Tuesday, April 19, 2016

In A Tight Spot

When I was a kid, I took everything quite literally. Well, "quite literally" isn't exactly accurate. I took everything extremely literally. Brutally literally. Is that possible?
I've been thinking about my life, lately, and when I talk to people and try to describe my situations, I find myself using terms from my childhood. And that, inevitably, gives me flashbacks.
The other day, while talking with a friend, I described feeling like I had painted myself into a corner.
I was in fifth or sixth grade when my parents decided to move to an old home on the lake outside our small South Dakota town. It was a fixer-upper, to say the least. My sister and I got to help decorate our rooms, though, and I remember going to a store in town to pick out wallpaper. I got to choose the colors and accessories for my room, under my mother's discriminating advisement, of course. My parents had the idea that we should paint the wood floors in our rooms and I was "allowed" to paint my own.
I chose green.
And I was tickled at the opportunity to pour new paint into a pan and dip the roller. I was on Cloud 9 (probably another memory) smearing green paint on the clean wood floor of my new room.
Now, I enjoy tasks like painting, ironing and mowing the lawn. These are tasks that give me a sense of accomplishment. My mind tends to wander while performing such tasks and I enjoy getting lost in myself. I can go a million miles away in my mind only to turn around and see the fruits of my labor.
That's what happened the day I painted my bedroom floor. I got lost in my head. I went to the moon and back. The world was still ahead of me at that point and I enjoyed imaging the possibilities. I wrote a song. I composed fantastic poetry. I fashioned a beautiful outfit and acceptance speech for the many awards I was sure to win.
I painted the hell out of that floor!
And when I turned around to appreciate all my hard work?
I had literally painted myself into a corner!
And I had to sit there for, like, eight hours literally watching paint dry.