Friday, March 05, 2010

Quick Change

Running along the beach I was not wearing shorts, but instead was wearing rolled up seersucker trousers and an untucked Charvet shirt. The shirt was trim enough that I did not look like a clown, but instead gave the impression of an athletic, roguish croquet player running to meet for a secret tryst on the other side of the sea cliff.

Or so I thought. We can only see ourselves through our own imagination, even when there is a mirror. How else can you explain the outfits some people wear? I am no exception. Sometimes I will attach a fantasy to an outfit I am wearing that doesn’t match the imagination of others. The mismatch can be frightening. In this case, my reality check came in the form of a dog; a gorgeous blue heeler mistook me for either cattle or sheep.

I did not see the dog approach, but I did feel it bite. Keeping perfect pace with my stride, the dog placed its mouth around my ankle and closed its jaw just enough for me to feel pressure but not enough for its teeth to break the skin. I veered into the waves and the dog circled back, but stayed close.

The dog's owner whistled from farther up the beach and the animal turned and ran away.

Soaked from the splashing, and knee-deep in the surf, my outfit no longer felt impossibly light and optimistic, but instead felt like I was wearing yesterday’s wet blanket. It had transformed from an inspiration into a costume. I started to walk towards the shore and after just a few steps I stopped. My shadow was hunched over with the rolled shoulders of a defeated lump. I am not so easily beaten. I am not such a coward or a push over. If my outfit is no longer working, that doesn’t mean I’m out of luck.

I stripped to my underwear, tossed my clothes into the surf, adjusted my posture, and walked back up the beach—proud, confident, and completely at peace. Sometimes no clothes are better than the wrong ones.

1 comment:

Vinda Sonata said...

great write-up as always. i love the way you described things. you really captured the gentle side of yourself very well here.
thanks for sharing!