Monday, August 6, 2012

Stepping out

The light blinked, a beacon of anxiety. On. Off. On. Off. The amber bulb blared in my face.

I was seated facing the OCCUPIED light for the train car's restroom. We'd grabbed these seats quickly, not knowing if they were forward-facing or rear-, barely knowing if we were coming or going. Goodbye: New York. Oh, hello: we now return to our regularly scheduled programming. The woman inside couldn't lock the bathroom door. The light wouldn't stop pointing at me. They were forward-facing, we quickly found, and we were on the way home. She never got the door locked.

I almost never step away from my everyday life. When I travel it's with them: the package deal. My family. We travel as five. I rarely travel as one. And then this weekend I was Robin: sum total Robin, not Robin: wife, mother, civil servant.

It's a different thing. I wore impractical shoes and drank vodka late into the night. I set out on foot. I didn't carry tissues.

I had a lot of fun being another me.
I love my everyday, of course, but separating briefly from it is replenishing. Gone since Wednesday morning, I came home yesterday afternoon to a boy who squeezed my ear, a husband to speak with for a few brief hours before he left (he's in Chicago now), a girl who had MOM tattooed in face paint on her cheek in my absence and another who gifted me with a bracelet of alphabet beads bearing the message ILOVEYOUMOMMY.

I wore it all evening. It dragged through the bathwater as I got them ready for bed.

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