Spin Away

Can you tell the difference between the ordinary and the epic?

I was walking a little after 1 a.m. this morning, the surprising warmth of Tuesday morning propelling me. I walked the loop and made my way to College Avenue. The busy road was desolate and lit, no cars, no people. Just me looking at its urban beauty. Though you won’t understand it unless you’ve experienced the weird joy of seeing the world at such an hour, I felt like I walked on air.

When I walked back, I made the slow curve by Miller Street. As I neared a small Nissan, I realized that someone was laying on the hood. I was already upon him, less than two feet away. “Hey, good morning,” he said, his voice deep. “Yes, same to you.” I wanted to ask him why he was laying on the hood, under the shadows of the trees overhead and handing above the street and car. Maybe he was enjoying the solitude. Maybe he was banished from the house. Maybes – a lot of them accumulating in my mind.

At the corner, there were a dozen memorial day-themed little spinners scattered by the sidewalk. I picked one up and brought it home. I disassembled it and painted its two circles in different vibrant colors. As I painted, I watched a neighbor load her vehicles as part of her move to a different apartment. She has her own issues, her teenage boy the cause of the move. I wanted to tell her that moving wasn’t going to fix the problem. People take their problems with them, even to shiny new places.

Later today, after the hectic post-holiday workday is finished, I will assemble the spinner and put it on the balcony. Though it will have been only twelve hours, it will seem as if I found it five minutes before. The unseen wind will power it until the plastic wears out and breaks.


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