Bipeds II

With a shock, I realised: this is not nice, this is not nice at all. But it is exciting.

I screamed as the car door opened. Thank God I missed it with my front wheel: had I not, the incident would have been considerably more unpleasant. I hit it with my shin, foot and pedal. It ripped my panniers off, without damaging them. I can wiggle my toes. The driver came up, apologised, and checked that my rear wheel was OK, a little officiously I thought but I was not checking it. Feeling relief and shock rather than anger, I shook his hand. A woman looked at me, perhaps because my scream had been deep and masculine, but said nothing. I pedalled off, and have invested in lights: I am still considering night cycling.

Her grandchild is due in two weeks. It was something to hold on for- but you would not want to come and put the baby in her arms, just to say you had done it, if she might be comatose at the time. We do not need to tick boxes, as the authentic experiences we actually have are enough. She was living until the end, never just existing: there is gratitude, along with the sadness.

What she needs is a quick no-strings fling with someone completely unthreatening.

I stand in the high street, listening to the busker. He has a backing track and plays Let it Be- he has a lovely warm smooth tone on that tenor sax. Bipeds pass. That woman has scar tissue all across her cheek. That woman looks at her husband, querying- where shall we go now? That hurrying man, stuffing money in his wallet from the ATM, looks worried. The Hind Hotel, which boasts that the Lord Protector stayed there once, looks clear in the distance: I decide to use peripheral vision rather than direct gaze to notice people. They have their own concerns, but seem friendly enough. Mindfulness is just pure dead brilliant: rather than being bored in the post office I pay attention to those grilles in the ceiling.

I thought, yesterday morning, reclining on my chaise longue, crying, beside myself, that this will end; but doubted that, because in this mood I feel I am seeing reality. So I phoned a friend: I wanted to be seen, I wanted to vomit my rage and fear and be heard. When she called back, I had regained my equanimity, though after all that time crying not sleeping I felt a little weak, and did not want to go out or see anyone. It was good to talk. It was good to talk this morning of my most recent Religious Experience– YAY!- and Art Epiphany– I love a good Art Epiphany. Though not that Art Epiphany, that would be too personal. After all, I have my psychotherapist on Friday, fifty minutes devoted to Me! How cool is that? As we talked, several times my near-collision came to the front of my mind, and I noticed it, and gave it my attention. Now, considering it, my feeling is satisfaction.

John Lavery, Anna Pavlova

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