Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Blooming Late

A few things came late in life. Learning to tie my shoes, learning to tell time and learning to ride a bicycle are the triumvirate symbols of my late blooming. My tricycle was large and green and I couldn't keep up with my brother and his friend from down the street. I do remember ramming into the friend's bike, with him on it, because he was teasing me. I didn't do the damage I craved, but the hit was somewhat satisfying. I don't remember clearly but I probably had tears streaming down my face to ensure total glory could never be mine.
    Shoe laces are confounding things and I didn't get the hang of the over under loops until several months after my peers. I have no particular story associated with laces from back in the day but I do choose slip ons almost exclusively now. Is life long enough to tie and untie shoe laces? No, it isn't. Life demands footwear be thrown on for feet to move body quickly out of the house, down the street and to the coffee shop where it can loll about over a damned game of Sudoku and a coffee enhanced by an unnecessary pastry.
    Clocks went digital for a reason. Time is a fiction we don't need to encourage by sweating over which of the arms is long or short. I still have trouble with analog clocks. I pause over them a little too long for an adult. It took me years to tell the arms apart, that fast third one whipping around confusing me. Of course, so many clocks get fancy with roman numerals, or no digits at all. I don't bother. I stopped wearing a watch, usually a black plastic Casio, often strap snapped off and watch rammed in pocket. I stopped because I would check the time incessantly and forget what I read the moment it went back into my pocket. I lament the endangered status of pay phones, my current source of time telling when out and about.
    Other examples of tardiness are things like responsible adulthood or saving money or acquiring a credit card. Anything that requires bureaucratic process, finance or planning ahead more than a few weeks has only lost it's fear factor in the last five to ten years. Now I open the envelopes as the come through the mail-slot, unwilling to let the snarl of the tax man turn to a bite.
    I have conveniently forgotten the best example. I still don't have a driver's license. This avoidance of the driver's seat is, in what passes for our culture, the prime symbol of ineffectual manhood. Are other areas of life that require proactivity affected because of my lack of driving skills ? Once I grab that steering wheel, will I also grab other opportunities and sail away to self-actualization ? To becoming some archetypal top-dog ? Climb to the top of that ladder in my slip on boots ? A box of gift watches in the drawer of my power desk.