Maybe next time.

October 27, 2013 § 11 Comments

Diner table.Maybe next time I’ll be the kind of woman who is comfortable calling a stranger “hon.”

One who fulfills practical dreams by pulling a packet of the blue artificial sweetener out of an apron pocket when the pink just won’t do.

I’ll have a warm smile and an easy command of small talk like, “Gonna be a real scorcher today,” or, “Is that a new hairdo, Miss Evelyn?”

I’ll live comfortably in a world dominated by nouns I can pick up in a hand or run a sponge over. To put the world in order I’ll wipe the table, center the sugar tower and ketchup bottle, flip the sign to OPEN and unlock the door.

No chance of being that woman in this life. I don’t have the boobs for it, or the smoking habit. I don’t see the beauty of a tattoo, and I had a mother who was way too fussy in matters of grammar, but I think I’d like being that woman—blousy and comfortable.

For one spin of the wheel I wouldn’t mind saying, to hell with nuance, and can I warm that coffee up for you, hon?

Suffragettes.Or maybe next time I’ll be born at a hinge of history, and put my shoulder to a door that must open.

Although I might become one more name written on the wind, lost for the cause and forgotten, I will not stay home scared, or complain that it is not my fight.

I will surrender my days for something bigger than self and the electricity of change will render me incandescent.

Perhaps we are there now at a pivotal moment and I am too close to see it, but I also lack the fury needed to rise up, rise up and fight. I’m too mild.

But for one life I would like to be heroic, my fight justified by the opinion of history.

Black Vulture.Or maybe next time I’ll spread my wings as a vulture.

I’ll admit it, this notion started with my husband, Ray.

Here is his sales pitch. Don’t think about the hunched silhouettes of vultures standing huddled like a conclave of old men.

Don’t think about their take on “road food.”

Watch them fly. They wheel high overhead. They never flap.

In this life, although I flap constantly, I never achieve altitude. Instead I travel on foot, the mud of life on my shoes.

For one life I would like to ride the thermals, detached, even if it means eating two-dimensional ‘possum.

In this go-round, I’ve been lucky and happy and maybe that’s why I want more.

I don’t know if I’ll get one, but I want a next time. And a next.

Life is too big to fit into this single span of years, this single set of circumstances. There is too much to learn and understand–no one could get it all in one quick tour.

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§ 11 Responses to Maybe next time.

  • Richard Dempsey says:

    Adrian, you are an amazing writer. How does it happen that you think my thoughts, and you do it so much more eloquently than I. I was stuck thinking “life’s too short.” But you, my God, you fly around like a buzzard, riding thermals, feasting on posum. I am in awe. Go, girl. Richard D.


  • deb reilly says:

    What treasures we’d have missed had you been born a Flo or a Margie or a CEO. Unless Flo had time before the lunch crowd, to scribble memories triggered by a hurried step through autumn leaves. Unless Madam Chairman had chanced a weekend free of the board room to sketch her portrait of a homeless veteran at a concert.

    If there is only one tour, we are fortunate you rode yours as a writer


  • Genia says:

    Ditto, Deb!!! My thoughts exactly.


  • craig reeder says:

    your books, your blogs, your exquisite songs, they all soar !
    they wheel overhead, they float on the thermals, they fly for you!
    this one especially!


  • KM Huber says:

    Mimic that I am, if there are “hons” being thrown around, an infrequent sentence of mine will end in one. It has been known to happen in my later years. Of course, my feminist self cringes and then, much like the hokey-pokey, the right and left chime in….

    As the others have said so beautifully, we are awfully glad for the Adrian we have. I would add my hope to have an Adrian in every lifetime. Pass the sugar, hon.


  • Dang & darnation Adrian. You telling me I can’t spot
    a high flyer
    a rainbow rider
    when I see one?
    That be you!

    Lovely, lovely lovely post.


  • Debbie Moore says:

    The lives touched by your mildness are opening doors that perhaps go unnoticed. I will not spoil your desire to think there will be another chance but not sure your presence is as meek and mild as you claim it to be – you soar and have made it possible for others to soar – so you will never know the impact of your wings spread – boobs or tattoos or not! You are soaring and others take flight by your insight.


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