October 20th, 2008
Could have made better decisions. Could have been someplace else. I have regrets. But bad decisions, putting myself in bad spots,and saving up those regrets have brought me here. The best place I've ever known. Our little house with the big yard in the Garden City. With trees shedding leaves. Sunlight enriching colors. And endless possibility carried within the swirling autumn breeze.
And Little Man sleeps. Tucked away in an afternoon nap. Tired from our morning. A bike ride to the park. Four laps around the asphalt track. Then swings and slide. Swings and slide. Until it was time for lunch. The bike ride back home. To peanut butter and jelly sandwiches. A book to read. Substituting his name in place of Max's in the story WHERE THE WILD THINGS ARE so that his eyes lit up, face brightened with wide smile, and he was happy. Satisfied. Ready for nap.
"Nap and sleep and wake and see Mommy later," he said, as he pulled the blanket up to his chin. Settled into his pillow.
"Yes, we'll see Mommy later. After you sleep and get a good rest."
"Nap and see Mommy?"
"You nap and we'll see Mommy later. After she's home from work."
"See Mommy work?"
"Kiss, hug," I said.
"Yep. Kiss, hug."
He puckered his lips. Planted one on me. We hugged.
"Goodnight, buddy. Love you. We'll see Mommy later. After nap and after she gets home from work."
Down the stairs. Then onto the treadmill. Then down to the floor for push-ups and weights. Then back to my feet to hit the heavy bag. Pounding and pounding and pounding. Banging away at the past. Punching away mistakes and regret with every hook and jab. Muscles getting tighter but feeling lighter by the second. Until it's time to head in. Drink lots of water. Do do the morning dishes. Listen to sports talk radio. Warm leftover coffee. Then come here.
To the keys. The screen. This unknown place that I return to. Again and again. Not for money. Fortune or fame. But only to get it out. So that it does not build up. Go to waste. Become something useless and forgotten. Another mistake. Another regret. Another something I'd wished I'd done. Not for me, but for everyone I've ever known. So that they could come here too. Feel the familiar. Get in touch. Recognize that all moments have led to this.
Wherever you are. In the best place you'll ever know. Little houses with big yards. Gardens the size of cities. Trees and leaves. Sunlight and color. Endless possibility. Swirling in the autumn breeze.
(copyright © 2008 by K.J. Stevens)