Saturday, December 30, 2006

I became Alice sliding down an endless rabbit hole

I always walked the tried and true paths and carefully considered every act before following through. I have a life-long habit of struggling to be perfect for everyone in my life; even if it meant losing me in the process. No one worked harder to please others and keep a peaceful balance in all things than I did. I was the straight shooter who talked the talk and could be depended upon to walk the walk. I lived my life on sound principles based on the belief in pure right and wrong, fairness, justice, loyalty, sportsmanship, understanding and right reason.

On the few occasions, in my youth, when I dared to test the waters and strayed from the expected; I ended up being smacked upside the head with the futility of my actions, and quickly gave up considering future misdeeds. Nowhere in my upbringing or subsequent half century of living did impulsive acts ever enter into my consciousness.

One day I became Alice sliding down an endless rabbit hole while bits and pieces of the past and present flew past me in a whirlwind of nonsensical scenes: Grandma Nellie cutting gumdrops for Christmas Cakes while spinning yarns to wide-eyed grandchildren, four laughing cousins sharing secrets on Aunt Ceal’s big iron feather bed hours past their bedtime; while distance sounds of auctioneers chanted “I’ve got fifty, fifty anyone want to make it sixty, fifty-five I got fifty-five in the back row, how about sixty” as numbered fans waved the air; antiseptic smells, somber doctors in lab coats, nurses shoes squeaking on polished floors; men with ghostly pallor lying on satin beds with folded hands beside marble angels.

I awoke one morning and found the world had a bright new hue. Everywhere, scenes and situations shouted at me to seize the day or take time to smell the roses. Clocks loudly ticked off precious minutes I could never recover, train whistles yelled of places that needed to be visited, woodsy trails begged to be explored, and cities became a bullying child demanding that I lay my lunch money in their palm.

Each new day found me wishing for the warmth of a hand in mine as I crossed a street, comfortable companionship and idle conversations over leisurely meals, spooning of bodies on soft flannel. The Internet beckoned, with promises of soul mates and endless love, so I joined the masses seeking to be paired with the prince of my dreams. Instead a lengthy procession of toads, weasels, skunks and sneaky foxes floated across my computer screen with one occasionally escaping the phone lines to take the empty chair at my dining table.

After years of repeated excitement, followed by crushed dreams and a once badly cracked but eventually mended heart, my life settled into gradual routines of acceptance with busy projects and service to others. When least expected, an e-mail showed up in my inbox glowing as if illuminated from within by the beacon from a costal lighthouse; the sender might as well have been wearing orange and lime polyester plaid trousers with a power blue shirt and a propeller beanie for the way he stood out from the crowd and captured my attention. From that first brief contact I knew it would take very little panning to find this stream would soon be mining the mother load and I had to be the one to beat everyone else to staking the claim.

A lifetime of sensible and cautious living disappeared among impromptu plains and impulsive decisions. A first ever plane trip halfway across the country and two very impetuous days spent in this man’s company had me returning home to find myself days later making plans for a return trip and a simple wedding a few short weeks in the future.

Every acquaintance, friend and family member is convinced I have lost my wits in an emotional sea of new love and sexual desire. They all want to stop me from making a hasty mistake. Even so, I will, in just four short days, fly back to join my life with the most wonderful, sensitive, caring, supportive, witty, intelligent, and delightfully adorable soul who think’s that we are, as Forrest Gump would say, “just like peas and carrots.”