Thursday, June 9, 2016

June 9: On My Way, Just Keep Swimming, Dreamers

I could go.  I could simply angle off the path, take one step after another, and be on my way.  I could walk to Point Barrow, Mount McKinley, Hudson's Bay.  My summer jacket is put away; my winter jacket is warm.

It's a lovely thought that Dillard has.  Put on a warm jacket, open the door, step outside, and just keep walking.  She goes as far as Point Barrow (wherever that is) and Mount McKinley and Hudson's Bay.  Her imagined escape does not sound easy.  It's steep and treacherous and cold.  Yet, she would be away from her day-to-day stresses, and that is the point.  (She may also fall off a mountain, but that's a subject for a different post.)

Yes, I'm sure everybody thinks about escaping.  Every day, on my way to work, I think how easy it would be to simply keep driving down to the beach by Lake Superior and staying there to watch the sunrise and wait for a moose or deer to walk by.  Maybe another escapee from life would sit next to me in the sand, and we would talk about our dreams.  "Ralph" would listen to me describe a place with books and a desk and a view of a lake or mountain.  How I would sit in that room and read and write poems or stories or the Great American Novel.  Ralph would nod and say, "That sounds pretty damn good."  (As you can tell, I've put a little thought into this escape fantasy.)

Of course, I will never follow through on this desire.  I'm a little too responsible and Catholic.  I would be tortured by guilt and an overwhelming desire to recite ten Our Fathers and ten Hail Marys as penance if I aimed my vehicle toward the Big Lake on a workday.  I am the main income for my little family.  A day or two off from work sometimes means the difference between making a mortgage payment or not.  Too many people depend upon me.

Please don't think I'm feeling sorry for myself.  I'm not.  I just finished my first week at my new job.  It was good.  I was surrounded by friends, and I felt needed.  My coworkers kept telling me how glad they were to have me back.  I am not complaining.  It's just my inner Dory speaking.  You know the scene from Finding Nemo, where little blue Dory comes gliding by Marlin, and she's singing, "Just keep swimming, just keep swimming."  Unfortunately, I'm more of a Marlin than a Dory, worrying about the possibility of every calamity.  Car problems.  Heart disease.  Kidnappers.  A Donald Trump presidency.

So, as much as I would like to spend a day at the beach with Ralph, I will probably be at work tomorrow morning.  Being the good employee and husband and father.  That's what I am.  Dependable.  Responsible.  Predictable.

Marty, the patron saint of dreamers.

Okay, it's the closest I could get to Finding Nemo

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