You may have noticed I’ve been a little distant lately. It’s not for lack of caring, I promise.
It’s odd. We’ve both stayed put but we don’t connect like we used to. Sometimes I see you from a distance and it reminds me how long it’s been since we spent time together. I get this wave of nostalgia—the way I feel at the beach when I see kids at Avalon Freeze. In that moment, there’s nothing I want more than to order a giant chocolate-vanilla twist. Then I want to sit in the hot Jersey Shore sun and eat that bad boy with the abandon of a 14-year-old.
Anyway, that’s how I feel when I look at you—like a part of my life has drifted away from me on a vast, rolling ocean.
I realize that’s a strange way to look at my own feet. But, heck, I barely remember what my heels look like. Gone are the days of youth when I sat on my bed, hauled a foot up on my knee, and rolled bits of lint from between my toes. My brother is probably happy about that—I can’t flick the lint balls at him the way I used to.
And how about the sacred ritual of picking my toenails while I watched The Love Boat? Not a chance. These days it’s all about having a dignified cocktail and watching the news. Even if I could bend my leg enough to get the job done, my wife would banish me to the bedroom.
Let’s be honest, the reason we’ve grown apart isn’t good manners or a sense of restraint at cocktail hour. I just can’t bend like I used to. There’s that hip injury from the horse show a few years back—when I landed in six inches of mud and limped out of the ring. Ever since then, I haven’t been able to cross my right leg over my left. Somehow my lower back and hamstrings don’t give a hoot about my deteriorating relationship with my feet. It’s like the world is conspiring against us.
Perhaps I should take yoga. Then I could bend enough to take an emery board to that callus on my little toe.
When spring rolls around, let’s reinvest in our relationship. We can shed the SmartWool and walk around the yard barefoot. Let’s just be careful about dog turds from the neighbor’s German Shepherd. On second thought, let’s just deal with that callus.