Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Turning pages with sticky fingers

Terry took a nasty spill the other day. I watched from my second floor window. He'd been trying to carry one too many plastic bags of groceries up the stoop to his brownstone. Down chin-first into a concrete step. He didn't have time to break his fall with the bags entangled in his grasp. I watched in a guilty silence as oranges and cans of black beans rolled down the sidewalk. That's what divorce feels like. No one can break your fall, the pain hits suddenly, and you'd left to pick up the pieces in public while people sit around and watch.

Last week I went out on an early-morning bike ride. As I rode closer to Lake Michigan, the sun rising over the water was blinding. Going east until I hit the beach was getting more and more risky. I kept thinking to myself, "sunsets are never this intense." But I kept pedaling, following my normal path, favoring the side streets to the major arterials. When I hit sand, I took off my helmet and took a seat, letting my bike fall into the dunes. To my right was the Chicago skyline, to the left, miles of beaches leading to Wisconsin. I finally got it. And it's amazing.

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