1977 Over Again
I just spent the last of my savings. How stupid of me really. I’ve always been such a compulsive shopper. Tony’s going to have a bird. At first, anyhow. As soon as he can see the benefits, it’ll all be good. I hope.
Last time it was a puppy. Yes, it was impulsive of me to buy him. Yes, it was foolish. I had been in and out of the hospital for more than a year. Who was going to care for the little pup? Who would train him? Don’t I have enough of a mess going on in my life? He was right, as he usually is. I kept going to the hospital and my boys, although old enough, just don’t have it in them to take care of a puppy day after day. I ended up having to give him to my son’s friend’s family. I still miss him.
This time it’s different. I mean, it’s really cool and if I get sick it won’t matter. Pretty much nothing should affect how much we can do with this and the benefits that it will have in our lives.
My anxiety is fading as the memories of my father come pouring back in. The car packed with all of the kids on the block jammed in so he could take us on a topsy-turvy ride going every possible way except the right way as we finally arrive at the Dairy Queen. I can’t wait to watch a movie with him and hear his monologue all through the movie of what he thinks of it, what he thinks will happen and his inner thoughts on every single character and their acting throughout every single scene of the movie. I laugh thinking about it.
I have an idea. There is no way that Tony will mind the excessive amount of money that I spent on this. All of my money, actually.
I have it in the garage, where it was delivered this morning. I’ve read the manual forwards and backwards at least three times and I feel confident that I know what I am doing now.
I slip in. I am feeling a little claustrophobic as soon as I shut the panel door. I close my eyes and focus on breathing. My heart is beating wildly as my apprehension and anticipation build. Ok.. I am ready. I carefully adjust the settings and hover my finger over “go” before I close my eyes and rush my finger down on the green button.
It’s not working. Fuzzbuckets!!!! Now what am I going to do? The salesman was clear in that I had a 30-day money-back guarantee as long as I had not tried to operate the device. My heart was quickly sinking and the panic of what I would tell Tony was quickly putting me into spin mode. I try again, but this time, the lights don’t even come on as I get ready to press “go” again.
How the heck am I going to explain this? God help me. If my plan had worked, I would have gone back to 1977. As much as I had wanted to just spend time with my father, this year was pivotal in my life and I would have my father for years to come if my plan worked.
I had wanted to alter my future. I know that it is kind of against the rules, but after eighteen years of a bad marriage, children that suffered from it, illness caused by it, I knew what I had to do.
I was between grade seven and eight at the time. Tony and I had been in different classes that year, but his cousin Eva was my best friend and lived across the street from me. Just by default of their wonderful Italian family being so close, we spent a lot of time together. We were friends at school, but he was popular and I was shy, so I spent more time with him at his cousin’s house. She has remained my best friend through four decades since then.
I thought, that if I could go back in time, I would gather the courage to finally let Tony know that I had a crush on him. I know that we were too young to plan a future, but I could set it up so that Eva and his family, who already loved me, would come to know, as much as I did, that we needed to be together.
I would be patient. I would be smart. I would wait for the opportunity to meet at the right time of our lives. This time not setting up my heart to be broken a few times in my teens, but rather waiting it out patiently until the right time. Fate brought us together after we were both divorced years later, but fate had gravitated us towards each other in so many ways before either of us had gotten married. We always worked around the corner from each other but never knew it. We were always in the same frame of mind at the times of our lives that would have worked, had we understood the inevitable and eased fate’s pathway into our lives at a much earlier time in our lives.
Oh well, no use in daydreaming. Now I have to figure out how to explain this. I can feel the pressure in my chest as I feel the tears coming. I’d been so hopeful.
I step out, my eyes blurred with tears, planning on begging the salesman to give me my money back. “Please.. it just does not work.”
I wipe my eyes and blink in confusion. I am standing in front of my beloved house that we’d moved out of when I was fifteen. Oh my goodness!!! I run to the door and knock. Oh my veranda.. how I loved this place.. the nights we’d all gather together listening to music, playing five-rocks, talking until the stars were shining bright until Eva’s dad would whistle for her to come in and Susy and Stefano’s mom called them in. This was my favourite place in the world and I have dreamt of it so many times since.
My mom answers the door. My eyes pop in disbelief! Her hair is brown instead of white and she is as thin as a model instead of having the extra several pounds she has happily eaten her way to over time. She is holding a newborn. Ruthie!!!! Oh my gosh, this is the year that she was born!!!! I am so excited, but my mom breaks my reverie as my little four-year-old sister Christine runs up to see who is at the door. “Easter! Why did you knock!?!? I’m too busy to play games like this. Here, take the baby, she’s hungry.”
I walk into the living room to sit in the long-forgotten armchair that I fed my sister and brother in so many times. But of course, my brother Jimmy wouldn’t be around for another couple of years.
I smile. I can’t wait to look in the mirror, but with Ruthie in tow, I feed her first. I look at her little face… lost in the business of working hard to drink down her bottle. Her eyes are sleepy as her cheeks hungrily suck in and out as she swallows. She looks up at me with those newborn-coloured deep blue eyes and I am mesmerized. I smile down at her and she stops for a moment just staring at me. We connect again just as we had. Christine jumps up on the armchair asking if she can “hewp feed da babee”
I am home. I have my whole life ahead of me again. I have my mom and my dad. I have time to work out my future with Tony even though he won’t know it for a few years. I am so happy.
Thank you God.