Monday, May 31, 2010

bridge to who knows what

My calves screamed. My lungs pulled in the sticky air in heaves, and yet my legs continued their steady plodding. My Ipod turned off blocks ago and every muscle wanted to join the dead ipod, but I kept running, listening to the steady beat of my new purple shoes slamming the pavement, and the matching pace of my overworked lungs. I forced myself to go just one more block. Just to the next light pole. To the bridge.

As per the rules in high school, bridges are for walking, but after crossing the third one of the evening I was too busy watching the baby geese chasing after their mother to think about walking. Then I was across the bridge and only a block from home. But I was on the wrong side of the river, a toxic river not meant for swimming.

So I another mile and a half to get to the next bridge. Only this time I was too busy thinking about those physics problems about two trains approaching each other on the same track. One going 30 mph and the other going 45 mph and how soon they would meet, and what the calculated force of their impact would be. And before I knew it there went another bridge and I had no idea how far I was from home.

I knew exactly how far i was from my old house. Sixteen blocks. A mile and a half, if the blocks are long. But my parents moved four blocks east and I was way west. So that would be 20 blocks. A mile and three quarters maybe. They moved four short blocks.

And then I ran into another bridge. This time I walked the entire length of the bridge and realized I was a college graduate. I didn't have to think about how a group of geese is called a gaggle, or the formulas needed to calculate the velocity of trains, or how many blocks make a mile. Nope, don't have to do that anymore.

That thrilled me, and scared me all the same.

Then I ran home the long way, and avoided all the bridges...

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