I am having to remind myself of a number of things lately. And having to work on focus (that’s nothing new…), and focus on work. I hope this doesn’t mean that my brain is turning into something that looks like a dried up apple.
But it feels like an apple lately, bout the right size, rattling around inside this coconut head of mine.
The situation looks something like this;
I am sitting in my recliner, legs crossed, barefoot, eating a bowl of cereal in a raggedy t-shirt and shorts. My cup of coffee is next to me on my little folding table and my extra thick glasses are on, just for visual effect. Yeah, bad graphic, sorry. It’s a sad fact of life that men who live alone DO these things. Often. And married men who are left alone even temporarily, for say a day or two, quickly revert to this kind of feral life style. Sorry ladies, but you already knew this. You just didn’t want to believe it.
I’m not sure what that says about us, really. Perhaps it’s the locker room mentality we’ve grown up with since Junior High? Maybe it’s that darned Y chromosome, you know, the missing leg and all. They say it causes us to get grumpy, lose our hearing, grow potbellies and die too young. I don’t know about all of that, but I think it gives us an an endearing limp anyway.
I remember the first day of Phys Ed in 7th grade. Our Phys Ed class had all three grades in it, 7th, 8th, and 9th. As an aside, most 7th graders are still built along the lines of a tallish, yet Rubinesque, 6 year old. They look male, but in a more cherubic way. Basically, they still have baby fat.
Anyway, day one of “Reality Check” Education. First, we had to be dressed and on the basketball court in 5 minutes. All of the older guys were dressed, shooting the breeze, and already hanging out at center court. We 7th graders were still turning our athletic protectors inside out, and backwards, trying to see if they fit any better that way, or were more comfortable. Maybe the thing is a small helmet, this is a chin strap, right? Or maybe a rescue breathing device? All I know is that I wish my Dad had taken an extra minute or two to explain exactly what it was for, and how you wore the darned thing.
Our Phys Ed Coach was Mr. Sharp. A great guy, and very approachable, in a military sense. Because he was the same height as us 7th Graders. But a lot tougher. Mr. Sharp did not take any guff off of any of us, in fact, in fact he seemed to take a lot less guff than the other coaches did. And he had unique methods of punishing us if we were late, or spoke out of turn, or looked at him cross-eyed. I knew he wasn’t German, no Nazi, but somewhere along the way he had learned how to motivate young men, and instill ultimate respect. And I somehow had a feeling it was because he was not so tall. I remember making that brilliant connection, that maybe he didn’t like being 5’3″ and looked down on by us 7th Graders.
The first day went well, we ran around alot, warmed up, and began to learn about basketball. I had already begun to play before this, even though I was in the Guinness Book listed under “7th Grader with the thickest and heaviest eye glasses.” I had to wear one of those black elastic straps in order to keep those coke bottles on the front of my face. I just loved my Dad for buying it for me…. and taping my glasses together when I broke them, which was often. Every time I see a nerd in a movie, I cringe!
When we were finished, we had to go back into the locker room, and we were told we would all shower before we left. All of us little guys were in one wing to ourselves, which was suddenly very quiet. We didn’t see nice, clean, individual shower stalls like we had at home. What we saw was more like a cattle chute, boys lined up a little too closely single file, with one coach telling us to “c’mon, move it, get in and get out”, and another waiting for us on the other end, handing out fresh towels as the “showered” boys exited.
One of the coaches had to come over and instruct us youngsters on how to get prepared for a military-type shower, and as he yelled at us, he shooed us toward the gas chamber. We hit it, fast, I’m not even sure how much soap really ended up being used. We were very intent on keeping ourselves well covered, which the older boys thought to be very funny. As we exited with our fresh towels, they stood nearby, laughing, making jokes, etc.
But after 10 years of this, guys can become very comfortable walking around in undershorts, and t-shirts in private. Compared to the minimal cover in a locker room, we are really very well dressed as far as we’re concerned, as long as we’re not out in public. Or no one else is around.
Oh yeah, reminding myself of things lately. See, the problem is that I become very distracted, may sit and stare at the computer far too long, not finish my coffee (which is baaaad) and then as I hurry around preparing to leave for work, I’ll lose my car keys. Which is never good. The last time I lost them, I looked high and low for 10 minutes. I finally gave up, and sat down. That’s when I discovered they were in my back pocket. I once laughed at “old people” who did those things… I still do. Best be careful.
Right now, my brain really is like a shriveled-up apple, inside of a coconut. Maybe more like the shrunken head a reformed head hunter showed us a hundred years ago in Boy Scouts. It was very impressive, little rubbery baseball-sized bobble-head. I never even wondered about who it had belonged to, or how exactly our reformed instructor had come to acquire it. I don’t guess there are real head hunters these days…
Right now I have other circumstances to blame my shrunken head on. And I’ll use that for a while.
But if this continues, I’ll head down to the local Doc-in-a-Box and see if I can get a prescription that adequately explains this phenomena.
Oh, my standard household attire is shirt, sandals, and khaki shorts.
I’m proud of that! I have graduated. Although I still have a limp.