Artemis Drifting

Just because she tippietoes, doesn't mean she's a creepin'.

Small Hopes.

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I went through a box that my mother passed down to me. You see, I filled it with things from my childhood up to my college years. I had planned on making the box a small start to my Hope Chest .. but well, I’m not quite ready to start stacking quilts and memories into one of those. I am not settled, and this small box is enough – for now – to carry my most precious memories with me.


It’s been awhile since I’ve looked through it by myself. I reflected a great deal on the child-me that I saw depicted in those pictures. Where the hell I found magenta knee-socks when I was 9, I’ll never know. We can only hope the bastard who created them has been sent into ruin. Furthermore, as to why I was only wearing socks instead of shoes outside remains a mystery. I remember the days of my childhood, but I cannot peer into them as anyone but an observer now. It’s impossible for me to fathom the thoughts, feelings and actions of the girl I was back then. I can only replay the events and haphazardly guess the motivations I had. It’s a queer thing to realize you can become an outsider in your own life, that the child-you could likely stick her tongue out at the woman you’ve become. I was a private child, and her reckless smile doesn’t allow me to sink in past her eyes. I was that kid who knew everybody, but no one really knew.


Back to the socks. The socks are important. Except for that lone depiction of those magenta horrors, I was not interested in the accessories that accompanied an outfit. I usually wore blue jean shorts with long, advertisement splashed tee-shirts that could – at times – reach my knees. I was a fashion horror to behold, and combing my ragged waist length hair was a chore I could care less about. If I was a little dustier, I imagine I’d pass quite well as that savage child in Waterworld. Right, the socks. I never really wore them. I shoved my skinny, narrow feet into mud-stained sneakers or nothing at all. When puberty struck, to my great horror, it was my gym teacher that demanded I go pick out my first training bra. It wasn’t that I was embarrassed of the little buds that weren’t quite passable as breasts yet – but the fact that I had to wrap myself in yet another burdening garment of hygiene and modesty. I liked my bare feet and my naked legs, and the way that the summer breeze could run through my baggy shirt sleeves and whisk across every inch of my chest, belly and back.


With every new layer that was added, I felt further and further away from experiencing life through pure sensation. I was not prone to reflection, and I filled my head with the voices of authors or the outdoors. If neither of these things were occurring, I would likely be asleep. The one true experience from my childhood that I can savor again and again was the unrelenting way I charged everything in my path. My lack of foresight and ignorance of consequences allowed my brain to process events like the raw scent of a dandelion stem snapped in two.


Now, as an adult, I rise and snap the clumsy hooks of my bra before I drag on a fitted shirt. I pull up underwear guaranteed not to leave panty lines and hide it beneath snug denim. But most importantly, I have begun putting socks on before I slip my feet into shoes. It muffles me from the earth, and I feel as if I’ve been pulled from a world in which trees were just fine as best friends, and thrust into a noisy world full of matured voices that stuff my head so full that I cannot hear myself even if I tried. 


I wonder if this is just what adulthood is. And is it that we seek the solace of relationships and the effect of intimate touch to replace the explosive sensory abilities we had as children? There is a weight to adult passion, within moist hot bedrooms, that both liberates and adds another layer between your skin and the world around you. 


Will I settle as a changeling child and accept my fate in a world of iron and genuinely be happy? Or will I always feel a melancholy stutter to my heart whenever the wind cannot swirl unhindered through my sleeves?


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