I had plans for my life. I always do. In college I majored in my fallback plan. Then after college my life was my fallback plan for my initial fallback plan. But I never planned for this. I never planned for what my life is now. It is thousands of miles from what I thought my life would be.
When I was three I had my first halloween costume. It was a plastic Cookie Monster costume with a plastic mask. I was very excited about trick or treating. I put the costume on over my clothes and then the mask on my face. When I looked in the mirror it was a different story. I was terrified and wouldn’t wear the mask longer than it took for my mom to take a picture. I don’t know if I was afraid because I didn’t understand that it was me behind the mask, or I couldn’t breathe. I was a tiny child and the mask was huge. Whatever it was I refused to have the mask on my face. When I got a little older my feelings changed. I loved wearing the Cookie Monster mask. I loved being someone else.
My parents have an antique, granddaughter clock that has always hung in the stairwell, between the first and second story of my childhood home. I love the sound it makes when it tick-tocks. The pendulum swings back and forth, sometimes sounding achy and arthritic. I love the reverberation in the stairwell, when the clock chimes and strikes the hour. Every now and then it will wind down, the ticking, and celebration of time passing, ceasing to exist. Sometimes it takes a while to notice the absence of the tick. An hour, maybe two, comes and goes without notice. That is when the winding happens. Whoever realizes that the clock has stopped, usually my father, turns the little knob on the face and you can hear the gears, loudly grinding backwards in protest, to start work once again.