Thursday, February 09, 2012

Time is the space between me and you.


Yesterday afternoon I was leading a workshop at my kids' elementary school. I'm working with fifth grade girls during lunch hour, they are the Young Ladies of Noble and we are putting together a production for Women's History Month. Anyway, their advisor told me class ended at 12:15, we would need to break at 12:10 to put the room back in order. I'm keeping my eye on the clock, but we are doing "statue" exercises, there is motion all around the room, the kids are laughing, even their teacher is on top of a desk, doing the same exercise, and taking pictures.

Suddenly, the teacher is back on the floor, she's making her way towards me, stating flatly, "We have to stop now." I look at the clock, it's only 12:05, I thought we had another five minutes, and say so apologetically. She gets near and says, a bit quieter, that we have to stop -- she says a student has been hurt, I didn't catch the name, I'm looking around for who might have gotten hurt during this exercise, it was she who had been on the table ...

It's my daughter, she has "cut her head open" and I have to go. Oh, uh, yes -- my things? No matter, I go, and run down the hallway of the school to the office and to the girl, who has an iced sponge on her forehead. She looks ... tired.

Lucky for me, I guess, I was spared the image of that horrible gush of blood that comes with even a minor head wound, that had already been cleaned up by the time I got there. I was kind. I was not panicked. I was comforting. I was not smothering. I did not think of myself. I wanted to pick her up. I did not. But I held her hand.

Cellphones are tremendous things in an emergency. My wife and I discuss options, she said to call the doctor, and not to go immediately to an emergency room. Again, lucky. They would see us. A $15 co-pay, not a $1,000 trip to the ER. A short drive around the corner, not all the way to the hospital.

The girl was relieved, she has been to emergency rooms. She was grateful to be somewhere calmer. And I knew we would be seen soon, and not in a couple hours. Fortunate. And the cut was not so deep as to require stitches but ... glue? Really? Glue?

Upon hearing that there would not be stitches, the girl's mood lightened considerably. We had talked about this on the drive, she had brought it up, I was noncommittal, not wishing to make the situation worse one way or another. I couldn't say there wouldn't be. I could do nothing to prepare her if there were.

It was astonishing, this glue. I was truly stunned by this bonding material. I laughed. For now, it would be all right. Lucky.

Distance: 4 miles
Route: To Parkside Blvd. and back.

How had she been injured? She had been running. A relay race. She came in second, trip, banged her knee, and took a header into a gate. At the doctor's office she was lamenting her decision to leave her other friends, to take the challenge of this race. What am I supposed to say? Regret is a terrible thing. If I am struck by a car on my route today, that would be an accident. But it does not mean I should never run. However, try telling that to my family.

Temperature: 25ยบ
Climate: dry & cold
Weight: 174 lbs.
Breakfast: Cheerios & cottage cheese
Hydration? yes
Stretches? yes

Safely under 175. Let's keep it there. I came home last night to a plate of nachos. They'd had nachos with beans for dinner, I came home from rehearsal and they saved some for me. Big plate of nachos. Cheesy nachos. Salsa and sour cream in the fridge.

I had a yogurt and went to bed.

1994 Playlist
Welcome to Paradise - Green Day
March of the Pigs - Nine Inch Nails
Moon Sammy - Soul Coughing
13 Steps Lead Down - Elvis Costello
Supernova - Liz Phair
Prayer For the Dying - Seal
Loser (171 bpm) - Beck
Dead Souls - Nine Inch nails
Troubled Mind - Everything But the Girl
Root Down - The Beastie Boys

Cooldown:
Tribal Dance - 2 Unlimited

Life goes in seven-year cycles.

2008 - Mid-life crisis, shift in artistic focus.
2001 - Losing a child, gaining a new career.
1994 - I stop following.
1987 - First heart-break, seeing different.
1980 - I first fall in love ... and begin to run.

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