Flights of fancy . . .

dsc_03091Yesterday I happened upon the Kite Festival at Lake Harriet. It was about four o’clock, blazingly sunny, bracingly cold, and the sight of an endless blue sky full of colorful kites took my breath away. Apparently, I am incapable of enjoying anything but vicariously, through the eyes of my family. Within seconds I was on my cell to Doctor Dash: Can you bundle up the kids and get down here? This is so cool! And bring the camera . . .

Instead of my customary loop around the lake, I made a beeline for the kites right across the middle. I crunched across the snow, digging the white desert-like expanse . . . I felt under the influence of something . . . beauty, chance, cold, sun, music, whimsy. Who flies kites in the middle of winter? En masse? Overcome, I busted out a few fierce warriors when I got to the middle, my face to the sun.

Fucking ya! I wanted to yell.

I kept walking, utterly transfixed by the kites. There was a huge dragon, a turquoise fish, an enormous striped parabola, an eagle, and countless little kites all with long streaming tails, undulating in the wind. I was listening to Lambchop, and if you’ve listened to Lambchop you’ll understand when I say the kites looked like elated spermatazoa, woozily swimming their way toward a golden shining egg . . . the sun.

Fucking ya! I wanted to yell.

And since apparently I also can’t enjoy anything without my crazy monkey mind plucking the experience right out of the air, tucking it under its hairy arm and running around in frenetic circles . . . I thought: What if one of these kites suddenly hit a rogue current that caused it to plummet and spear me in the cranium? I put my hood up. The headline in the Southwest Pages would read: Mother of Three Killed in Freak Accident at Lake Harriet Kite Festival. There would be all sorts of heartfelt testimony by kite enthusiasts, evincing their deepest sympathies . . . but affirming that kite flying is really one of the safest sports there is. Meager consolation for me, however. And my surviving brood.

I eventually hooked up with Doctor Dash and the kids, but by that time the kite flyers were all pulling down their kites with frostbitten fingers. I was only able to get one picture and it certainly doesn’t capture the magic of a mere twenty minutes prior. I was disappointed that they missed it. We tramped to the car to, me feeling cold, morose, plagued by death.

My first mistake was calling Dash. Why didn’t I just indulge in a little unexpected beauty on my own? Why didn’t I just let myself do that? My second mistake was letting myself get jostled out of the moment by my ridiculous mental peregrinations. Can’t I do anything . . . experience anything without thinking?

Why do I do this? This catastrophizing? This calamatizing? I know I have an active imagination, but this is such an incredible waste of mental energy. Even I, of the relentless inner chatter, realize that. Tomorrow I’m getting some wisdom teeth pulled. I have been putting this off for nine years. I know it has been nine years because I was pregnant with Saint James when I first heard that I needed my wisdom teeth pulled (which wisdom teeth are, incidentally, not bothering anyone, except, apparently every dentist that lays eyes on them). Enough different dentists have told me to get this done that I have finally been convinced that this isn’t just some evil plot to hoodwink me out of my pearlies and my benjamins. This is happening at ten a.m. tomorrow and I am certain I will choke on a piece of gauze and that will be it for me. (Not funny, this has happened . . . to a teenage boy, making it even more tragic, if that’s possible.) I am not looking forward to being sedated and having my mouth mutilated by a man with hairy arms holding medieval torture implements. I suppose I should forgive myself if my thoughts are awash in black right now . . . Just please, no . . . no . . . accidents . . .

Quite frankly, if I had to choose, I’d rather go by way of a well-placed kite to the skull.

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