Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Bursting Into Life (StoredStory #17)

There was a season in my younger life where I ran like freaked animal. Apparently I could run pretty fast for a three year old. Fast enough that my aunt had to scoop me up into the safety of her arms before I reached the highway in front of the Dollar Store one afternoon.

This early propensity to run probably has something to do with those moments of hyper-active bursts that I've had all my life. Imagine the spring-loaded tension in the thighs of a cat ready to pounce. The eyes grow dark and zero in on a target as the feline creature hunkers, barely able to keep from running. The urge is so compelling, the cat does everything to hold her hind legs in place; you've seen it--the back end does this swerving, rocking dance thing and then BLAST OFF. The whole cat-pounce, spring loaded, dancy thing happens in my chest. It's a buildup that needs to be relieved.

As a child, my cata-bursts would manifest in sundry ways. The first time I can recall the cata-burst happened when I saw the excitement of firecrackers on the Fourth of July from the neighbors (who knows, it might have just been a boring Tuesday on a fall afternoon). So, with bombs ka-powing overhead, the cat crawled into my chest and readied itself for its own fireworks. There were arrow shaped ply boards lying around over the yard. I grabbed up one and began flinging in through the air making my own explosives sounds. 

One day the inner cat accomplished a pretty daring feat. My dad had installed a screen in our storm door of our 1940s farmhouse. In fact, my parents had been doing a lot of fixing up for many days. As Dad had worked on things throughout this particular day, I ran around out the yard, hardly able to slow down. 

For some reason, I must have had to go indoors, but I was turning and turning like a caged animal. The wild creature needs wide open space, and in this moment, I was no different. I began running around the house, which unfortunately was not conducive to running; I would have to turn around in a room and zip back through to the other rooms. I kept doing this, but after a while, I saw where there was a weakness in my cage. 

The storm door lay ahead of me. Its window was still raised and the only thing between me and the outdoors was the new screen. Scratching my feet on the carpet like an angered bull, I began my gallop toward the door. Head down, arms tightly pulled against my body, I felt the screen give way to the hardness of my skull. I knocked the screen out. I'm sure about a thousand flies buzzed their wings in rapturous praise and swarmed through the grand reopening of the house's protective barriers. 

Newly freed from my dwellings, I probably couldn't have run fast enough from the fury of a papa bear who'd worked all day, only to have one of his projects destroyed in less than one second. 

These bursts still come and go, but luckily I'm not jumping through windows. Now, my cata-bursts are sublimated into furious romps toward tasks, some of which are probably less meaningful than a storm door screen.  

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