I'm supposed to be cutting the grass. Or fixing a broken report (and considering the implications of broken reports in a distributed model). Or doing laundry. Or something, anything but this. I am not supposed to be sitting here by myself quietly listening to music spilling randomly from the phone and washing across the table getting between my fingertips and the keyboard in a more than OK sort of way...
I am not supposed to be doing this.
That's an old, familiar song and I know all the words, all the variations and I can harmonize three parts with myself, in my head, outloud and somehow part way down the street just a few steps ahead or behind where I'm going or where I've just come from. Do you know this dance?
There are some days when I feel a full wave of panic coming on and while today isn't one of those, I can see it around the corner; almost look it in the eye and say, STOP RIGHT THERE! As if I could hold it back with just a look. Some days maybe I can. And some days maybe I can't.
I've never been very gentle with myself but fierce is fierce I suppose. So now I'm fiercely sitting here thinking about what those pink toes in the sand at the beginning of that first walk toward the beach really mean. I had just left the cottage deck, closed the gate behind me and looked down at my feet in the sand, perfect feet in perfect sand on what turned out to be one of four perfect days.
Perfect doesn't mean free of feelings; God knows I had some. I had an awful lot of them, actually. I guess you could say I spent four days decompressing at a fairly alarming rate. OK, maybe alarming for most people, not so alarming for me. I've become very efficient with this fast decompression business out of necessity I think. My point is, it can and should be done if that's what you've got. Don't snivel over it, process and let it go to the best of your ability.
How to take this home? Did that walk end at the beach? Did I leave it all behind at 6:15 on Saturday morning when I backed out of the driveway with both girls in the car leaving my Dad and wife hopefully still out cold with one more perfect day? Did it wear away slowly through the hell that is Delmarva on a Saturday afternoon or the lunacy that is the Jersey Turnpike any time of day, night or year? Did it make one final leap for safety as I brought the car careening around the corner onto the Henry Hudson narrowly missing the Subaru wagon failing to give way to the left?
Was it gone when I finally brushed the last of the sand from my feet or climbed into the shower and then in between fresh sheets? Was it gone when Northern Man appeared in the middle of that same night because I'd been gone too long or did I find a way to carry it home?
I suppose I can call it truly gone the day I forget to claim, fiercely or otherwise, that breathing room for myself. And now it's time to drive North. It's been too long since I've danced.