My parents had a wonderful old cedar closet in their bedroom. It was so large that you could climb inside it and close the doors. After I read The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe at the age of seven or so, that’s exactly what I did. I had yet to grow so tall that I couldn’t tuck my knees under and stare out through the crack in the doors. Try though I might, I could never seem to find the way to Narnia. I would bump around my way through the dark, intoxicated with the smell of cedar, half suffocated in the folds of rayon and silk and wool, to rap and tap on the back of the closet.
I never found my way through the wardrobe, never met Mr. Tumnus by the lamp post, never chased a talking lion through the woods. And no, I was never Queen of Cair Paravel.
But to this day, occasionally, when I glimpse the wardrobe, which now stands in my own bedroom…I can’t help but wonder if today is the day I’ll return to Narnia.
Sometimes I can’t bear the lack of whimsy in the world. I can’t bear the funny looks at my funny words, words like ‘mellifluous’ and ‘myrmidon’ and ‘mandibular’. Nor should I fail to mention the endless sneers at my swoons, mocks at my sensitivities, and the daily careless picks at the well-worn sweater of my heart.
When I am denied the opportunity for blitheness, I get truculent (hah, there’s another one!).
Why can’t I splash in puddles? What’s wrong with wearing plum colored tights with a black work dress? I like my nerdy knee socks and my disintegrating sneakers. Why can’t I spend the better part of my day off staring at the ceiling, picking at my cuticles, and teasing my cat with a bit of discard Christmas ribbon. Why shouldn’t I cry when I want to, for PMS, for love lost, for the cruelty in the world, for the endless picky-nit choices of adulthood? For god’s sake, do you want me to grow up?
I want to be the Ballerina Grandma, the Artistic Director, the memorable Author, the limpid Starlet, the Anti-Styrofoam Crusader, Super Secret Spy Girl, Jane Austen, Audrey Hepburn, Amelia Earhart, the lady in the plum tights, the oversensitive girl, the owner of the tombstone’s epitaph: ‘She had one hell of a life.’
Is that so much to ask, World?
/”Yana” by Sergey Smirnov / [repost – ed.]