Bare Feet

I’d run around barefooted all the time.  First, it’d give me an excuse for being such a slow walker.  Second, I like to know the world that way, to feel the coldness of the dirt against my skin or the too hot hot hot of the driveway as I scurry across to get the mail.  I like the prick and scratch of dry grass in the middle of summer.

Especially, I like the challenge of gravel.  Each step must be placed carefully, the weight shifted just so, judging whether you are evenly distributed enough to have smooth sides that compensate for rough edges.

I was thinking about my mom in her younger days, how she used to climb the tv antenna and watch the countryside for the arrival of our guests, how she’s always the one with a glass and a piece of cardboard to free any errant bees or wasps that might get into the house, how she used to hang upside down from the swingset, just in general how brave she is.

She’s the kind of woman men like.  It’s hard for me to say what it is about her that they respond to.  I think she’s fine looking, but I don’t think she’s extraordinarily beautiful.  She’s not really aware of them by any means.  And yet, when she’s in a room, she’s the woman all the men flock to.  Even my brothers’ friends want to hang around with her.  Even the Man from GM* had a huge crush on her in high school.

My mom is at ease in the natural world.  I respect that about her.  I’m pretty much the exact opposite.  I don’t know.  I’ve just been missing her today.  I want to sit on the edge of a creek with her and we both dip our toes in the water and she’ll start talking about how, if she’d known we were going to pull our pants up, she’d have shaved her legs, and I’ll say it doesn’t matter and then I’ll ask her what kind of flower that is and she’ll say she doesn’t know and I’ll say that she should have just made something up because I wouldn’t have known any different and she’ll laugh like she does like she thinks it’s ridiculous that a wrong answer is better than uncertainty.

And I will try to point that out to her, how brilliant and holy that is, to live like uncertainty is better than a wrong answer, but she’ll be distracted by the shapes the clouds make.


*Who’d better be reading this, since I went to the trouble of giving you my fucking RSS feed.

12 thoughts on “Bare Feet

  1. Pingback: Nashville is Talking » A Man’s Woman

  2. Your Mom is beautiful, but I’d like to get a look at that rug behind her.

    You make me miss my Mom too. I wish I could have written a few paragraphs about her while she was alive. Now I totally want to send your mom some tamales.

  3. Mack, if you pay I can take you to that rug the next time you’re in my neck of the woods. It’s hanging in Anatoli’s, there on White Bridge Road, behind Dalt’s. And you should send my mom some tamales or I’ll just bring her and my dad to your house when they’re here in July and you can feed them all the tamales you like.

  4. Does Mom know that posing against that rug gave her Lisa Simpson hair? (I bet she’d think that was funny.)

  5. Ginger! Do NOT encourage this gazebo nonsense.

    I think my mom and I have similarly shaped eyes, but she has hazelly brown eyes and mine are blue. But look at that hair. The woman’s sixty-one years old and doesn’t dye it. I am certainly not headed in that little gray direction.

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