Wonder Woman sat in the corner of my room, taunting me with her plastic smile and rope of time. She had me under her spell because I’d spent the morning attempting to lie to myself while she ticked along to prove how ineffective I’d been with ‘time’ according to her digital clock movements. True to her special powers, I began explaining myself to her like a train flying off its tracks.
Ms. Wonder, it’s stimuli, external stimuli I happen to find pleasurable torture with, not sexually, though who knows, I might not mind, but I do mean The Mind. Some folks call it a problem, obsessive thoughts, mannerisms and such but it really isn’t so bad, unless it goes into overdrive, but admittedly there’s something about putting my foot all the way down on the gas pedal that feels real good, except when there are passengers of course. I stopped doing that in the ’50s.
I’m a magnet for things, like, all things and depending on the day I might hang out on the refrigerator enjoying the view, and other days I’ll pop around sticking to anything that clicks, and I don’t know why it works, but it does, at the moment anyway. From a logistics perspective, I don’t give much credence to what worked yesterday. Babies taught me that. You can only be a nipple princess for so long before they tear off your tiara, ask you to cover yourself and demand $5 for a Snickers and chocolate milk.
It’s probably why you found me staring at you for so long. You trigger me, and because you trigger me, I feel a need to hop on a one-way think train. Funny enough, it isn’t your digital alter ego telling time that upsets me, it’s more that you remind me of yesterday, and because you remind me of yesterday, I find myself trying to understand what’s different between then and now. So the longer I sit on the train figuring that out, the more upset I get. Deep down I feel that yesterday and today look too much alike and even though I know not to place weight on appearances, I’m human, and the likeness between months, decades or years can be disturbing. I’m only speaking of my likeness, cause I don’t know anyone else’s.
I walked into a shop the other day, and on the outside, it was advertised as an international food market and restaurant. The exterior windows were covered with enticing photos of tasty pastries, gourmet foods and the promise of fresh hot coffee but when I walked inside, to my left there was a young Muslim woman in full hijab seated at a table with a sewing machine in front of her, and she was surrounded by materials and thread. The walls were lined with beautiful dresses, all seemingly made for women six feet tall and above. To my right were groceries, toiletries and knick-knacks thrown onto shelves or bins. All of the dry goods were covered in dust and cans dented such that their contents were unrecognizable. There was a small walk-in cooler against the back wall filled with eggs and orange juice. The entire place appeared to have survived a bombing from the early 1900s. It was hot, and there were no fans or air conditioning in use, nor was there the scent of food or coffee to justify the dining tables in the very back. At the sight of the dining area, I stopped in my tracks to orient myself to the drastic difference between the external advertisement and internal reality. I laughed about it for a bit that day, but later that night cried.
It seemed to me that the shop represented one of the main challenges of the human race in certain parts of the world, or maybe it just posed to me my own difficulties from several perspectives. There are steps to learning about people if we choose to walk down them, and it is a downward and spiraling way, because, on the one hand, I felt something sad about the environment surrounding the young girl’s position. On the other hand, it was also shown to me that her position may very well have been an advertisement in an advertisement.
So what I’m getting at Ms. Wonder, is that stimuli have a tendency to direct me to truths I don’t always know how to use or whether to reference in a given moment but I enjoy the seeking and learning because all stewards of truth are key-holders to locked hearts, in one way or another. They need to accept the role of janitor, maintain the strength to hold such a heavy keychain, seek wisdom and guidance to know how to turn them, and finally, they must remain courageous in using them when approaching a spiritually hard stop.
All I’m trying to explain is that when I watch your digits change, then compare my yesterdays to my today, I’m pulled to resolve whether I’ve spent more time in janitorial service or in advertising cause one is a gift of service that can be shared with others while the other is just a hard stop.