Moving downward – reaching, grabbing – retrieving items from the basket, in order to place them on the conveyor belt. A practiced routine – daily, every other day, no particular, defined pattern – an imperfect routine, dependent more upon whim, a particular meal, a recipe. Grouping items in bunches, colors – perhaps controlled by a third eye, rationalizing the behavior over time – I am helping the cashier, the sacker. Maybe … maybe … maybe … I will admit one day my behavior is actually a testament to an attention deficient personality. Creams, butters, dairy in one group; vegetables and fruits in another; juices, water, paper products assigned to different space, assigned places on the belt – each separated by a perceptible, defined spacing. Pretending not to care, caring, indeed caring. Working silently, with due diligence, forever hoping the cashier, sacker, other customers would ever notice – much like life, until it becomes too much like life. Grabbing the eggs, moving much too fast, erratic movement – slinging, a wide angle taken – causing the eggs to dislodge from the paper carton, onto the floor, the belt, seeing images – the appearance of the marbles of my youth, thrown in the circle prior to the participant, standing next to me, taking his turn.
I should have taken the eggs’ movement as a warning. If I was only so blessed, so possessed. I am not. I was not.
Perhaps a sign, a flashing light should have appeared. I have read in a number of stories a light appears. Defining movement of the sun – that day; the moon – that night, this too did not occur. Telling animal behavior, moving from one field to the next, tell-tale signs of death, if we care to notice – none of these occurred this day.
Nothing to read, nothing to decipher; the events just happened – befell – tumbled out from the recesses, much like those eggs; tumbled over and out, breaking through, causing unexpected, deviant behavior. My behavior: moving out the door, walking twenty miles in the middle of the night, into the morning; texting back to the location left, explaining my behavior had nothing to do with anyone but myself. Seeing my father eyes, a harrowing history conveyed deep in the recesses of those exceptionally dark pupils, knowing he escaped and left us years before his death, to another world. Seeing those eyes with each step, trying to remind myself of the promise I made during my youth, to never trudge in his path, that path, seeing his trail, step by step, inch by inch, dutifully I trudged. Controlled by one portion of the mind, instructing me to walk, while another part of the brain protested, telling me how silly I was; both watching me break every metaphorical eggs along the way.
Life is not perfect, never has been and never will be. If life was perfect, we wouldn’t have a reason to move to the next moment, hour, day, week; being able predict what awaits over the next hill is not at all comforting. Never expressing emotions seems a rather dull existence. Absolutely, a little hint of what awaits is appreciated. Some emotion is permissible. That moment, everything spilled out in abundance, in one fell swoop.
Breaking eggs, watching them tumble over and out, shattering. Engaging in an internal fight, trying to piece together emotions, fears, doubts with each step. Pain radiating from the bottom of both heels; upward through both legs, arms; spreading out, before pooling – collectively – in the struggling and dueling spheres of the brain.
I expect some will never understand this muse. Life for you may always be perfect; never a deviant movement, never too wide, eggs always remaining in place. I get that. I don’t get that. All I can say – not in my world.
Listening to both voices, one saying walk, the other grabbing any article of clothing possible – holding, holding, holding – attempting to hold me in place – failing – following, silently out the door, onto the street, watching me swing widely, unexpectedly, breaking eggs along the way. Knowing full well an emotional, internal struggle was playing out in full, living and glorious color.
No, I can’t explain fully why I broke – not now. I can’t; emotionally I can’t. I can assure you it was not because I was approaching another birthday. Not because of the appearance of additional, graceful aging lines. I will continue to admit my age. I will continue to apply the supposed magical creams – so they tell us. They’re magical, aren’t they? I just can’t fully explain at this time. I pray admitting this much is sufficient, while I wipe, clean and pick up the evidence of the eggs spewed along the unexpected path. So I muse.