The House is Tilted

I don’t know if it started out this way or not but this house is crooked. The chest of drawers and revolving book shelf slant toward the east. The tall bookcase in the middle room leans to the north and the floors in the front room are just warped in weird, unpredictable angles. It’s like the house has arthritis.

I’ve always loved it’s quirkiness but right now I just wish for normality. Level floors would certainly center and ground me.

Coming undone seems to be part of the nature of living. Structures, some of them miraculous, come together and then loosen up more and more with time.

When I was 30 I noticed that my hands had changed. One day my hands held the steering wheel with a light touch, slender fingers barely needing to touch the wheel. The car practically drove by itsef. But when I hit 30, as I was driving to Mount Holly from Moorestown, I glanced at the steering wheel and noticed that my hands had changed. For one thing, they gripped the wheel as if my life depended on it. And they were getting swollen around the knuckles. It really grabbed my attention.

Now, at 60, when I see my reflection I don’t recognize the woman who has replaced the young hippie. I see someone who looks like she’d be happier in the lotus pose even as she slumps across the table reaching for her coffee cup the way the drowning reach for life jackets.

I catch her looking at me while I’m observing her. Now that, my dear, is a head trip. It makes me feel like a fractal.

Just this week I noticed another change. I noticed I’m beginning to disappear, but not really disappearing. More like water color when it seeps across thick paper, changing the whole atmosphere in a way that cannot be easily replicated. Less is definitely more when you’re 60.

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