There was a time in my life when I lost my soul, literally lost my soul.
I didn’t forget to take it with me, or misplace it at the library, or lend it to some religious zealot with burning crosses for eyes.
My anima, my essence, my spirit had called it quits, packed its bags, and hitched a ride to Budapest, the Mojave, or wherever it is that lost souls go to find themselves.
I never even got so much as a postcard.
Did we fight? Was there someone else? Were irreconcilable differences the final fatal straw?
I wish it were any of those.
But I simply forgot to feed it.
My soul became the abandoned carnival goldfish left neglected on a shelf.
No wonder it became famished and left.
So there I was, soul-less and clue-less in the vast wasteland of suburbia.
Golf-course lawns with no holes for bellybuttons stretched out in feudal chunks as far as the eye could see.
It was a desperate land of clockwork precision, unemployed working dogs, and families who migrated to the ocean every spring without fail.
It was a lemming paradise.
And I was a social pariah, captive in a raised ranch with no plastic containers to burp or random landscapes to hang.
Yea, though I walk through the Valley of Depression, I will fear no evil because eventually my soul will run out of clean underwear and coins and need to hurry back home to its sugar mama, I pray.
And then it happened.
The universe spewed forth a hiccup, a fart, a belch – a release of noxious gases toxic with chaos.
It was impolite yet wonderful.
Any cultural infidel has the innate understanding that chaos is the modeling clay for creation.
What was I to do but hold my nose and roll up my sleeves.
I cried the blues until I turned red.
I pushed the raised ranch into the unwitting arms of someone who could love it as much as it should be loved.
I inherited a toto dog that jumped instead of walked.
Life stood on its head, stuck out its tongue, and preached nonsense.
So now I’ve taken up with a much older abode, one arthritic with age and creaking with stories.
The wrinkles, dementia, and loose moral floorboards intrigue me.
I think I’ve found love in the city again…if only my soul were here to witness the jubilee.
I miss that rascal soul and its impudent ways, especially now that I’ve morphed from tourist to resident.
We would make for a wicked menage, this house, my soul, and I.
Ah, well. If wishes were horses then who would clean up the mess?
Today I have the toto dog safely tethered to a string in order to keep him from jumping on the clouds.
He is such a ridiculous bit of love.
This neighborhood suits us both, the misfits, with its oddly dressed landscape of ethnicity, diversity, creativity, and all the other “itys” a city can handle.
I feel like jumping myself.
That’s when I notice it – the perfect palate of upper dentures placed in a planter down by the river.
My imagination could never create such an image, not even when it was young and in shape.
Then there is the giggle, the scent of humor, the tap on the shoulder.
My soul has returned, with a fistful of souvenirs, and a forwarding address.