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B O I L . H E R

For some reason, when she started asking me questions about my family, I started making stuff up. The lies came out of my mouth so quickly in response, that even I was surprised, more by the speed than the response itself. The answer though, may merit an award because it was nuts. I think I described the Cassius Coolidge family.

As soon as I finished talking, I thought, “This isn’t like me. Why did I do that? From what part of my mind did that originate? What will I do if anyone asks me to join them for poker?”

No immediate answer was forthcoming which bothered me, because it meant the question would persist, mainly because I’d need to see the person again and knew I’d forget most of what I’d said.

Before my lies to this person, several men had come up to introduce themselves and chit chat. While unexpected, it was also part of my overall nightmare. Unwelcome handshakes with prolonged eye contact drives me batshit crazy, so I smiled, turned one eye to the left while keeping one focused on them as my grip tightened, which I always hope translates as, “This isn’t the warm grip of agenda, I’m just psycho and hope this hurts you more than it hurts me. Don’t know which eye to look into anymore, do you?”

Gratefully, as I was getting ready for bed, the answer came to me. I didn’t want to admit it, but it seemed my brain told my mouth that not revealing anything real about myself was going to protect me.

It’s interesting how a focus on one thing often leads to something just a little further below the surface. Though I choose some environments based on their level of discomfort, I’m never quite sure what the discomfort will reveal.

Being open to surprise, whether originating from within or outside of us, to some degree at least, is part of what expands our perception, enabling us to grow past where we are, should we decide growth is needed.

Days like this, I observe people as if they’re Wonka Bars to be peeped at just long enough to identify Golden Ticket wisdom. I feel as if I’ve been swimming in the Willy Wonka chocolate river all my life, only to be repeatedly delivered to the boiler room.

My energy has turned to fudge, and I feel like a child that will never catch up to the sweetness of its real age.