Once I was a farmer dancing barefoot in the rain

My parallel life involves a farm for rescued animals. They occupy most of my time. I also have a pickup truck and wear a broad-brimmed hat. My husband of ten years has a bit of a belly, due to the amount of biscuits we consume. Naturally they don't show on me one bit. My parallel metabolism deals with chocolate, ice cream and biscuits in a stern and effective manner.


The farm is big enough to welcome any animal that needs my help. There are three-legged dogs and blind cats who follow their friendly guide-animal around. Children and adults with special needs visit to hang out with the ponies. There is a tortoise named Hildegard. Everyone tries to guess her true age.


Weekdays follow a routine I set up over the years. It involves feeding the animals and ourselves, cleaning the pens and ourselves, and taking long walks in the mountains or going for a swim in the lake. Yes, there is a lake. The farm is located far away from tourist attractions and the seaside. On special weekends we do venture out and visit one of the ageing yet decadent seaside resorts. Eat scoops of vanilla ice cream with sprinkles and sit in the sun.

Photo by Mel Piper
Photo by Mel Piper

Sundays such as these involve long walks on the beach and picking up an oddly shaped pebble or two along the way. My husband is kind and secretly mischievous. He does not take me or himself too seriously. He is an optimist by nature, shaken in his beliefs only by stupid folk who do not believe in climate change. He is also a pacifist which has been making him melancholic. He is tall, inside and out, for me to lean on when I need to. But then again, my parallel life is still respectful of my need for solitude.


I sit in a tree in the farmyard and watch a herd of rescued pigs munch on their treats. The sun is shining most days in my parallel life, although it is never too warm. And when it must rain, the drops are round and beautiful, the kind that invite you to dance barefoot in the rain. Our friends are as animal-friendly as they come. They take over the farm for weeks, so that we can travel. I feel rather guilty for two or three days and then it passes. My husband and I travel to faraway places that are so much unlike our home. We eat delicacies and sleep under stars. Dance on beaches, read novels and have brilliant sex.


Well, to tell you the truth, this parallel life does exist. It is not a question of what it looks like, when it starts or if indeed it is parallel. In the end I find myself assured of only one important aspect that this story misconstrues: my husband. I do not need to be married. I may be wrong, but for the moment I believe that such an act would indeed require a parallel me.