While strolling Over the Hill on the Yellow Brick Road, trying to figure out where I belong in the world as I grow older… it suddenly started pouring! Out of nowhere! I ran for cover! Fortunately, an old, rickety house was nearby. I dashed onto the front porch! To calm myself down, I started a conversation with the floor…
Floor! I’m so sorry I’m stomping all over you and getting you wet–
FLOOR: It’s not an issue.
Right. You’re a floor. Don’t mind me. I panic when I’m stuck in rainstorms, especially because I’m older. I worry I could slip in a puddle and twist my ankle, break my hip, pull out my back–
FLOOR: Say no more. I’m older, too. Even when it’s not raining, sometimes I get weird symptoms out of nowhere and go crazy.
FLOOR: Sometimes, out of nowhere, my floor nails stick up. Maybe I’m sagging because I’m older. But when it happens, I think I’m dying.
Makes sense to me.
FLOOR: But then, someone comes along and hammers my nails back in and I’m fine. And I’m embarrassed I made such a ruckus.
I do the same thing. If my back starts to hurt for no reason, I panic and make all kinds of doctors’ appointments and get every pain medication available in the United States. But then…when I rest and have patience and listen to my body…in time my back gets better and I feel like an idiot for driving everyone around me nuts.
FLOOR: Sometimes when it’s humid outside, I warp for no reason. I think I’m doomed and I’ll stay that way forever. But then, dry air passes through and I straighten out.
Sometimes, if I suddenly feel light headed, I think I’m having a heart attack or a stroke. It takes me a while to calm myself down and remember I could be slightly dehydrated or maybe there’s poor air circulation in the room I’m sitting in.
FLOOR: Sometimes when people step on me in a certain way, I creak, out of nowhere. Then other times, I don’t creak. I get scared. I don’t know what the random creaking’s about. I assume it’s the beginning of the end.
Sometimes my knees hurt when I walk downstairs. Other times, they’re fine.
FLOOR: It’s so hard being on this side of life. I mean, anything can be wrong, but I always assume the worst.
Me too. The “out of nowhere” symptoms are scary. It’s hard to be rational.
FLOOR: Right. Once in a while, I feel like covering myself with an area rug to reduce my chances of having random symptoms.
Sometimes the thought of staying in my house all day, every day, feels comforting.
FLOOR: But then our worlds will grow smaller and smaller. If we cover ourselves up, we’ll also be shutting ourselves out.
I know. Anyway…I’m glad we’re going through this together. It makes me believe somehow we’re all part of something bigger.
FLOOR: I agree. Maybe in my next life I’ll come back as a ceiling. Seeing the world from a different angle would be cool.
At that moment, out of nowhere, the rain stopped. The clouds parted, the sun started to dry us off, and the floor and I celebrated making it through yet another crisis. We exchanged warm good-byes, and I walked down the front steps slowly so I wouldn’t smash my head.