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Little girl on a bike

Monday 11/28/22

There is a great deal to enter in this record. I want to be thorough. The four days of the holiday weekend were hard. All days are hard. There is a different component to days like Thanksgiving and Christmas when I am alone, because I am always alone. With the exception of my immediate family, which consists of my mother and my sister, the rest of my family, for the most part, is in the surrounding areas. They know I'm alone. No one invited me anywhere for Thanksgiving. My life, right now, is oriented around one hellish theme: paying the price for virtues. I'll go into that later, because, as I said, I should be thorough, and there's much to document in these pages. Even the past four days were a lifetime for someone else, in many ways.

But there has been one of those lags in this record, which I'll attend to with this quick entry about just one of those small things that happen in life. Yesterday I was walking back after running my stairs at Government Center. I phoned my mother, to see how she was, and came through Faneuil Hall, and then crossed the street and sat on a bench in Christopher Columbus Park. The weather wasn't cold--or it wasn't cold if you'd just been working out, though you have to be careful because you're wet with sweat, and you don't want to get sick. Christopher Columbus Park is marked by a trellis that runs the length of it. The trellis is threaded with vines. Each year, at Christmastime, the trellis is lit up in blue lights. I've probably put a picture on here in the past. I'm not sure. It is rather beautiful. On the side of the trellis that I was on, away from the water, there's a median, like a border, where the pavement extends.

A little girl--maybe five--was riding her bike on that portion of pavement that's not underneath the trellis. She had on a pink helmet, depicting, I believe, My Little Pony. It was a horse, anyway. It could have been some character I'm not familiar with. She had this intent look of concentration on her face. She was proceeding slowly, cautiously. Her parents were down the other end of the length of the trellis on a bench with their back to the girl. They were talking animatedly. I don't know if they were fighting, or maybe they'd had some bad news, or that could just be how they talked and the day was excellent. You don't know. Sometimes you know. Sometimes you don't.

The girl was parallel with the end of the trellis, and she tried to make a turn, so that she could do a loop, like she was riding laps. She fell as she tried to turn, about fifteen feet away from me on my bench. She got tangled up in her bike, too, and was about to start crying, when I said, "You're okay! You're okay!" She looked at me, probably thinking, "Who is this guy?" I said, "You were doing a great job. Those bumps in the road are tricky, right?" She seemed to agree with this, though she didn't say anything. She wasn't crying, anyway. "Try it again," I said.

She gets up, and it was kind of funny, because the tips of her toes barely reached the ground when she was on the seat of her bike, which makes it hard to get started again, of course. But get started she did, and she rode this time down the portion of the park that had the trellis overhead. She got to the far end, where her parents were, still not having their talk, and she made another turn and came up again on the same margin as before, took the turn by me, and this time didn't fall. And she kept making her little circuits, appearing more confident each time, and not worried about falling.

My mom was telling me about some light fixture that had been dangling from her ceiling, which someone had put back in for her. It was a long story that was not very exciting but I've heard worse. Eventually I got up to leave and get a green tea at Starbucks, and as I was walking away, the little girl with the bike was leaving with her parents, going in the opposite direction. She gave me a quick wave, so I gave her one, too. And that was really the extent of my in-person interaction with anyone over the holiday weekend.


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