Portals


Right?  What other explanation is there?
Many days ago, I noticed a pair of shoes near the base of a huge cedar tree in the park by the river.  It’s the tree that used to have the beehive in it, the one that gets lit up at Christmas-time.  

The shoes were positioned as if someone had been running, and then poof, no more person, just the shoes.  The distance between the shoes made it obvious that the person had been running really fast towards the cedar tree, suggesting two possibilities: either a new dimension opened up, or a head injury ensued.  I didn’t see any blood.
This is where they sealed up the old beehive.


Several days later, I noticed that the shoes remained in the same position.  I pointed it out to Cake Boss, who agreed that evidence suggests that time travel starts right here in this town.  

The next day, Cake Boss texted a photo of a sock near the portal, and a second photo of the shoes, which had been moved and placed on the feet of a silhouette drawn on the parking lot.

Photo courtesy Cake Boss, 2012




I was on a hiatus from doing my own data collection, because I was busy helping R., who had been pretty sick all week, get packed for college.  It gave me one final opportunity to use my proficiency as a vomit assistant.  Did he realize it’s quite possible that no one will ever hold his forehead again when he’s retching over the toilet, or wipe his clammy face with a cool washcloth? 

We pulled out of the driveway on Saturday morning in a car crammed with stuff.  “We should probably stop at the portal before we go," I suggested, as we pulled out of the driveway.

“The portal?”

“Yeah.  I think there’s a leak into another dimension or time zone down at the park.  I don’t want you to be that kid who grew up here and never saw it.  It would be like going to high school with Jerry Garcia but you didn’t really know him.”

He didn’t say much, but after we ran one last errand (the first last errand of many subsequent last errands), he got in the car, “To the portal!” he announced enthusiastically.  At that moment, I felt like maybe I had done a pretty damn good job as a parent. This young person has priorities.   And not to be over-dramatic, but maybe the whole thing is a metaphor for the portal that he was travelling through, from childhood to adulthood, and he wanted one last moment of childhood.  

It's a pretty cool tree, and I can see why it would
attract people  from other dimensions or eras.
“I’m surprised you’re interested in going,” I commented.

“I figure it’s probably the last time I’ll have to indulge in one of your weird little things.”

The shoes had been moved again, but we repositioned them the proper way, which I’ve taken on as one of my jobs in the world.  To put the shoes back.  It's what I do.  R. confirmed that they appeared to be from the 1980’s or possibly earlier.  I don’t know why I consider him a shoe-dating expert, but sure, let’s just go with that.

I won’t go into the whole college drop-off thing, because lately it feels like my writing is turning into that thing where I chase down a marble that rolled under the dresser when my time would be better spent answering the work phone if it rings, if you see my point.  "Sorry, I couldn't get to the phone for three weeks because I dropped a bead one day and I followed where it rolled, and that led to 17 other distractions.  I didn't find the bead."

In short, we picked up C., who, by the way, has OCD of the knee, which is a real thing and it’s not funny, so you won’t see me making fun of that here.  We drove to campus, and R. was a little afraid that people thought he was that guy  with two moms, so he spent some time clarifying to people we met.  "Uh, just so you know, these ladies aren't romantically involved," he would say.  People would respond in a way that suggested that they didn't really believe him, but didn't hold it against him either.

After one final trip to Target, I gave him a high-five and drove way.  End of that chapter.  I hope he can talk someone into offering vomit comfort, should that need arise.

 Anyway, if you see something interesting at the portal, let me know right away. 

Comments

  1. What a beautiful little piece!
    Whenever I have seen shoes like that, which look as if they were abandoned, mid-stride, I wonder if the rapture has happened but that so very few people were taken up in it that no one really noticed.
    I like the portal idea too.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you! Yes, I always wonder about the shoes you see strewn about. I mean, yeah, I get it, if you drop a penny, you might not go back for it. But a shoe? Really? Why are there so many laying about?

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  2. and the tree is the aged sentinel of time....I love it.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes! And a vessel for time travel, it seems...

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  3. Now I feel super guilty that we threw away that sock without even doing any further analysis (like carbon dating). That could have been a grave mistake and probably sets you back a bit in your research.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. That'll happen, Cake Boss. I have PLENTY of time for this important research. (Oh, I'm actually busy on October 4, so maybe on that day you could cover the carbon dating for me.

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  4. High five? Are you joking? After all those years? Not a hug? No brushing away of a tear? Just a stupid high five? Oh, that's just wrong.

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    Replies
    1. Sometimes, Mike, when someone is in the perfect place for them, doing the exact right thing, you just feel like a high five is in order. Not a stupid one, but a victorious one! xo

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  5. I love that he now gets & appreciates "your weird little things." Gives me hope. I really enjoyed this post!

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    Replies
    1. Why thank you! I'm not sure if he appreciates them, or was just feeling charitable, but either way, it worked for me!

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  6. You have cedar trees?! I am so envious. We grow mostly spruce trees and alder bushes here, or we used to, but clear cutting has taken a toll on our woodlands.

    Looks like a portal to me, by the way! Keep replacing the shoes. It's the only way other people will know :)



    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I know, cedar trees are the best. Truly. I'm heading out now to check on the shoes. Oh, and yesterday, I found a door handle in the street. Does that seem suspicious? It looked like maybe it was from the 1980's too!

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  7. Maybe you should turn the shoes the other way so when the traveler returns, the shoes are ready to jump into. It would be so confusing to leap into backward facing shoes as one was re-entering our dimension....

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    Replies
    1. Oh, Meg, we'll need to discuss this more. Maybe over shoe-making.

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  8. I feel like I've jumped through a portal myself finding this blog! Stumbled onto here looking for something of reason to show my hardleaningright political friends(yes-they are my friends)- so enjoyed the blog on Romney's wife. But this blog is even better- on my third son(he's in highschool)- the other two made it into the adult(debatable) world so one to go. And this one is completely at ease with all my quirkiness.I'll be lurking in the background enjoying your posts...

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    Replies
    1. Oh, yay! I'm glad you're poral brought you here. Thanks for reading.

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  9. Now I'm worried about the shoes and/or sneakers tied together and thrown over phone lines. I thought for years they'd been thrown up there by humans and now I suspect it's aliens fucking with us. Lonely footwear, hanging out there in all kinds of weather (sniff).

    Then the aliens went back through their portal and justice was done.

    I'm not sure what any of this means.

    ReplyDelete

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