I was coming from therapy and riding down Broadway. The biking situation around Madison Square Eats is very confusing and even though all of the bike lanes are freshly painted, practically neon, it still feels dangerous to ride there with all of the wayward pedestrians snaking through the Bloomberg era tables and chairs smack in the middle of the road. I’d walked into therapy in a strange mood, and told B my thesis about how I can’t tell the difference between Acceptance, Endurance and Resignation. This happens – where I get caught up in a theory-of-the-moment that I stick into conversations as a way of saying “I’m SMART, and I have theories about things!” The other theme of the session was how I’d done stand up for the first time the other night, and I liked it. I liked how ultimately nihilistic and NOT people pleasing it was. That theory is harder to explain.
After crossing 23rd I swerved because someone was walking in the bike lane, my ultimate pet peeve. A few blocks down I saw a young woman standing on the sidewalk in a beautiful white dress with John Lennon glasses on looking down at her phone. It looked like she might go right ahead and step in front of me, but something she was reading transfixed her. Right as I passed it looked like it might be a map, and that was when I saw who it was. Her skin was luminous and blemish free, unlike a few years ago. Even though I kept going I looked back a couple times, not sure if it was her or not, admiring the straightness and shininess of her hair and the cute layered cut she has. Suddenly her name seemed very appropriate, as it was a kind of a holy vision.
Just a few blocks later this thought spoke through me with gentle force – I miss my dad – meaning, the way my dad was before he became unwell. A rift in the universe tore open slightly, passed through me like a wave and I could remember him exactly as he was before, the sound of his voice and the strange but intimate, extended conversations we would have sometimes. I gasped a bit and my eyes welled up. I stopped riding for a moment and looked her up on my phone to see what she looks like now. Acceptance, endurance, resignation. By the end of therapy I realized that I’d been placing a moral value on each of these words and that I didn’t have to.
I don’t even know for sure if it was her but I’m just going to say it was.