Wednesday, May 5, 2010
I first realized I had become invisible when, wheeling my grocery cart around a stand of wine I was examining, I came carthead to carthead with a young woman, possibly 30 years younger than I. She looked surprised, moved her head, jiggled her cart to move between me and the wine stand. "Move", she said, No "Please", no smile, just the toss of her head idicating where. Brought up to mind, to obey a stronger force, I backed up and moved to the side. Then anger atruck and I whipped my cart around, almost striking her small child trailing behind. "Look out, little girl," I cackled, without a pause in my motion. No sound from the other woman - it was as if I weren't there.
Then it happened again, another store, another move around the corner. This time it was a man, a man of dignity, white haired, wearing a badge. I stepped aside quickly as he drove his cart straight at me. This time there was no nod of the head. Again, it was as if I weren't there!
How long have I been invisible? I dress nicely, my hair has a becoming length abd color, my husband likes my cooking but often when I speak or call out to him, he doesn't answer. I'm not there!
Thomas Mann in "Magic Mountain" wrote: "A man lives not only his personal life as an individual, but life of his epoch and his contemporaries." Perhaps it is not only I who have become invisible but the entire babbling, fault finding, me-first era that I live in will go down in history - Invisible to the last.
©Natalie Norman Baer