"The notion that such persons are gay of heart and carefree is curiously untrue. They lead, as a matter of fact, an existence of jumpiness and apprehension. They sit on the edge of the chair of Literature. In the house of Life they have the feeling that they have never taken off their overcoats."
- James Thurber, My Life and Hard Times

Tuesday, June 8, 2021

I'm not always ready for my closeup, Mr. DeMille

There is a kind of shot that film/TV directors use when someone discovers THE SECRET to the whole story. It's kind of a quick closeup, either toward or away, while their eyes widen. Kind of like this:


Or this:


I don't care if it's considered cheesy, it fits the moment, just as it fits moments in my life. I was remembering one of these today. 

Marcus needed new shoes. We used to go to Famous Footwear, where I'd buy him two pairs of shoes because the second pair was half price. He would dutifully wear the same pair of shoes until they fell apart and I'd donate the second pair because they no longer fit him. It only took me eight or ten years to figure out that I could buy him one pair and get myself a pair for half price.

I'm nothing if not stubborn.

This particular day, he'd been in a kids' size 4, so we sat down in the kids section and I got the metal foot measure to see what size he needed. He propped his heel against the back and...his toes hung over the front. Confused, I retrieved the adult-sized metal foot measure.

My son wore a size 6 MENS.

Numbly, I walked him to the men's section and let him pick out a pair of sneakers. I then struggled to breathe as he strode up and down the aisle, saying, "Look! I have clown feet!"

It was that moment of revelation, when I saw my son as an adult. A mini-adult who was in elementary school, but yet--not a baby.

Years later, I still feel that quick closeup, just before the camera hits me in the face.

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