I thought I had played the game. I did. I thought I had played it out, and had passed it on to someone else to enjoy. And then... and then... and then I thought... well, one more for the road.
So I made a little request, and he came through with the following queries. He claims that they're off the top of his head, which frightens me. If these are off the top of his head, I'd hate to see what he comes up with after thinking about it for a while...
1. You are magically plucked from your current place in time and space to be planted into a strange living room with a family of five, all staring at you as you sit on a lovely rocking chair directly across from the couch upon which they sit. There is no escape. Tell them your story.
After waiting an extra three weeks beyond her due date and having labour induced, my mother finally produced a baby girl at the hands of a forceps-wielding doctor. I was bruised black and blue from the tools that pulled me out, and wrinkled from having spent so much extra time drying out in the womb. I had long, straggly hair, too dark to understand, too full to be that of an infant. The doctor, when he went out to see my father in the waiting room said, "Congratulations, Mr.Ingenii. You have a beautiful baby girl" and led him to the nursery. My father took one look at me and questioned the use of the word 'beautiful'. After a few days though, the wear and tear of being pulled out of my mother wore off, and I became quite the little doll, quite the little bambolina. But my first day on the planet had set an indelible pattern for life, and I've not yet managed to impress my father on the first try. Nor have I ever been on time for anything in my life.
I'm an Italian girl born in a Canadian city. That in itself is not unique, especially in Toronto. However, because my family stayed fiercely away from any hint of a New World Melting Pot, the way I live my life is a frustrating dichotomy of old and new. I'm not modest or inhibited. What I am is the confused product of a semi-puritanical upbringing in a liberal world. Which basically comes down to this: I think it's wrong for me to do anything at all, but I firmly believe that it's perfectly alright for everybody else to do what they want, as long as nobody gets hurt. And to extend it just a little further, some of the things that I believe are wrong, I do anyway. The consequences are a heavy and self-imposed blanket of guilt, and the terrifying notion that every single one of my dead relatives are sitting on a cloud of judgement somewhere, looking down at me and ruffling their wings in disgust at my behaviour.
I have yet to do anything that credits a telling more involved than a cocktail party anecdote, but one day... one day... I like to placate myself against the internal wailing of not having 'done' anything with my life by saying that I'm just too young. I've not lived enough yet. Is 29 young? I look around at my married peers, my upwardly mobile friends, all around my age, and I start to wonder, really, what 'young' is anymore.
I suspect that by this time, the family of five is wondering what they did to tick off the cosmos enough that such a bore gets plunked down into their living room. I'm not sure, but I think I see one of them now, trying to find a movie to pop in to escape my droning...
2. Peas, carrots, corn or a tropical fruit?
You know, I want to say the fruit. I really do. The idea of all that pineapple truly makes me joyous. However, I've also got a weakness for corn, and I think that after a while, I'd get tired of the sweet stickiness of pineapple juice. So... I'm going with corn. Yeah. Corn. Or maybe... no. No, corn. Definitely corn.
3. Um, I was jus wondering, but, well, would you?
Smothering blanket of guilt or not, in the end, I probably would!
4. There was a time in your life that you know now, looking back, was a marker, a sign-post, one of "two roads" that "diverged in a yellow wood." What was it? Which road did you take? Why had it made "all the difference?" Wish you'd taken another road? Why (not)?
There were two roads, I think, that were marked on the map that my life was to follow. I took one path, and it led me to England, where I traced out the shape of my personality, and tried to fill it in with the colours of my choice. I learned how to colour within the lines, but more importantly, I learned that going outside the line wasn’t always a horrible thing. It was a path not taken by anyone around me, and I sauntered forward with nothing but positive results.
Eight months later, I stood at another fork in the road, and took the path that led me back home. Five years have passed, and I've finally come to understand that while I rationalized the hell out of my choice to return then, I really only did it because I'd hit a lonely patch and didn't have the guts to tough it out. Had I known then what I know now, I would have stayed. No doubt about it. I would have dug deep and found the courage to continue on the road I was on. While I haven't regressed to the sniveling child I was before I left, God knows I'm not the Mare-Ingenii I would have been with another year away from Canada under my belt.
God. What am I doing? Regret is nothing but a waste of time. And it does horrible things to the complexion.
5. Would you rather love than laugh or laugh than love? Would you rather love then laugh, or laugh then love? Why?
Silly boy. Dear, silly, lovely boy. The question, if I may be so bold, is irrelevant. Laughter and love can not be separated. With one, comes the other. There is always laughter when you love, and there is always a bit of love when you laugh, even if it is only love of the moment itself. But it's love, and it's real, and it's true. I have to believe that.
That is all, I think. Introspection is a strange game to play when someone else is dealing the cards. Thank you, Beagle, for a most interesting set of questions.
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