One recent Monday morning, I found myself in my usual Monday mood. My former self would slap me in the face if I shared this with her, because she hated Mondays, but I do love them now. The whole week is just waiting for me to spring forth and pounce upon it. My banana and egg fly down my gullet, and I practically skip out the front door.
CJ locks up, so I was waiting happily on the sidewalk for him to join me to start our morning walk. About twenty strides in, I caught sight of it in the predawn morn. Black. Moving. Three inches long.
I leapt into the air and, for a fleeting moment, believed I could remain air-born until Sir Cockroach scurried away. In the middle of my jump that would secure my immediate contract as an NBA rookie, I realized this mastermind of the insect world was on a suicide mission directly underneath my feet. Because my prefrontal cortex cannot compete with my parietal lobe and cerebellum, I failed to see how landing on him would be better than attempting to defy gravity for two seconds longer as I leaned to the left and…
Now my old prefrontal was working because I was able to picture a week on the couch and no walk. My anger was interrupted by five second waves of nausea and white flashes indicating that I might indeed pass out from the pain in my left ankle.
Wait. Wait. I might need to go back– No. I’m ok. I’m ok. Just wait one– You know, I heard the crunch – not bone, maybe ligaments? Hold my arm. Damn it! Damn it! F***ing thing! I should have smashed his ass!
My calming force waited until the initial tirade subsided.
Ok, let’s go. I announce.
Are you sure?
Yes, I’m only going to be able to figure out if I can walk if I walk.
Slow and Steady
The pace rivaled no one but Great-Grams and Gramps, yet we made it the first mile. Placing my foot steadily on the ground was my only concern, so I was not exactly holding up my end of the conversation. To have a husband who takes cues is a delightful thing indeed, and I knew he was content to observe the squirrels as they made their way down out of the trees.
Kitty on the roof! he announces.
My poor asthmatic, allergic CJ knows I get my jollies by talking to neighborhood cats.
No! It’s a raccoon! I corrected him and made a mental note that we must get this man to an optometrist pronto.
We stop and watch. The raccoon is sitting on the corner of the roof with its head hung low, moping. The tree closest to the roof is a flimsy one, and I’m sure it cannot hold this masked big boy. Inherently, he knows this.
Why hello! we shout our greetings. Doctors Doolittle are we, and the raccoon shifts its front paws ever so slightly. His right ear twitches. Both acts are barely noticeable, but it sends us into fits of love in our hearts.
The pain in my ankle persists yet abates. As we finish our first, I insist on completing the second loop. By mile four, we are long past the house with the raccoon for the second time, and I realize that I’ve been chatting away and forgot to check.
Oh no! I didn’t check to to see if he was still there! Was he still on the roof?
I know he knows. CJ always knows what is going on around him. I married the Zen Master who never meditated a day in his life.
He was gone.
Gone? Oh! He must have made it down.
I think he did.
I’m so glad I kept walking, or we never would have seen him!
That is true. That is true.
And you, dear Jolly one? In what ways have you persisted? What delightful surprises did you find?