It’s mid week and I’m out late. I know it will get messy. I throw caution to the wind. Calling home would be a thoughtful thing to do. I’m often thoughtful. About that sort of thing. I decide to have a different thought. I’m walking in someone else’s shoes tonight. Size 12 Converse.
The evening proceeds without event. An average movie with predictable sex scenes and some gratuitous violence. Spiced up with a string of unconscionable acts all committed without regret. Why? He was hypnotised. By a woman. Of course. No one will trip on the implausibility of a professional hypnotherapist hooking up with her client, him becoming obsessed with her and trying to kill her, her rewiring his murderous brain through hypnosis and then getting him to steal a 26 million dollar painting for her. Just because. Yeah that story line really vibrates with authenticity. Women do that kind of thing. All the time.
After the movie it’s a meal and then coffee. Happy Birthday old friend. Hope life is good for you. We had some fun times didn’t we. Yes, I think of you on occasion. Mostly though I try to have a different thought. And tonight it’s about rewiring my brain and creating new pathways. For my dreams. And those size 12 feet.
I drive home in monastic silence. Moving in the darkness between my old thoughts and the new. Apparently it takes 600 repetitions of the same new thought for it to get a permanent foothold in the brain. And yet I wonder. This moment, right now, feels unforgettable. And it will only happen once.
The owner of the size 12’s meets me at the back door. “Where have you been?”, “I’ve been worried about you”, “why didn’t you call?” The tone is in turns accusing and apologetic. “So you’re OK?”, “Alright I’d better ring Nanna back to tell her you’re not dead”. I’m a little surprised, but more intrigued. And I pull something from the permanent foothold in my memory. “Aw, you know, I was having such a good time I forgot to call and then when I did think about calling, my phone was dead. I didn’t think it would matter anyway.” He boils with anxiety and frustration. “It’s not really good enough, I was worried, and you could have just called to let me know you would be home late.” He stalks off. Unhappy fails woefully to describe what he must be feeling.
I can describe it. In excruciating detail. 600 repetitions fails woefully to estimate the number of times I drowned in that feeling. Size 12 is the youngest of my three offspring. And the unlucky recipient of my newest incarnation. Mother turned child. I have stopped picking up after myself and started talking with my mouth full. I go barefoot outside and talk to strangers. I have been loudly slurping the last bit of my drink with my straw and I have been running away from home. A lot.
I allow myself to succumb to an ancient sadness. Grieving for what must come to fruition and what must fade away. Without the poignancy of this grief I would forever remain on an endless theme park ride of responsible parent and forgiving lover. Never able to alight to a more liberating and less predictable vista.
And oh, sweet child of mine, these are not unconscionable acts, committed without regret, under the influence of hypnosis. These acts are the culmination of everything I know to be true. Of a lifetime of thinking. And of the kind of love that demands that life be given ones fully conscious attention.
And you know what? I already have my 26 million dollar booty. No need to steal someone else’s.