I wrote once about the tricks my eyes play on me. Actually, I think it’s my brain playing the tricks, taking in one thing and turning it into something else. It results in humorous doubletakes, mainly while driving, as I morph passing signs into words and phrases very different from what was intended.
My brain plays other tricks on me, creating still small snapshots that burst into my heart, impaling me.
We were at Ikea the other day and a family was approaching, going downstream to our up. There were children and a mom and a cart, but my eyes were on the prancing girl coming toward me, Serena-sized from three years ago, and part of me, in a split second, readied myself to gather her in for a welcome hug.
Then the other part of my brain kicked in and told me this girl was too tall for Serena, that Serena doesn’t prance quite like that any more, that she is 3000 miles away and this is Ikea and that no, this isn’t my family.
When I started breathing again we walked on. I put that still small snapshot away so I could think about kitchen cabinets and appliances and sinks, anything but the still, small, unbearable ache in my heart.