My life is a size 8. I’m a size 20. Nothing fits. Nothing.
For a moment, I try to wrap myself in a dream. There on a great wooden ship with sails billowing in the wind, I ride a wild ocean. A tall, handsome, stranger with a white puffy shirt, hair dancing around his head like a lively halo, grasps me firmly about the waist. . . well, he tries to grasp me firmly. He ends up settling for a spot of muffin top and gives up on the encircling embrace. I get pushed overboard. Wild oceans can be icy cold. Shiver me timbers and my bones.
Let’s face it. I could never stand those bodice ripper books any way. Fabio does nothing for me. I hate puffy shirts.
Back on solid land, I sigh. Escape is temporary. Kissing dry land is out of the question. I try to set sail again only this time, in present day. Heading for Canada, passport in hand, Gucci suitcases in the trunk of my baby-blue, two-seater, soft-top Mercedes convertible. I’ve got contacts, Jackie O sunglasses and a Grace Kelly-style scarf wrapped around my head. I look fabulous! I drive into Canada, through Vancouver, north to a great lodge in the wilderness. From the warmth of my room, I search the surrounding forest for the elusive spirit bear. Traffic woes, the demands of too many e-mails, too many obligations, no time to breathe and just be, fade away as the great spirit bear slowly lumbers into view. Through my telescope, he seems so close. I watch the majestic beast in the heart of a vast wilderness and I know that as long as there are spirit bears in the world, I’m going to be ok. My heart rate slows. I leave my telescope and crawl under a warm quilt and sleep for centuries.
But only in my dreams.
In my size 8 life, the alarm rings. I had set the radio for soft rock. I get a rap that sounds like gorillas beating their chests as they rapidly descend on their prey.
Before hope dies and the gorillas have their way with me, I wonder, “Is this Saturday?”
A quick review of the days recently survived, would indicate that I’ve only made it to Wednesday.
“Maybe I am sick today?
Am I sick today?”
“Not sick enough,” reason says.
“I hate you, Reason! You responsible fool.”
I give myself 5 more minutes to close my eyes and enjoy the feeling of a my body, warm and relaxed. This feeling is non-existent in my day. I want to capture it and package it so I can pull it out and put it on any time I want. I forget I’m a size 20 in a size 8 life. It just doesn’t fit.
All day, the complaint department is open. I don’t know if I’m manning the desk or if I’m seeking services. Every one wants something.
There isn’t enough me, enough time, enough money to go around. What’s happening? How did I get here?
Did you check your e-mail? Did you watch that cute video? Did you wear your Valentine socks? Didn’t they have ham lunchmeat on sale? Where are all the healthy chips for my lunch? Did you give him permission to do that? Why is she getting an F? Did you read the e-mail I sent about the meeting? Why not? You’re going to have to find time to check it. Doesn’t he have any homework? Who has dishes tonight? What did you plan for dinner? Why don’t you know? If you don’t know, who does?
This is how a size 20 gets stuck with a size 8 life.
My crazy life has ended up with pirates and gorillas bouncing around in my head but precious little fun. I put off writing for weeks, months because the demands on my time, on my sanity are constant and over whelming. I’m not having fun. I’m not sure I can even spell the word any more.
There are so many things building up inside me, things I can’t say, can’t write. I’ve got to protect the innocent and if not the innocent, myself. The words spin around my head like dazed captives held against their will in a dark and evil gulag. They long for freedom. I am their captor.
Tears of sadness, frustration, anger push against the inside of eyes. I fight against them. I need to maintain a calm exterior. I can’t let the armor crack. If I give in to tears, I don’t think I’ll stop.
Suddenly, I remember a plump, middle-aged woman who was a student in an American Lit class. The prof has just gone through a nasty divorce and seemed to want to take it out on women, this women in particular. Several times, during class, he reduced her to tears. Embarrassed for her and ashamed of his cruelty but fearful of his wrath targeting any of us, we cowards, looked down at our notes and didn’t say a word. Tonight, I hold her in a heart filled with gentle regret. I give her a hug. She was a size 20 too. She’d stumbled in a size 8 world and didn’t know how to make it fit.
Maybe it’s not too late for me. After all I’ve got a pirate with a great ship and a whole bunch of gorillas at my disposal. Better yet, I’ve got words. Maybe I can’t pour every detail of my life on to public pages but I can write something. I can write to save my sanity and remind myself that fun still lives inside me. I can write for all the size 20s who live in size 8 worlds and let them know that we can do better, we can make the pieces fit. We can overcome.
My life can expand to fit me. I need to toss a few words on a page, now and then, for emotional release and realignment. I can slip into a big, beautiful, size 20 gown that will have been earned by not shrinking to fit the confines of my size 8 world but by allowing my world to grow to fit me.
Have any of you seen a pirate and a small band of gorillas?