What If

“I wonder what it would be if you wrote it this week?” she wrote in her journal, the words hot and fast from last week’s escapade a few pages back now, safely buried in the streaming elements of the new week, new faces, old ideas, new intentions, after work meditations and milieu from a dozen lives she might have led if this one hadn’t captured her like the dragon held her royal highness the princess in he castle of her fondest hopes.

“I wore shorts outside today.”

What a moral decision. Should such a pair of winter white flesh posts be subjected to the world or more succinctly, should the world be subjected to a sunless damsel, a woman who had kept herself so covered and retired from the world the word white barely described the pale luminescence of her flesh? Yet she did it and found the challenge utterly delicious, if not downright evocative and rebellious, to be half naked in the still cool, no admit it, still cold air. It didn’t have to be a pair of short of special cut or color. Gone is what mattered, the clothes and layers gone, the restrictions gone, the weather no longer abusive in its assumption of authority.

“But it reminds me of winter when I didn’t realize the heat was off until at least January,” she wrote and the reason is the winter came as a safety to her raging soul, the slow fire that threatened to eat through as a match struck might incinerate the page under which it burned.

Oh, how good the cold felt when she felt so hot, like Frankenstein must have felt on ice flow, sailing to Byzantium or oblivion or Oregon or Milwaukee or wherever she felt like going with the life they always sought to make for her.

“My cat wouldn’t sleep anywhere but on my laptop or me and I burned myself in the shower, still feeling chilled.”

I should tell you, how else could you ever know, my cat sleeps with me, the only cat I’ve ever loved, but why would you sleep with anyone you didn’t love or let them sleep with you?

Do you love my laptop more than me?

“No,” replied the cat.

“Then why do you sleep with my laptop and not with me?”

“I can’t sleep with you both at once. How awkward would that be, ménage a trois, you, me and the laptop all at once? I’m a cat, not a, well you know, libertine feline.”

“I’m sorry,” she said. “I didn’t mean to imply, but my ‘Dad is of German/Irish heritage and it’s just something his family is good at ignoring I guess’.”

“What are we talking about? I don’t understand. Are we talking about passion, weather or psychology?”

“Sort of like we’re not happy with it but also get over it it’s just freezing in here walk it off.”

Here’s what I think. I think you ought to do whatever it takes to free your soul. Here, let me give you a couple examples. I used to go outside in the middle of the winter on the farm in Iowa, when I couldn’t stand the safety and warmth and comfort of being inside all at once anymore for weeks on end and take off all my clothes, not too far form the door I made good and sure wouldn’t lock behind me you understand, and plunged into the nearest snow drift, just for fun. It made all that safety and warmth and comfort of being inside good and wonderful and precious all over again. Then there’s the time after a family argument I walked a couple miles to the nearest beach and there in the water that looked more like mercury than anything you could drink, I walked in and bathed fully clothed, letting the water submerge me completely and coming out onto the beach reborn and sopping wet, almost dry by the time I got home squishing in my shoes. Or how about walking up a mountain in the middle of the night and looking out over the darkness to the distant city full of light and felt alone and afraid on purpose and confident of all I had done to attain the forbidden height. I could name a few more, but the weather is so nice, so mild, so inviting, I’m going to put on my work clothes and feel the good, decent elemental resolve that stirs my blood of tools and tasks and making something happen where only neglect has reigned.

So, dear heart, that’s what it would be.

If I wrote it this week.