I’ve been putting off this leg of the assignment. For one thing, which of my 27 items to write about? Some of those wishes are so deep, fostered and fermented for so many years, just saying them out loud brings tears to my eyes.
The bulto. I’ve dreamed about carving those wooden statues. I have a fantasy about my life if my father had been an artist, not an accountant. Who I’d be in my core. I’m sad that for this life I’ve been born into my vocation, my father’s vocation, my mother’s blind trust in doctors, my father’s lack of savvy and surplus of responsibility. Sad. Sad the way you can be when you miss the ideal mark. Not regretful, not depressed. Not ungrateful. Just sad. I could have had longer legs and a longer waist, more pronounced eyebrows, darker skin, thicker hair. Then I would have marveled at myself in the mirror, walked taller, literally, been happier. In my dreams.
Something concrete. Mom doesn’t care any longer what people think of her. She’s not at the end of the journey. I imagine she cares plenty, yet her plenty is a thimbleful compared to another person’s. And you know, I don’t even want to write about this. Not the hum of the loud refrigerator or the sound of water moving from the water heater in the entryway closet to the far bathroom. Not the clothes tumbling in the stacked dryer, not the tile under my left foot too hot. Not my gratefulness for socks to keep my skin from burning. Not my chagrin for having worn the same pair four days out of four days this week. I’m sock poor, wine glass poor, coffee mug poor, house poor.
When will I realize my dreams? I give myself to my 50th birthday to have my house done, walls painted. And what? Another ten years for the compound? Isn’t this antithesis to the direction most people move as they get older? Don’t they divest? Buy condos. A condo. Travel. Get light?
And me and my dreams. Some are silly, and that’s OK. My affirmation. What does it ultimately matter whether I make all or one? I will get to the Lightning Field in Quemado next year, for my birthday. Jim’s present to me. I will eventually stop caring about how I look. I’m letting the gray go wild, like dandelions in grass. They’re too many to pick and I’m tired of poisoning the earth to get rid of them. I will let my teeth yellow a few more shades but then I will employ strips to bleach them. I’ll lose those five pounds, gain them back, lose them, gain them. Each time I gain it will be one pound more than I lost. The net effect will be gradual weight gain. I will let my face go, stop washing it every night. NOT! Won’t let my teeth go unbrushed any night, although I will give up flossing except once a week. (Is this what it means to stop caring about how you look? I don’t think so.)
By the time I’m dead I will be tired of friends who get torqued because I say what’s on my mind. Although I’m self-aware enough to know I shouldn’t judge friends. A spouse or partner is simply a friend with whom you eventually learn not to get too bent out of shape with when he tells you something you’d rather not hear. Friends expect to be above that kind of reproach. Why, I don’t know. I’d like to make a friend who doesn’t freak out on my actions. I’m human. So are you and you and you and you and you. What’s the point in seeking ideals in every facet of life?
And then again, if we don’t seek some ideals–how to be in the moment, how not to waste this precious life–then what?