“C’mon Barry, you’re slow as an eight day clock.”
The air was hot and thick. My blood was concentrating in my gut, digesting the food I ate an hour ago. I felt that familiar slight tightness around my chest. My body betrays me. They slow down to my pace. I take a short cut back to the house and they walk on. Soon, we’ll be walking parallel, 100 yards apart.
I feel much better now that the ground is level. Walking past the high school where my wife was homecoming queen, I can hear the exuberant voices of teenage girls practicing field hockey on the football field. The field lights compete with the twilight, the horizon, hazy white-blue gradients to purple above with stars just visible. Even though it’s summer, I feel the fall inside myself, the generation of today almost three times removed from me. A slight sad wistfulness creeps over me. I walk past the elementary school and recall Tristan talking to me at this spot some time ago.
“When I get big, I’m going to this school.”
“When I get big, Mommy’s riding me on the bus to this school.”
“I’m the fastest and strongest."
He motioned a karate chop.
What fills little boy’s minds with competitiveness and make believe violence? I don’t recall being like that when I was a little boy.
I walk past a playground behind the school. There sits a mother reading a magazine at a picnic table, while her little girl whips through the muggy air on a swing.
I arrive at the house and I see them about 100 yards down the sidewalk. They smile at me. I assume they’re glad I didn’t drop dead somewhere along my path. It would be my favorite way to die….no…make that my second favorite way to die.