Wandering unfettered by a constant role, not being wedded to a corps of cultural icons
has given me freedom, but also placed me outside the herd.
Adept at slipping into masks and costumes when necessary to gain access to the slices of life I serially inhabit,
I always return to just me – whoever she is.
And she is legion:
gentlewoman, tomboy, empress, harlot, nun and mother, scene-stealer, wallflower, beggar and thief.
I sit in gracious drawing rooms, legs crossed neatly at the ankles, sipping sherry, talking books.
I dance like Salome in bars, teasing attention, wheedling drinks.
Some Saturdays, immersed in sugar and vanilla, I concoct delightful epicurean fantasies –
ephemeral, seductive, with which to entertain the palates
of the ragtag topsy-turvies parading through my kitchen.
Then months go by and I don’t touch so much as a toaster,
eating all my meals in dusty diners, quaint cafés.
For weeks I am surrounded by the strains of the Baroque, peremptorily replaced by pedal steel,
then by Satie, back again to Restoration madrigals, fastforwarding to Woodstock –
the original, the lusty mother of all music festivals, no pasty GenX imitations here.
You never know.
I never know.
Today I’ll ramble with you through the cool green fields of Eden –
tomorrow I am running headlong down a concrete alley.
You can come along, but you’d best be quick and versatile.
I will not play a lifelong part – you mustn’t ever doubt that I have slipped my bonds before
and will again if they do chafe me.
But run with me like quicksilver and we shall own the future, adapting seamlessly
in the unpredictable but welcome winds of cosmic whimsy, transforming on the fly,
not stopping for regrets or worries, but greeting open-armed and fearless
each successive, ever-growing incarnation of our beings.
© 2011 RC deWinter
On the the adoption and adaptation of outward personality characteristics in our ever-evolving lives.