What I was thinking on my way to the Emergency Room this morning:
In the early hours of daylight, I watch a train curving left on its track.
The train crawls at an approaching speed; it cuts through the winter air, and pulls into the raised platform of the Hicksville Train Station.
In the background, scattered evergreens point upward between the Long Island homes, and they lend color to a sea of naked tree branches and snow-covered rooftops.
I miss the warmth on days like today
I miss the worriless days of summer and walks on the beach.
Perhaps, the only worries I have is the summer will eventually end
Days will inevitably shorten. The sun will fall earlier and rise later
As the train pulls into the station, my breath smokes into the low-temperature. The other passengers on the platform are bundled up in their winter coats, gloves, scarfs, and hats.
Some of them have their own dance to keep warm, as if their bouncing movement with their hands shoved deep into their pockets could defend them against the winter.
I think of other places I could be, such as heading south in a convertible across the Seven Mile Bridge.
Or maybe I could be elsewhere, like in another country, or any place where the world is less turbulent.
True, I would miss my city. I would miss my moments high above the streets of Manhattan and contemplating things like art or the ability of words.
Each day, I pass myself through the revolving doors at work. The day is over by the time I am through, and after double-shifts like the one I just finished, the night is over too. Wednesday mended into Friday morning.
I missed the in-between, but not without reason.
The pain from my knees and cuts in my fingers are the signs of my labor. This is what I do (for now) and this is how I provide for my family.
The Old Man used to tell me, “If you want to eat, you have to work.”
He’d say, “Food costs money. Heat costs money, and this house costs money.”
I watched The Old Man work himself to the bone, and while I am not as talented as he was in this field, I still put in my hours. I earn my share because food costs money, heat costs money, and my house costs money.
Being afraid is fine. Fear is healthy.
I have financial fears and emotional insecurities. I try to make up for them by earning as much as I can.
Only, this time I pushed myself too far….
It’s hard to breathe now. It’s like I ran a marathon, only I barely have the strength to stand, let alone, run.
I don’t like doctors……I don’t like hospitals either.
I watched my Old Man disregard his own health for his family, and when he passed, I wished I told him to take better care of himself.
But would he have listened?
Would I have listened?
Rather than take a sick day, I did what The Old Man did; I pushed myself. I said, “I’ll fight my way through it.”
I think it’s time I take better care of myself.
Perhaps, this advice applies to more people than just me and my Old Man
Perhaps, this goes beyond the color of my shirt or the size f my wage.