Light You Up



I was in Springdale today, chasing the unicorn of outdoor security lights I wanted. You can’t wait on a landlord to provide the minimum of safety, after all. It was my second visit to 64 in fifty-three days. My eyes devoured the familiar yet mercurial sights as I drove.

I can’t explain how, but I knew my old friend Mike would be in his yard if I drove by unannounced. (I’ll call him Mike for this anecdote to protect his anonymity and association with me.) On a whim, I navigated the byzantine streets and headed to the cul-de-sac he wisely chose to buy a house in. I saw Mike standing along the fence, holding a mug. Two of his dogs were with him.

I parked and said hello and let the dogs lick my fingers through the wire fence along the perimeter of the curved curbside. There was a break in the beautiful line of vegetation and flowers they’d carefully planted.

He’s not one to be idle. Along with the rest of his family, he did everything right regarding C19. Even though he’s a lifelong community servant, he took the time to be careful. Despite being vaccinated, he got covid.

It was such a pleasure to see him and hear his brand of rapid-fire yet laconic wit.

He told me he’d retire in a couple of years. I laughed. He might retire from his chosen career – but he’ll never relax. Mike is not wired for it. For years, I’ve asked him to transition from one form of public service to politics. He’s uniquely qualified. The fact that he doesn’t think so proves that he’s the right candidate, no matter what office he might seek or hold. Anyone who knows him would immediately agree.

I showed him my scar. “What’s a worldwide pandemic, divorce, and surgery to complain about?” I jokingly asked him.

Indeed.

Seeing an old friend, fatigued but safe from severe harm from this scourge of a virus, I left, happier than when I’d arrived. That “light you up” thing? Yeah, Mike’s one of the good people.

And a reminder that even when you do everything right, things can and will go wrong.

That gives hope to a poor soul like me.

I came back to the apartment and spent a couple of hours installing the lights, my heart filled with fondness on two accounts.

Love, X

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