Praise Of Risk

Entry by: Maxi

27th August 2020
Dawn was breaking as I started the car. I had twenty empty bags on the back seat. The sun was peeping up from a grey horizon creating an amber arc.  The sigh of it warmed me and splashed strength on to my wounded heart.  Slowing down at the zebra crossing at the bottom of the road I sawLance, the postman and it struck me as I watched him drop his bag and run up the driveway of number seven that I had not cried this time.  This time my overwhelming feeling was of relief.   Lance had muscles on the back of his legs that were as taut as those of a dancer in Riverdance. Through my open window, I could hear him whistle as he flew through his quotidian routine.  I drew away from the crossing and pushed my sunglasses up further on my nose.   No, I had not cried this time. Maybe it was because it was one betrayal too many, maybe because I had grown tired of being constantly crushed, discouraged and sneered at, or, it could have been the constant diet of derision.   There were bundles of twine-tied newspapers in the doorway of the newsagents.  Two of the staff was on the footpath, their upturned faces catching the first of the sun’s rays as they waited for admittance. They were oblivious to a young man with a ‘stag party’ tee shirt and blue shorts tied to a lamppost nearby. His companion also wearing the identical tee was holding on to the lamppost as he puked every ten seconds.  The missile containing the former contents of his stomach was shaped like a dialogue bubble in a comic strip as it soared over his head momentarily before landing at his feet where it now resembled a map of Jamaica.  One more left turn and I saw the apartment we had shared for seven years.  Tall and stately it had been built at a time when Ireland had a more distinct class divide.  I waited to see if your car was there.  It wasn’t. I waited to see if your neighbours were awake. They weren’t.   I opened the door for the last time with my keys. Slowly I filled the bags I had brought with me.  My entire wardrobe, my harmonica, my photos, my DVD's, my scrabble game, my thesaurus, my crossword books, my cd’s my remembered kisses and the last few years of my life filled them to the brim.  It took me forty minutes to clear the room that was once a sanctuary into a vacuum.  When my work was done I packed the car closed the door and pushed my keys in through the letterbox, and drove away onto the open road of my life savouring the risk I had taken.  It was so…worth it.   At the florists I chose a bouquet of twelve pink roses.   The assistant asked if I’d like it delivered.  I said ‘Absolutely’ and welcomedthe future.