Our Time

Dear J-

You’re faced with an unfamiliar bike: do you go on top or under? On the Caltrain each bike rack stacks four bikes side-by-side; you’re supposed to put a bike tag showing your destination and that way the people coming on after you can figure out if they’re going on top or not: if you’re getting out sooner, you go on top, otherwise you shuffle around behind. The system works pretty well, unless there’s a bike you don’t recognize and you have no clue where it’s going. I went on top this morning; I expect that to be difficult for the owner when and if they show up. Bigger bike, too: it’s hard to tell whose it is, but I’d guess they’re … bigger.

They told me last night that mom was back to a regular diet and may go home as early as today, testament to the wonders of laparoscopic procedures and the body’s resilience. I’m still disquieted by the thought of having to go to the hospital at all but that’s just a personal prejudice I need to get over: after all, didn’t I go in for similarly minor surgery and theVet too, when the kids were born? Still I remember seeing our piano teacher in a hospital bed just before everything cascaded for her: she’d fallen down the stairs of a house she owned and instead of the stern, strong teacher with her hair pinned perpetually up, we went and saw her in the hospital, almost lost in the immense articulated bed, hair down and almost casual.

You realize that our time may be short on this earth; we do not necessarily have the time to spend with each other we might believe we deserve. I told theVet the other day half-jokingly that life’s too short to settle for bad writing. She and I both settle for crap fairly often: witness our shared reading of the Fifty Shades trilogy. Yet it’s true: if you have the choice and the means, why settle for something less? I’m sure it must go double for people too; why bother to hold grudges, or be angry, or not to spend the time doing something nice for your fellows, comrades or otherwise? Life’s too short to be angry. Let’s make it a rule.

Mike

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