Monday, September 20, 2004

Hot Night Redux

Pedaling the Ranger at dusk - too fast, without a light, helmet or brain - down the trail. The head-on silhouette of a doe, staring right at me. Possessed, I pedal faster. The doe is transfixed, then we are side by side, rushing down the path. For an instant, I think "Jump!" - fly away on the back of this untamed steed through the woods and brush! She veers off, and with two quick bounds, is gone.

Later, biking back into the teeth of the hot, southerly wind, It is nearly dark. A partial moon peeks from behind scudding clouds. Biking through the woods, the path is indistinguishable from the mown area next to it. As all color and detail is gone, I aim for the middle and hope. Past where I met my Bambi, past the swamp, past the wood pile. The woods thin out as I near the Old Hospital grounds, and there, there they are, a half-dozen deer, all sensing motion and suddenly we are all zooming, I have joined the herd. My weary legs lose all signs of fatigue. I speed up, effortlessly, over small rises, I swoop down the little valleys, and leave them behind. Gaining velocity I pedal up the big hill where the feral cats hang out. The cats scatter, running back and forth - they love this game - as I pass.

On the last night of summer, at the end of the summer of my years, for one minute, I am fully alive.

By Professor Batty


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