That (Un)Comfortable Closeness

“My foot does not need a hat!!”


Half-on? No way, man.

I have never met anyone with quite so many pet peeves. Unusual pet peeves. Like having one sock only half on his foot. Or one sock on, one sock off. Oz claims it is because his feet will get confused. I just laugh and nod.

Something about learning the inner cogs of Oz fascinates me.  Maybe it is the vulnerability. Obtaining THE instruction manual, knowing that no one else has ever gotten to know Oz like I do; it makes me feel a visitor of honor to an exclusive museum exhibit. Or something.

We are getting to that wonderful place where the quirks come out.  Having Oz live with my family and me has accelerated that process. It makes nearly every conversation into comedic dialogue.

For me, it is my signature color (a range of blue-green from sea foam to jade), the proper way and place to put away clothing, and the absolute need to be properly cocooned in a blanket when cuddling (there is NOTHING worse when trying to get warm than exposed toes/ankles). You know, the weird stuff that even family never fully knows about. For example, Oz absolutely hates the sound of bare feet on carpet. And when you flip through radio stations rapidly.

I only sometimes use that knowledge for evil (Oz is adorable when he is frustrated). But what I like most about these little discoveries is that only I (and now all of you) know of them. It is his personal identity. He is coming in at full force, expressing it. Upon moving in, he has exploded into the light and mythology of his Oz-ness.

It is beautiful and blinding to see. Here he is Oz. Not “son”, “brother”, “Golden One.” Just Oz. No expectations, no past history.  And he is shining in and of his own right. 

Sometimes that scares me. Because, of course it would be the most perfect failed adventure of all to lose him. Some days I feel like Icarus, about to fly too close to the sun.  Other days I worry he will come to the conclusion that he needs a more effervescent partner to match him. 

But then, I see more of the inner Oz and his workings.  What a wonderful mess! Those are the things that bring us together and make us laugh. Those are the things that match me to him.

Like this woodsy hedgehog Oz bought for himself.  I laugh at its outlandish styling and Oz doesn’t judge me for my colorful ceramic octopus. We just fit that way. In our collective sickness. In our unique pet peeves. In our journey to wellness. In the end, I’m hoping it all works out. And for now, it doesn’t get much better than that.


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