Thursday, February 21, 2013

Freaking Geniuses. They Walk Among Us. With Weeping Feet

(post copyright 2013, Dawn Weber)

So many of my readers have touched me - deep inside. 

Without even buying me a drink first. 

There's Pearl, who calls me her "weirdo," and Vixen, who's affectionately dubbed me "asshole." Twice.

Thank you, thank you, ladies. Truly, I am "flattered."

However, of all my commenters and readers, I have to admit that there's one who's captured my attentions these days with his shrewd, insightful counsel. He's a genius; and like so many of your garden-variety geniuses - Aristotle, Ghandi, Fabio; Socrates, Plato, Snooki - he goes by one name.

He is the one they call "Anonymous."

Yes folks, I am pleased to announce we have been blessed by Anonymous himself here at Lighten Up! That's right. This wise, wise sensei reads and comments on my blog, and he has graced us with his wisdom, clairvoyance and podiatric advice. After all, he was the first to point it out: 

My feet. They weep within my sneakers.

It's so true! After a long day of sightseeing or a few miles on the treadmill, my feet DO weep within my sneakers. How did he know? Read on - a direct quote from Anonymous himself:

"When the feet are weeping within the sneakers as a result of distress, it truly is far more probable which you can't give your really best general functionality on that day."

You see? Remember, you read it here first, courtesy of Lighten Up! and our boy Anonymous. When YOUR feet weep within the sneakers, you can't give your really best general functionality on that day.

Yes, Anonymous has really made a difference in my life - and sneakers - with his shrewd, insightful counsel on my blog posts.

But I'm going to have to have a talk with Blogger - they're automatically redirecting his brilliant musings to my junk folder. You can imagine my surprise and dismay at opening up my spam tab to find such genius comment-nuggets as:

"What's up friends, how is all, and what you want to say concerning this article, in my view its genuinely remarkable in favor of me . . ."

It's all about YOU, Anonymous. No doubt!

"Hi, all the time і used to chеck blog postѕ here in the early hours in the break of day, because і loνe to learn more and more . . ."

So happy to help you, your Highness! We're all about the education here at Lighten Up! Especially in the early hours in the break of day.

"Now I am going awaу to do my breakfast, when having my breаkfast coming ovеr аgain to reaԁ other nеwѕ . . . "

Don't let us keep you from your breakfast, Anonymous, or from breakfast coming over to read news. Again.

"Thus, as a way to earn within sports activities, apart from the demonstrating off talent and abilities, each and every ingrained in addition to made, it can be essential to use the best footwear. Learn about how a best footwear might be cherished from the foot . . ."

You know what my feet cherish? Free, Anonymous footwear expertise, that's what.

"You manаged to hit the nail upοn the toр anԁ dеfined out the whole thing withοut having side-effеcts, peoρle coulԁ take a signаl."

People COULD and SHOULD take a signal from me - that's what I always say. Anyway, that is certainly what I tell the husband and kids, because I do, occasionally - just sometimes - manage to hit the nail upon the top.

"I do not even know how I ended up here, but I thought this post was good. I do not know who you are but certainly you are going to a famous blogger if you are not already . . ."

Don't know how you ended up here? You're drunk, Anonymous. But I'll forgive you because you said I'm going to be famous.

"What i don't realize is actually how you are not actually much more smartly-favored than you may be right now. You're so intelligent. You already know therefore considerably in the case of this subject, produced me personally consider it from so many various angles. Your personal stuffs nice. All the time care for it up!"

You're right again. I am intelligent! And my personal stuffs ARE nice: Over the years, a couple of other men have also said so.

Remarkable things here. I'm very happy to peer your post. Will you kindly drop me a e-mail? Thank you a lot and I'm taking a look ahead to touch you. 

Whoa, whoa, whoa. Easy there, big boy. I appreciate all your wisdom, Anonymous, but I’m not letting you at my personal stuffs. Or my sneakers. Or even my weeping feet.

There’ll be no touching, wise guy.

Not without buying me a drink first.


And speaking of geniuses . . . here's a little something about a fella I met a while back, on a flight from Atlanta to Columbus:

. . . There are seven billion people on the planet. Of these, I enjoy actually physically talking with . . . maybe . . . oh . . . nine.

I'm not sure why, but I seem to have the opposite effect on others. I think people see my short stature and light hair-color and assume I have a friendly, bubbly personality.

This couldn't be further from the truth. I am quiet and actually kind of a bitch. Just ask my family.

Here on the plane, my seat-mate's glassy eyes stare me down as he leans close to me, his saggy pants offering up a plunging rear view, a scandalous posterior eyeful I neither expect nor desire. Before my attempt to nap, I had noted that he carried no luggage, and this - along with his bloodshot eyes and visible crack - make him seem kind of gangsta.

Then again, I'm pretty gangsta myself, what with my polo shirt, mom jeans and sensible shoes.

Still, he seems a friendly fellow, an amiable hoodlum, intent on talking to me no matter how much I'd rather sleep. He chatters on and on until I'm good and awake.

"So. What you do for a living?" he asks.

"I work in communications," I reply. I've learned that it's best to be vague in these situations.

"Really? Where you work?"

"Oh, it's downtown," I dismiss it with a wave - again with the vague. "How about you? Where do you work?"

He pauses, rubs his chin, smiles to himself and sits back.

I have a sudden feeling things could get intriguing.

"Well, you know, there's this medicine - these pills - you see . . . "

"Uh-huh . . ." Oh, we're going to have fun here, I can tell.

"They're cracking down on them in Columbus, big time," he says.

"Really . . ." This conversation might be better than a nap. Maybe.

"The people . . . they're addicted to them - bad. You know, they're pills for pain, pills for pain," He looks at me, waiting for my reaction, his expression dancing a thin line between warning and sales pitch.

"Yeah . .  . you're talking Percocet and Vicodin, things like that, right?" I ask.

He's relieved that I'm familiar with such "pills for pain," I can tell because his shoulders relax. 

He leans toward me, and I smell nachos. Again.

"See, they're cracking down in them in Columbus . . . so what I do, I get on a plane . . . "

His voice a whisper, he leans even closer to me . . .

Stay tuned for the rest in my upcoming book! Someday!

Hey - I am working on my tenth chapter/essay now. Not bad, right? That's almost 1/4 of the way done. Right? Please tell me that's right . . .

And then I have to get someone to actually publish it! HaHaHa!


Every single essay/chapter has been a struggle, a battle of "I can't do this! But I did it before - how did I do that? Ugh. I can't do this!"

But I powered through somehow. And I said I'd reward myself when I reached little milestones. 

What should I get for myself? Some Percocet? Vicodin? A new pair of sneakers?

Nah. I'll settle for a pony. 

Or - perhaps - a unicorn.

And a rainbow. Definitely a rainbow.

Thursday, February 14, 2013

How a Hobo Breaks a Heart

(post and photos, copyright 2013, Dawn Weber)

I've bought a wee Spiderman backpack and filled it with only bare necessities - a lunch box, a blanket, a light jacket. 

Everything you need is in your pack; I made sure. The thing only weighs two pounds, tops, but even as small as it is, its size and heft threaten to topple you. You carry it like a tiny, wobbly homeless man - like a little hobo failure. But you don't complain. 

You seldom do.

I've been looking forward to this for a while now; I'm going back to work, you're starting pre-school. We have been home together for two and a half years. It was mostly wonderful - and sometimes awful - and the fact that I feel this way makes me horribly, heart-wrenchingly, gut-clenchingly guilty.

Time at home hadn't been my idea. I was part of a mass corporate layoff shortly after your birth, and my fast-paced, jet-setting world quickly became Barney, burp cloths, the couch.

I should have been grateful - and partly, I was. The rest of me missed my career -  the adult companionship, the paychecks, the capability to buy new shoes. 

But there wasn't a choice.

So I plucked you from the crib each morning, hugged, changed and fed you. Then, we plopped down Indian-style, and I pulled you into the space between my knees and began searching the paper in vain for something it would take me 2.5 years to find - a job that paid enough to cover child care.

A job that paid enough for me to leave you again.

Towards the end of our stint, you lost the diapers and began talking, and those were the best of times, the days you leaned your head back on my t-shirt, heaved a contented sigh and said things like:

"Ahh, boobies. I like boobies!"

You are your father's son.

And we made the best of things, you and me.

All of this runs through my head as I walk you through the hallways to your room. I look down at you, you look up at me, and I know we're both thinking the same thing: Let's turn around. Let's go to McDonald's. 

Let's go home.

I might do it. I might pick you up and carry you to the car. Because all those times I'd wished for one hour, one nano-second, one new pair of shoes for myself - I take them back.

I don't want you to go.

Stay tuned! This piece is an abridged excerpt of an essay from my upcoming book. It was inspired by the pictures shown here, taken that day, as we walked into the school and down the hallway.

He's 10 now. But he's still a good little Hobo.