Monday, September 27, 2010

Two Paths Diverge

Today I walked my dogs with my mother. The light was fading, just like summer, and I could see the tops of suburbia glazed with amber.

She says, "How's the job hunt?"

I say, "GREAT."

Then my steps pick up, and so do hers. Briefly, we look ridiculous. Two ladies with miniature poodles, race walking.

I wasn't really angry she asked me about job hunting. I live at home, she's supposed to do that. I even enjoy telling her about my interview nerves or worries about my qualifications. It usually quiets the angst.

But the real reason for the springin my step is more instrospective. Lately, I have been running scenes from my past over and over in my head. Scenes of domestic breakdown and youthful foolishness.

Once upon a time I was in a heart-crushing argument. The debate disintegrated to large pauses and reflections reaching that point where both parties have said all there is to say. You know, the moments of brief loss of hate, why there's all these breaks in speech. The fighters need enough time to squeeze out one more, trivial point.

During one of these late pauses, I took the opportunity to wipe the snot waterfalls from my nose. I am not sure what it is about wiping the snot away, or maybe I was just tired, but for a lovely, diaphanous moment I did not feel an all consuming urge to hurl insults and poorly thought out arguments. I felt... affectionate. Like I was sitting next to a dear old war buddy, not my evil nemesis.

"You know," I said, gazing up at him like Bambi. "I think maybe all this nutjob-ness of mine may make me famous one day." I cracked a silly grin in the dark.

"Maybe," said he said languidly, sounding bored to even be talking. "But you're not very resilient."

I think these are the brief moments that define us, as they present the paths we choose to stumble along and those we take one look at and then say "Hell No. I don't want to die."

I believe in that moment, a fork presented itself to me quite clearly. I quickly picked a side. I hope it is the right one.

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