Yeah, I have dreams of a different life. Once in a while. I'd live in a place where I don't have to hop in the car to buy a coffee or go to the gym. I'd live in a city...There'd be trees nearby and great views from the bedroom. I'd be responsible for...me. I'd only cook when I felt like it. I'd write till my eyeballs fell out.
Whether I'd be happy without husband and children to fuss over, is another question.
This weekend, I got my wish. I'm dog sitting for my old friend M.. in a really cool apartment with huge windows in Center City Philadelphia. The building was built by the Board of Public Education, and the pup and I can play ball in the august granite hall outside the apartment. This morning I spent tourist dollars at Whole Foods--candles, CDs. I go there all the time, but never with such abandon.
I think it was M. who first put the notion in my head that running away from home might be a cool thing to do. We were in third grade, and naughty was the way to go. Not that there was much to run away FROM. Rather, the notion of escape whispered an exotic, no-holds-barred siren call.
Did she ever take off? I'm not sure. We'd made a plan, but it was never carried out. There was no available stick in my house to carry my hobo bundle; I worried over this, but I gathered the essentials anyway. A hairbrush. Socks. A very old, very fragile porcelain doll. Dried apricots and slices of lebanon bologna., all wrapped in a bandanna and stowed in my bottom bureau drawer.
There they sat. I forgot about my plan to escape. There were spelling tests to take, there was TV to watch. A month or so later, caught by my mother in either A) belligerance B) impertinence (these words entered my vocabulary at a very young age) I was sent to my room without any dinner. The lebanon bologna--no. Quite smelly. I'm surprised my mother hadn't found it herself. I peeled an apricot off the face of the porcelain doll and enjoyed my light dinner; enjoying even more the victory of undoing my punishment.
I did run away, much later. Twice, actually.
I've got it out of my system. The thing is, running away doesn't mean the same if you don't have a home to return to. I'm one of the lucky ones, it turns out.
(Thanks to Ryoma Collia-Suzuki for inspiring this post!)