That Old Roy Magic
I am deaf. DEAF, I TELL YOU. I am at Dad’s, forcing him to actually help make a plan for our March-April jaunt to the Natchez Trace. For the next two days, here’s how every conversation will go:
“Those people who read your writing, they think I was handsome, don’t they?”
“I SAID YES, DAD!!!!!”
“Well, I was, and I knew I was.”
At least, I know why Roy is deaf.
He NEVER turns off the television. NEVER EVER. I sat on the sofa in the den, typing with ear plugs inserted, lest I suffer from hearing loss usually associated with Metallica concerts. Jet engines. Explosions.
After two hours, I couldn’t take it anymore. I headed out for my daily walk. I’m putting in anywhere from five to twelve miles a day right now, with one rest day per week, in preparation for my March/early April 444 mile walk of the Natchez Trace.
I stomped out of the house where I grew up. Hung a right at the end of the concrete driveway.
And, I was nine again, just like my character Emmaline.
My feet pounded the pavement toward my childhood friend’s house two blocks away. I juggled Barbie dolls by their hair and dropped microscopic shoes, my mind whirring with stories of what Barbie and Ken might do together when I finally got there. Would they stay boyfriend and girlfriend, or would my Donny Osmond doll steal Barbie’s heart with his purple leisure suit and polyester socks? Would Barbie lust after my friend’s Ken doll, because he was complete with his original swim trunks, while my Ken had to cover up with clothes that didn’t belong to him?
A trek that took forever when I was nine turned into eight minutes yesterday. I stood in front of the house where we played. Our ghostly voices shrieked in the back yard. I could almost see the room where I first heard the Beatles and danced to Saturday Night Fever. That house was magical when I was nine.
It was just as magical yesterday.
Can you still see the world through a child’s eyes? Do you think it’s important to try sometimes?
To Live Forever: An Afterlife Journey of Meriwether Lewis. By Andra Watkins. Coming March 1, 2014.
Several readers have contacted me about walking a bit of the Natchez Trace with me. If you are interested in doing a sliver of the trip between March 1 and April 3, please let me know in a comment or message me via e-mail at andra(at)positusonline(dot)com. I’d love to have the company for a mile or several.