Monday, February 2, 2009

And I? I took the one less traveled by.

Oh, how the roads of living wind us mercilessly about. Turning through cities almost untraveled only to arrive at a familiar end. I can't help but wonder as I travel the roads, arms outstretched like a childish airplane, where they will be taking me next. Yes, I wonder....

I was walking a trail eleven months further along in the year two thousand and eight when I found myself rinsing hair color out of my newly blond locks. Blond matched this journey perfectly, but it seemed fate, or inertia or some... thing had a different idea. The warm water touched my head with a familiar comfort. Primarily the wonderful sensation of clean, but secondly a firm reminder of home, of routine, of - blond. Water pooled into the dye for a brief second before running down my back, into the tub, down the drain... goodbye... I stepped forward, perhaps in some tiny moment of precognisance, only to feel a sharp thud between my shoulder blades. I realized before I had fully revolved what had happened...

Yes. In a true Cosmo Kramer moment the shower head tore away from the pipes leaving me defenseless against the overwhelming water pressure. Unable to divert the violent stream (after all, a primary function of a shower head is to direct the flow of the water. No head, no direction) I pressed my body against the shower wall, scarcely avoiding my foe. My hand darted with stealth like precision to cut off the water supply. I was safe - for now.

It was here my journey took a sharp turn. Imagine me, meandering somewhat carelessly down a dirt path, my blonde hair lightly wafting behind me in a breeze. Then I am stopped by a sudden shift in the path. I pivot on my heels and face my body down the long, inescapably straight highway laid out before me. I pause briefly considering my options, but there are no options. In a very cruel turn of events I am faced with one and only one choice. My eyes fix on what awaits me, never straining for I already know of what I will see. The festering cesspool that is Wal-Mart on a saturday afternoon. Seriously life? Was this turn really necessary?

It was poetic I suppose that I already knew where the shower heads were located. Not because I'd bought one before, but because years before during sleepless nights (sleeplessness caused by some other woe of a young woman) I had wandered the aisles looking for something to spend my money on. Something that, for however short a time would bring me solace. I clearly had not found that before on the shower head aisle, but today I would. I speedwalked around old women in motorized buggies, and dodged single mothers, cowboys and shoplifters. I grumbled and cursed under my breath (not very far under) at my present circumstances: wet hair, splotchy skin, and the noticeable smell of Nice 'n Easy. People stared, not that it was tricky to figure out my situation. They watched with annoyed wonder, as if I was somehow bothering them. Because, afterall the greatest burden of this entire situation was the inconvenience I placed on the unsuspecting people of Wal-Mart. And then the coup de grĂ¢ce.... with the hostility growing ever heavier in the air I, in one fatal blow shattered the patience of all those around me when I, ever so graciously, pardoned my way across the check out lane to the register next to me and grabbed *gasp* the daily newspaper. That was it. I had pressed my luck once too many. I sought sanctuary with the cashier, fumbling to complete the transaction but not even she offered an olive branch as I had commited the unforgivable sin of reading current events... in her check out line no less.

I ran as fast as I could out of the gates of hell, down the long, stretching highway I had weathered. I ran as fast as my feet could carry me until in a startling instant I was back on my path. I took a moment to stop my dizzying mind. The loops and curls of the day had proven too much for me and my newly blonde hair that didn't seem to sparkle quite as brightly now. I didn't like the direction I had chosen. A direction that earlier had seemed so unavoidable, but now in the afterglow of my misery seemed so carelessly unnecessary.

Cautiously I faced myself forward, brushed my yellow hair behind my shoudlers, and kept walking.


Eric said...

I hate Hell-Mart. Glad you're back.

Anonymous said...

Oh I remember the days of wandering through Wal-Mart in the wee hours of the a search for colored electric tape!!!

Be who you are and say what you feel, because those who mind don't matter and those who matter don't mind. ~Dr. Seuss