I am not prone to spontaneity. I am a planner. I am a researcher of planning. I need prior notice of at least 2 days in order to engage in any activity.
Yesterday was a tentative new leaf for me. It started with Emma and me talking about a story I wanted to spontaneously write where three cocky teenagers wake up in the morning to discover they’re 55 and possess an AARP card.
“When they wake up and look in the mirror they scream. One of them is well endowed and discovers what all women discover—gravity,” I said.
“One of them has gone deaf from listening to his iPod so loud. He hears things wrong all the time,” Emma said.
“And one of them goes bald. His buddy tells him when they go back to normal to enjoy his hair while he still has it.”
I spontaneously decided I needed a new wheelbarrow. We went to Tahlequah Lumber to purchase it. Emma and I accompanied the sales clerk out front to get my wheelbarrow. It was red. I recalled a poem about a red wheelbarrow. I told Emma, “A red wheelbarrow reminds me of that poem by William Carlos Williams. Did you know he was also a physician? Just imagine if he’d been a gynecologist. He might have written a poem about…”
Emma clamped her hand over my mouth. “What?” I asked, my voice muffled.
We decided to check out Tahlequatics , the new water park in town. It was here that I reached the zenith of my truly spontaneous day. “Let’s go get our suits and come back for a swim. My family seemed to ponder this like it was some kind of trick. “I mean it. We’ll just go for a nice dunk. I’m being spontaneous, remember?”
“I don’t know. Do we even know where the beach towels are?” Layce said.
“Of course,” Emma said. “Saxon packed them all up and put them in the beach bag along with the 75 SPF sunscreen at the end of last summer. She put it in the attic next to the Survival Bag.”
“Survival bag?” Layce asked.
“Yeah, the one that contains extra shoes, a first aid kit, bottled water, a map of the United States, a hundred dollars in small bills, thirty dollars in quarters, energy bars, canned goods, a flashlight, a condensed family album that covers the years 2000-2015, our passports and birth certificates, oh, and a whistle,” Emma said.
Good kid, she had perfect recall. I beamed at her proudly.
Layce threw caution to the wind and asked, “Why do we need a Survival Bag?”
“In case of a terrorist attack, a tornado or a dystopian government. We might have to make a run for Canada before they take Emma away and put all us gay people in internment camps,” I said.
“How much does this bag weigh?” Layce asked. She was evidently wondering how we’re going to run with such a heavy bag. Now, I knew she was on board with my running for the border plan.
“It’s heavy, but Saxon said that’s why people have children so they can carry the heavy things when their parents get old,” Emma replied.
We changed into our bathing suits and returned to Tahleaquatics. Layce made the pertinent inquiries—cost, hours of operations and the rules and regulations. The cashier told her someone puked in the pool. It would take approximately an hour to thoroughly clean it. Meanwhile I’d been standing there trying to figure out how come no one was in the pool. Was it some sort of 1960’s sit-in?
“We have to wait an hour until they get the pool cleaned up,” Layce informed us.
“Ask them how long ago the puking thing happened,” I said.
“No, I’ve already asked a bunch of questions,” she replied.
I walked up to the window. “So how long ago did the vomit incident occur?”
“Huh?” the kid at the desk said.
“How long ago did the puke-thing happen?” I rephrased.
The kid looked at the clock. “Thirty minutes ago.”
My spontaneous moment crumbled a bit. If I had planned for this we would have been less spontaneous and took our time changing instead of running around gathering supplies and flying out of the house. We would have arrived never knowing that the vomit incident had occurred. Instead, we’d rushed into it. I sighed. I didn’t have a contingency plan for public vomiting.
“We’ll wait,” Layce said.
We sat and waited. The air fairly crackled with anticipation. We all stared at the pool—waiting for the okay signal. My spontaneous mood was seriously falling apart at this point. If I had planned our outing this never would have happened.
Emma laid down on her towel so she was facing away from the pool. Smart, I thought. No sense staring at what one cannot currently have—it was a spontaneously good plan.
A boy walked by and stopped. “Are those your shoes?” he said, pointed to Emma’s Crocs.
Emma sat up and turned to him. “Yes,” she replied.
“Nice shoes for a pretty girl.”
Emma blushed. It was so cute. What a spontaneously romantic moment, I thought. “That boy is going to get a lot of tail. He already knows about women. He compliments her shoes and then tells her how pretty she is,” I said.
Emma stuck her fingers in her ears. “Stop.”
“I’m just sayin’.”
“Ugh,” she replied.
There was a loud whistle. The pool was declared safe. Everyone leapt in the water. My heart swelled, I was so filled with what can only be called spontaneous joy.
Maybe this spontaneous thing wasn’t so bad after all.
By the way this blog was spontaneously written.
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