The thing about pockets, especially with other peoples, is that they are forgettable.
Today at the holiday market at a nearby farm, Evelyn, Dave, and I met our friends Lindsay and Ethan. As Dave commented on the newly buzzed, without a patch of brown lawn, my eyes spotted a plump worm. I motioned to him and our friend, whispering, “For the ducks.”
Before picking it up, I checked over my shoulder like an experienced shoplifter. Deciding the coast was clear, I bent down, and swiped at it but missed. I considered fleeing, but after coming so far, I felt there was no other choice, so I doubled over again.
Consequences be damned.
When indeed a middle-of-the-road, father-figure type’s furrow-browed gaze met mine, I embarrassedly smiled while shoving it in my pocket. When Evelyn insisted on carrying it, it ended up riding in hers.
I romanticize hermitism, specifically the Stephen King, out in Maine on a large farm off a long, windy dirt road lifestyle. The road is unmarked, of course. Maybe I’d stray into town once a month for a hello, a sack of potatoes, and onions, but then I’d scurry straight back to my always blazing log fire, slippers and easy chair.
I remember how reading “Party Of One: The Loners Manifesto ” felt like a deep, long, nurturing hug from the author years ago, and that I’m recently feeling conflicted over my responsibility to others, I’m sure picking it up again would do me good.
But for however much I long to be a recluse, I sure do get mad when people don’t get back to me.
Three, maybe four hours after the farm incident, while slipping my foot into Dave’s muck boots to check the duck feeder, I remembered, rerouted to Evelyn, pulled out the lifeless wiggler from her jacket, and headed straight outside for a photo op, and a feeding.
Happy birthday to my Mom. She would have been 68.