Running Away

Running Away

My skin itches and flinches with cravings I cannot identify. Nothing feels right. I’m too hot so I take off my sweater and forget to stoke the fire. Now I’m too cold. New clothes! That’ll scratch this itch. Yeah—new shoes, boots, hat, something glamorous. No. I open the refrigerator and glare at the wholesome perk of gorgeous scrupulously selected fresh organic vegetables. They nauseate me. I want a greasy green chili cheeseburger with onion rings and Dr. Pepper. I’m desperate to chat with a friend but she who calls unknowingly pushes all sorts of disremembered buttons. I cannot grasp the tail of meandering meanings in our conversation and begin to believe one of us is an idiot. Damn I’m edgy.

I pace. My elliptical orbit flows widdershins. I climb the stairs, trip over the seventeen speculum awaiting assemblage, wonder about carving some marvelous something in the chunks of red cedar, remember the breath mint tins need finishing, idly open the flat files, ponder the swath of dusty primed canvas, trundle down the hall to the toilet, peer at a bookshelf, step cautiously over the pride of sleeping cats; repeat. Molly, Lince, Emma, and Coco slash their tails in double-time counterpoint to my nine-year-old-on-a-rainy-day rhythm. Even screaming when I want to scream doesn’t work. I annoy myself.

Some human design consultant somewhere assigns this frenetic moodiness to vitamin C-3PO starvation, barometric vortex, seasonal mega-chartreuse jonesing or Celtic insanity genes but explanations don’t serve. And coping suggestions may trigger locked-jaw ferocity. I do not give a rat’s ass if everyone feels this way or what I should do to not feel this way. I am this way. One more reason I live with felines—they don’t act ignorant. I feel like my Epona doll looks: All dressed up and primed for high falutin’ adventure with a stick-in-the-mud pony that wants to stay home.

Each year about this time I spend a couple three weeks as ding-batty as eight-month-old kittens. I pirouette, lunge and leap, dancing seductively to Big Mama’s siren-songs preparing for a soon-to-be world-stunning splendiferous cameo appearance on some elaborate stage supported by a full choir and cast of 100s. Then whooomph! An itty bitty prick—it could be anything—deflates me. I’m wiped out. No energy. None. I cannot forgive myself for needing naps, so I lie down, jump up, lie down, spring up, peeving my precious feline companions mightily. Finally I blaspheme everyone (in my head) who might be whispering a comment about my age (there is no one around for literally miles) and get under the covers. The cats pile on and a dull, repetitive, napping-reading-should-be-doing-something-useful bickering ensues until I sleep far past my allotted 45 minutes.

Mentally disheveled from the nap, I must groom my day in some useful way. Food. Good idea. Standing with my tongue firmly clamped in my teeth, eyes agape and a sharp knife in my hand my gossamer thoughts drift to outrageous visions of me headlining the All Girl Bodacious Extravaganza and Eternal Beltane Three-Ring Spectacle, remembering how fetching I would have looked in a peach tutu tastefully adorned with scarlet, daffodil, and flamingo rhinestones, highlighted by ocher glitter and Monroe marabou. For a few moments I rue not taking that topless horse rider job in Tucson years ago (damn! I would have been good!), forget about lunch and mosey back to the computer until my stomach startles me and Molly.

Fifty years ago I perfected the queenly, figure 8 wave just so I’d be totally regal when I acknowledged the thunderous applause for my splendid big-top aerial derring-do or even while I humbly accepted the Nobel Prize and the Pulitzer within days of each other, but, alas, I have yet to perform the beauteous ritual publicly. It’s doubtful I’ll any day soon stun an audience with my superb back flip twist on a cantering palomino mare or regale more than a mere handful with perfect narrative poetry. Rats.

The great and good news is this is the præludium to Spring and at the end of this topsy-turvy time our world will be painted lavender with lilacs, then fruit blossoms, and on into the renewing of this northern part of our Earth. And, I’ll get through this tail-swishing cranky time, neither picking up roadside trash for the county nor drooling and rocking at my therapy appointment. Plus, mixed in with madness, the sublime moments just fill me to gasping. Yesterday, for example, I momentarily gave up trying to control the jitters and stepped outside to say an evening thank you. There, with just a tiny, truly an infinitesimal tilt of my head, were ten gazillion katrillion breath-stopping stars winking at me. Ah, yes, I sigh. The Great Cosmic Reminder. Be easy, girlfriend. It’s all working just fine, thank you.

© 2014, Jeanne Treadway
(This essay appeared in different forms other places.)

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