Monday, June 14, 2010

Day 30: Footprints

Man once walked here. Or some other Vibram™ soled creature. It does make me wonder if there are Vibram™ souled individuals among us: you know, the kind of person who will walk all over you, and have the footwear to leave a lasting imprint.

I found this "fossil" in the terrace by the pool. Should I get married again, I think I'll bring this picture with me as the example of "something old, something new". The old being the fossil, the new being the fact that the fossil is of modern shoe technology, of course. But saying this reminds me why it is very unlikely that I will remarry, or that anyone would have much interest in doing so with me, really, when you think about it, because how would you explain it to your family (or yourself) that your husband gave you a picture of a fossilized Vibram™ footprint on your wedding day. What is quirky charming can become simply quirky odd quite quickly, you know, and surely there are more wedding appropriate and clever and romantic examples of old and new. Sting would have them, naturally, and so would George Clooney, or Taye Diggs. And do you want to spend the rest of your life thinking about Taye, or George, or Sting, or the guy who refinanced your mortgage or looked good at the reunion while I'm across the room, folding the laundry, and thinking about the deeper meaning of doing so? I didn't think so.

The fossil is really only "creation science" old, anyway.

I left similar traces one time. Dressed in my best suit, and hurrying to an important meeting, I didn't see the construction workers smoothing out the fresh cement on a sidewalk, and I walked right into it, sinking up to my ankles. So far as I know, this was the first instance of a person voluntarily trying on concrete shoes.

Most of the time, the footprints I leave are much more ephemeral, like footprints in the water. Sure, molecules are displaced, and heat is transferred, and now that I think about it germs are deposited, and maybe some toe jam too, and small waves are made....but when I lift my foot out of the pool, no visible traces remain. Only memories.

Sometimes the ephemeral acts do form lasting memories. In 1975, I wrote a brief, flippant note in a classmate's year book. About a decade or so later I ran into her and she told me that she was actually quite hurt by my note. I had to be reminded what I wrote, given the comment's pithy flippancy, and also that I'm sure I was just trying to be clever. Once she explained, it all made sense: I hadn't really considered how my comments would be heard or remembered. The lesson, now a quarter of a century old? Don't be a jerk, if you can help it, and even if you don't mean to be. Show others respect: they will remember, even if you don't. (Oh: I know I owe many many other apologies for jerkiness.)

Speaking of fossils, and memories, and limbs, how about this zipper on my elbow? I had surgery on it (and pins inserted) when Martin Luther King and Robert Kennedy still roamed the earth. It is common knowledge, I think, maybe, that all the cells in our body are replaced every week (or year, or 15 minutes, I can't remember exactly, but the point remains the same, that it is some short period of time, so there is no need to correct me here, although I'll try to look it up later). So why does that scar persist for over 40 years? Like most of the fossil record, I don't pay it much attention it. Only sometimes.

I'm quite fond of my knees. Unlike ankles, elbows, and shoulders they have not faced the surgeon's scalpel. They do have lots of mileage, as each has bent and moved forward approximately 100,000,000 times. One hundred million! Seriously. I did the math. Damn, that's a lot of steps. Go, knees!

I'm not showing a picture of my hip because I'm pissed at it. Stop whining to me, you big sissy.

My wrists are good for lots of things, most especially a) providing a place for my watch to rest; b) keeping my hands attached to my body. They should be thanked more often.

Props to the little guys! The sweat glands, pores, hair follicles (well, you know which ones can stay, which should go, and which have already left the building), nostrils, ear canals, taste buds, and what not. Especially the sweat glands. I'd hate to cool off by evaporating just through my tongue.


  1. You should fall in love and marry again. You can go in for that hip surgery, or knee surgery, and she will be there, waiting for you ... to help you through recovery... because she loves you. And, the old you bring to the wedding, may just be that scar, she has touched and the new, could be your love for her. When you give her a picture of the fossil footprint, she'll already be accustomed to your quirkiness and know that it takes one with a little intellect and a good sense of humor to add meaning to life's mundane occurrences. The stranger's footprint, unnamed, and gone unnoticed by many, could be the catalyst that brings you to a new place in your life. Or, you could look at it and ask, "What dope did this?" Love your ponderings. I feel inspired, if only I could find a central theme for a blog. And, when you get married, I want to be Amy's date!!

  2. Hey Markie - You do know, to quote Jocelyn, that she already "is there, waiting for you....because she loves you." She is accustomed to your quirkiness and she knows you are the center of her universe already. Oh, that last part was mine :-)