Blue Moons Happen

I have a thing.  Any of my close friends or family members would recognize it immediately, because when it shows up, it doesn’t do a great job being discrete.  It makes itself known by twiddling my thumbs, chewing my bottom lip, or flat-out making demands out of my mouth.  It is the thing I have that keeps me off the water slides that go straight down, and makes me inquire about the possibility of seeing a snake while white water rafting.  It is why I have certain protocol if flying on a plane, and double-check all the carabiners myself on a high ropes course.  I have a flaw, and it is with me daily.  It rarely escapes me, but has been known to on hot nights when something I smell in the air romances me.  A song can do it occasionally, as well, but it has to be a very old one that is so good it hurts a little to hear again. Those times aren’t fair though, because they emit magic.  On those days I’ve even been known to jump off rocks, or climb waterfalls…something higher than me obviously at play. All of the other normal times though, I have a little tug inside me that is terrified of losing control.  Sometimes I use strategically placed words, and an acquired charm to mask this about myself, but I hear it whispering always.

My husband’s grandmother is mischievious…she does things…the latest?  She rode a roller-coaster.  It was not a wimpy one; she rode one of the big, scary kind, with loops, drops, and a design that apes a snake coiled up in striking position.  It is the kind I’ve been shamed into riding a couple of times, but did so on the verge of panic while calculating the percentage of a malfunction occurring and praying not to have an epileptic fit.  However, she rode one at 72 years old, with bad knees and Diabetes without so much as blinking an eye.  That makes a person like me, who can get on a high horse now and then, about the wild literary risks I take, feel a little less than adventurous.  When I first heard that she did it, I thought of her high blood pressure and rolled my eyes. Then, I realized reacting this way made me a villain.  Who am I to stop her?  I quickly changed my stance to deciding it was awesome of her, and wishing I had the guts to do it.  Then my mind did it…it went that place…I began sweating at the idea that I wouldn’t be able to control how much my stomach would be taken.  What if the euphoric feeling didn’t stop shy of vomiting?  What if I actually peed my pants?  It couldn’t be risked…I hate myself at times…

A couple of months ago this same grandmother was up to no good in another instance.  While the family was distracted by having a yard sale, she sneaked away to the back yard and rode a bicycle by herself that she was cautioned not to.  When she suddenly showed up bleeding from her mouth, with scraped knees, she claimed she fell doing something uneventful in the house.  After she retired to care for her wounds, one of the great-grandchildren ratted her out, having seen the event from around the corner.  She had gotten on that old bike and wrecked it immediately.  After she had been caught, she of course caught a light, loving scold session from one her kids, warning her never to do such things again.  I laughed at her typical shenanigans, but was of the mind she was crazy to have attempted it at her age and health status, though secretly, I was envious.  I would have never hidden away to do things people told me not to, except for when I would go to the corner to cuss when I was three.  A rebellious moment for me was riding down a dirt rode once that my father said would scrape the underneath of my car.  Instead, I spend time checking safety ratings, making sure my flat-iron is unplugged, and being careful to never clean with chemicals that may mix.

I have to say, I like that in a lot of ways I’m cautious.  I’ve avoided a lot of trouble this way, but I tend to make it an art form.  I hold myself back a lot of times I shouldn’t out of fears I’ve collected over the years.  I once even convinced myself I had Aspergers, or Autism, but after the four-hour stent on Web MD, decided I indeed, did not. The truth…I have a flaw, a neurotic flaw,  that needs to be a little more in check.  I need to breathe.

This is probably one of the reasons I write, and always have.  There’s no fear in the world of writing. I can toe the line of whatever I want, and remain safe…Actually, that’s not entirely true anymore. I’m sitting on pins and needles with query letters distributed all over New York City.  That’s a huge risk for me, and one that took a lot of coercing from my husband.  Maybe that was a baby step in the right direction…writing has always given me balls of steel, for lack of a better phrase, but now my “thing”  is showing up here; now even my oasis has me on my toes…

I’d like to end by saying that now I’ll try new things, and think of my husband’s grandmother when I get nervous, but unfortunately flaws as these, don’t solve themselves so easily.  I’m a work in progress though, and until I can change, I will envy this part of Joyce Ingle from a comfortable distance.  I will continue to feel saucy by trying exotic foods, and playing with the minds of strangers at parties.  Maybe one day though, I will sneak away when someone least suspects, and do something crazy, like get on one of the kiddie rides, that I didn’t supervise the construction of, at a local carnival.  Until then, however, I will give into that never-ending madness beckoning me from a blank page, and remember that blue moons happen, and when they do, I am wild in that night.  Maybe I like it that way, being carefree only ever so often…it gives me something to long for…that blue moon my ship in the night passes by maybe once each summer…

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