A dear friend messaged me this week, explaining he is signing off of Facebook. And asked that I write him occasionally, share some of my mad ramblings.
It would seem we are now looking back at this year which is ending, and seeing all that we did not do. I see the distractions that took me away from my objectives I have set out and as a New Year approaches I too want to cull them to free me to achieve newer greater goals.
Today as I have done lately I walked, it was a promise I made myself a few months ago to start the process of retrieving my physical health, however I think it has improved my mental health more.
Instead of walking straight ahead as I left home I turned left and walked towards a place called McMahon’s point. It sits on the edge of Sydney Harbor and is a collection of century old terraces that line leafy streets. Once off the main road the tiny lanes twist and turn and it seems always somehow find their way back.
I walked with my ear buds in and listen to great music. Today I played Yasmine Hamdan’s “Aleb”, she is a Lebanese singer – and though I don’t understand the words, the inflection is obvious; it is full of raw emotion. I got lost in the melody and for some reason I saw so much clearer, and so I thought of the future and what 2017 will bring me and what I will bring it.
As I looked ahead I saw a home where a woman was out watering her lawn – near the edge of her yard I could see her daughter playing. The little girl was 4 or 5 I think, she has long curly dark hair very thick coke bottle glasses. As I got closer I could see she had leg braces on – At first glance I was taken back a bit, and then I realized how perfect she was.
As I got closer the little girl looked up at me and spoke, I stopped and signaled that I had ear buds in and she spoke again, so I removed them.
“Would you dance with me?” she said.
It is funny how in a moment a vast amount of memories can sweep me up. Dance she asked and I was scared. I remembered back to my teenage days and proms at school, where I was terrified to dance, terrified of the vile words others would say because I was awkward.
As I grew older and visited clubs it would take all my courage to ask a woman to dance, fears were abundant, all centered around on how others would see me, and worse yet how I saw myself being seen.
But here today filled with past fears and every reason to say no – I said yes.
Her mother had a radio on which was playing music and hadn’t seen our interaction and I am sure must have been fearful at first when she looked over and saw me an old awkward man dancing with the most beautiful girl in the world – her daughter.
I looked at her mother her mother looked at me, I shrugged and smiled and her mother smiled and stopped, and watched us.
As we danced this little angel and I laughed like life didn’t matter and I moved like I was good at this. In my past I would have kept my head down so I wouldn’t see who was looking at me, but now I looked around and saw 2 elderly women looking too, not with disapproval but with joy.
Robert it is hot here today, 37 Celsius or in the USA close to 100 – I was sweating and struggling and could see my little friend was too so as the song ended I asked my dance partner if we could sit the next one out – she agreed. The 2 ladies across the street applauded and my new friend bowed with pride.
I sat on a step and she stood by me and said “thank you Sir.”
I said “don’t call me Sir I am Jonathan, I am your dance partner”.
“I’m Alice” she said.
And then Robert she leaned into me placed her head on my chest and arm around my neck, I was lost.
Her mother approached and sat with us on that old brick step. It was the strangest thing here I was having a new conversation and it felt like old memories being dusted off and made better the way we do with good friends that we haven’t seen in a long time. We did not speak of Alice’s braces – we spoke of the day, the sun the clouds, the dance and the music. We only talked about the important things.
We shared cold water from a garden hose and laughed some as spray hit us all – eventually I had to leave. And as I walked down the windy road I looked back and there she was still looking my way – waving and I waved back.
I got out of view and suddenly I was finding it hard to breathe, my chest was heaving so I leaned up against a wall. At first my friend I wondered if my old heart was giving out, and then it started, as I gasped for air I realized I was being swept up with the moment, and my nose ran and tears flowed. I grew ten feet and shrank to nothing all at the same time.
Robert it seems all the best new friends I am making these days have all sorts of broken bits and parts, yet each is more whole than I have ever seen.
I think also today I have been able to make my New Year’s resolution.
This year I am going to Dance, not like no-one is watching, but like everyone is and I don’t care. I am hoping my true love Marina Majeran will dance with me.
Also this year I am going to live, by laughing and crying – bigger and better than ever before.
And this year my good friend we are going to see each other again, and hug, and dust off old memories like great friends do.
Love to you my brother, Love to Amy and the boys, I’ll write again soon..
Ps send me your resolutions