Recently Big J and I watched a Sci Fi show called Travelers where people from hundreds of years in the future are transported into bodies of people today (whose lives were about to end). An old man inhabits the body of a seventeen year old. A middle-aged woman becomes a woman living with cancer, her new body wracked with pain. Another woman’s consciousness takes over someone whose body and mind are impaired, who has been under the care of a social worker, baffling doctors and caretakers with her newfound ability to speak clearly and function independently.
These Travelers have arrived, willingly or otherwise, in the 21st century to fulfill a mission to save future civilization.
But they all marvel at things we take for granted – the sunlight, the greenery, the air. The now seventeen year old tests the strength of his new body, running full speed in wonder of what he is now capable of.
I sometimes stand on a step stool or chair, enough to raise me, almost, to my father-in-law’s height, and imagine life as a tall person. The world looks far different from that vantage point. I literally sometimes feel off-balance, wonder how it is he can reach all the way down to the faucet without bending over.
And what of things I can see from up there? The surface of the mantle coated with a thin layer of dust normally out of my field of vision. A much thicker layer of dust and grime on top of the fridge I hadn’t imagined anyone could ever see. Out the window and beyond the deck, the boards no longer blocking my view.
And, oh, the ease of storing things. No need to drag a step stool from cabinet to cabinet just to put away dishes. No need for a step ladder to pull the suitcase down from the top shelf of the closet. And don’t get me started on the beauty of full-length hanging space in the closet within easy reach. And clothes that fit off the rack, no need for hemming or taking up in the shoulders.
I could step in and out of Big J’s Jeep without the added step, and maybe the biggest change would be the ability to sit in grownup furniture without the need for a footrest or ottoman, my new long legs allowing my feet to rest firmly planted on the floor with ease.
But in exchange what would I give up? Resting secure under Big J’s chin. The ability to wear high heels and not tower over, well, anyone. Except small children. Plenty of, okay so adequate, leg room on an airplane or in the back seat of a car. Proximity to the ground when I’m clumsy and fall (but that never happens). The list could go on. But though being short poses its challenges, I like being small. I’d like to stick with my own body, thank you.