding of me more than I thought I could give, and a life cluttered with confusion and hurry on every side, when I knew I was happy, when I knew who I was and what I could do. I knew what I liked and how to make life fulfilling for me and those I loved. I had favorites. I don't mean a favorite kid or a favorite family member or even a favorite memory, but favorites that allowed me to know who I was: a favorite color, favorite flavor, flower, season of the year, song, food, holiday, place to visit, hobby, shoes, character from a Disney movie. I was solid with all of those. I knew I was someone because I had favorites separating me into my own category. I had a place.
Somewhere along the way, while I was encumbered with survival mode, my favorites all fizzled away. I ate what others liked because I couldn't decide, I listened to music if others turned it on...their music. Seasons became difficult, each with it's own demands, and fall favorite and spring favorite faded into the annals of my job. Their context changed and favorite didn't matter anymore. I found surcease in the favorites of others, because choice became too difficult on top of the required. Truly, I lost my favorites all on my own, allowing them to leave me because I was too weary to notice they were going...I don't even know if they waved goodbye.
Slowly, so slow I'm not sure yet I recognize them, some of my favorites are finding their way home, I remember I liked to write. I'm in the process of deciding if it's a favorite...I should know soon enough, depending on whether or not I can sustain it and create with a mind half-blind with lose of self. I'm not sure all of me has survived, but I find I'm becoming curious. I think that might be a good thing. I think it was a part of me I used to really like...a favorite.