If a client spoke to me like that, I would run to the bathroom and cry.
I smiled (laughed actually) as I shrugged it off. Sometimes I appreciate a sharp comment, even if I’m at the end of it. It wasn’t personal, just condescending enough to know you’re not going to make the count to ten. Still, this was Thursday in a pear-shaped week with some bright moments.
My work colleague who felt this way about bathrooms and crying was having an equally bad week. She thought mine was worse, but pretty sure she had me beat. Her dog died last weekend. Had him almost half her life. She’d got him back a week earlier expecting to spend the next year with him. Looking forward to that was an understatement. Yeah, pretty sure she had me beat.
But my little hobbits there is some light. Scoffing down my beets and salad I overlooked another work colleague carrying a potted plant in a supermarket. You know where it’s going but I gave it little thought. Later I passed her in a corridor with the plant and told her I saw her looking for the plant. I still didn’t twig, I just needed a cup of tea being in the middle of that pear shape. When I returned to the work pod, I saw the plant on my colleagues desk and this shot of bright yellow found a crack in my heart.
Did you bike today?
Me, all faux indignation: Today? I biked yesterday!
My work colleague’s jaw dropped. And there it stayed. Thursday, the deluge. Cycling in the rain, that rain, only a lunatic would attempt. I thought I had an ally in someone who ran a 350 mile race in the arctic a couple of years back and who will soon attempt a 430 mile run in the Yukon – and promptly lost him when I explained the great thing about rain cycling in the city is you’re never far away from a cuppa, a treat, and a fireplace.
Apparently you can’t stop because it makes it too difficult to get going again. I shrugged.
In a city of 2.5m people, feeling like you’re the only one (because you can’t see anyone else) cycling through sheets of rain is liberating. It’s primal, your face a waterfall. The mistake is trying to get the hell out of it.
Ease into the rain, smile at it, avoid traffic as much as possible. Relax, taste it, you’re sparkling, it beats the crap out of walking or taking the bus. I’ve had to revert from waterproof boots to non-waterproof boots, a whole other tragicomic story that’s left me hobbling for a month, but they hold up as I long as I don’t walk in the rain and its attendant puddles. Thursday was disgusting. Filthy. But fuck it was love and a green towel in a pannier.
Today? Of course I biked. It was gnat’s piss.
Funny thing walks, where they take you, around the corner, halfway across the city, to the supermarket. Saw the moon tonight, it came unexpected, telescopes and binoculars perched on an ugly street pointing at the black sky.
And so I looked.
We got to talking, the telescope guy and I; the beauty and shortness of life, popping in and out of existence, Kusama, and bovine disease. We continued, Andromeda crashing into us and this earth no more, how so many of us had interest in the sky as kids and how we come back to it.
His telescope shop’s been here 18 months, he’s done this 16 years and on a clear night brings out the telescopes for anyone passing by to smile. About once a week he said, eyes twinkling like the stars, a man who sees the universe and our place in it. He was dancing.
And so I looked. And for once this week, you‘d want to be in my shoes
I’m on a very long journey – think I need some shorter trips