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Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Instinct and denial

Instinct instructs my hips and torso in that room with music and tiny glinting lights. Soft skin on cold hardwood floors. Rhythmical sound summons motion. For two and a half hours I am only a body moving around that group of 40 arms, 50 chins, 60 wrists. Talking is taboo. Only swaying. Only spinning. Only jumping. Only dancing. It’s a glorious window without guilt. A comfy cushion without thoughts of harsh hospital waiting rooms and organ transplants. That musical room is bliss, a wondrous gift, my sanctuary.

At 9 o’clock, it stops. My throat constricts as last bits of music drift out of that gymnasium and my mind finds his portrait. Thoughts start flowing right away. My son is again pulsing through my brain. His lungs working hard. His lips not pink. That vital organ thumping too fast, working so hard. I want his 7th birthday. His 18th birthday. His 21st birthday. I want many classrooms and running and picnics and icy surf tapping our limbs. I want him to study, to obtain a diploma, a family of his own. I want Christmas without IVs. I want clocks to spin and a thousand months to pass. With him.

That still room thins out. I wish for additional hours of savory sounds twisting my hips and arms with anonymous shins and warm limbs. I want dancing again so that I can fully dismiss our truth for a bit, his story—facts that blow wind from my human form and grays my hair. But not today. So I stand and walk to my car and I snap into my world. It blurs my joy as rain soaks into dry sand—thoroughly and wholly.

(Note to reader: With the exception of the title, this piece was written without the letter "E" ... inspired by an assignment for grad school.)

Sunday, March 07, 2010

Taller than I used to be

I’ve been wearing taller shoes. Boots with heels. Shoes with considerable amount of material between my heel and the ground. Shoes that are less clunky than what I’m used to. Grown-up shoes. Women’s shoes. They’re sleek. Stylish. Sophisticated. Bold. They are a stark contrast to the shoes I’ve typically worn. My regular foot protectors could--and have been--described as clunky. Or bulky. Unfeminine. Comfortable. Sensible. They could be all of the above. And I’ve never cared.

Until recently.

The catalyst? I originally thought those taller shoes were attributed to the fact that I had spent many hours with an age- and height-inappropriate man (his words, not mine), and I wanted my eyes to be closer to his eyes, his face, his presumed wisdom. But I know there is a much better reason.

To be clear, I’m not getting rid of all the old shoes. They are still stacked in my closet and lined up near the door. But I’ve just noticed I’ve been picking those other shoes more often and that there are more of them to choose from.

At 5’7”, it’s not like I need the height to make me feel, um, tall. So perhaps I am just teetering with the idea of finally becoming a grownup, leaving my girlish and clumsy shoes in my old life.

There really is something seductive about hearing the click of my heels on the sidewalk. There’s something about the confidence that sound exudes. There’s something about experiencing the world from a whole new elevation. But maybe it’s just one more way I’m trying out the new me. Embracing the woman I’ve become. The women I’m turning into. A woman who is confident. Sleek. Stylish. Sophisticated. Bold. And also just a wee bit taller.