I’ve been walking three to four miles along the river. Some days I just want to run, flap my arms and fly above the rushing Sacramento. There is freedom in hovering over the deep green waters flanked by yellow poppies and purple wildflowers.
I waited too long and hit an all-time high in weight. At one time I wondered if that was some type of achievement by itself, but in reality it only makes you big and tired.
It has been twenty-four months since being able to look at a paycheck and the freedom to go to the pharmacy without reviewing our bank account before making the plunge. It’s funny how I like to use months and not years for the length of time; like no one will know. Much too long for a vacation, the longest I’ve ever taken was two weeks. I think of it as retirement and not being unemployed. It’s really a form of economic purgatory.
At the half-way point I can only see the rustle of plastic around the garbage can and half of a body, feet planted flat on the ground. Head to waste digging deep for plastic and aluminum treasures. Same dirty, sun bleached black shirt and pants with tattered shoes and no socks that I saw the day before.
The walks allow me to hit the replay button. I review the past 276 resumes sent looking for new opportunities. I define the level my competence during four phone interviews and one face-to-face. Gee they seem to have gone well?
First to emerge from the garbage can is a dirty hand grasping tightly to a plastic water bottle. Dirt caked thick silver hair, my color, and a strong face. It was the sun’s Etch A Sketch, no softness to the eyes as he looked through me.
“Hi, how are you doing?” I greeted with a warm smile. How fucking lame I thought to myself. How and the hell you think he feels digging in public garbage for survival?
There was no reply as he mounted the bike and arranged the black and white plastic bags on the handlebars. His look was empty and lifeless as he pedaled down the asphalt path.
I wanted to offer half what I had in my wallet. “Here you can have the five and I’ll keep the four.” Even that was a lie I had thirty hidden in the pocket. The words wouldn’t come out!
Does karma repay you kindly for a lie with good intentions?
If you have to worry about the amount of kindness, is it still kindness?
I was scared; the line runs too thin between what’s hidden in your wallet and no pocket to put a wallet in.
I just wanted to run again, I just wanted to fly!