Snow, methodically snow, was making the ride from Columbus endless.
The good news was that last night, trudging I-71, I had time to reflect.
The bad news: between thoughts, every other song on the radio was Taio Cruz and “Dynamite.” (My mother, bad ears and all, was clearly ahead of the game).

Three hours of therapy, I suppose— Consider: the past week, almost daily, was a cavalcade of people and circumstances thwarting even this cowboy’s rhythm.

It began Tuesday. A friend, replete with grown kids, house on a golf course and trophy wife (still)…this friend marched into the room, thrust an eight-inch knife on the table, and spewed at the world. It was not the first time he’d shared his angst, but the weapon was new. It was not the first time we’d heard the “Poor me” routine, —it was getting old. Still, the silence of a knife on a conference table makes a lot of noise. We urged him AGAIN to get help.

It continued Wednesday: news that yet another pal, equally troubled, had taken his life. What a waste! A “nice Jewish boy”, 65 and out—for no reason. It made the furnace issue at my condo seem trivial and turned the few nights on Hal’s couch into overnight camp.

At 61, I know the limits of my game and tend to honor them. Still, by mid-week I was being forced from my comfort zone…inside and out:

The HVAC guy’s diagnosis—emailed—-mandated a new furnace. I recognized the letters all right, but the language was foreign. Indeed, the only word I understood in the whole transmission was “furnace.” Oh, yeah…and “new.”

And OUTSIDE….My friend Kat The Artist had a showing on the west side. Field trip! Thirty or so college-professor types flanked me, fawning over her work, (which I sense is good). Other than Norman Rockwell’s “Three Umpires” standing, fielding the rain palms-up…what do I know from art? No matter what someone said that night, no matter what piece they asked of, my refrain was constant: “It makes a statement,” I mused.

By Thursday, even this half-full guy was out of sync. The malaise, the frustration compounded Friday with word from the east that Haley’s comet would not be sighted… again…next week.

My father would say…my friends still say…”This too will pass.” All the crap, even the unimportant crap…will pass. Keep pedaling, I told myself. Be grateful for what is.

There was a time (indeed), I wouldn’t have been asked to an art showing.
My circle of friends had grown. This (art exhibits and all), is a good thing.

Cleveland’s weather remained ugly, but the worm was beginning to turn. There were, after all, good things on the horizon:

This was a bye week—no Helen. H would get the pleasure.

And Chanukah. Saturday at Margie’s our aunt would light her 3, 420th candle— (this was Day Four. Make that an even 4,200 counting the Shamash).

And the Friedman Bar Mitzvah! Was the three year-old I’d once baby-sat really reading the Haftorah? Indeed, Saturday night, as the 40-minute Hora came to an end, I exited the dance floor again feeling inside riches.

The best, though, was yet to come. Sunday meant Magic Town: Columbus. A stop at the cemetery and talk with the old man. Time with Harriet, Denise, Dale. Dinner with Mark and Lisa. Got to hold a baby. Met a new “Person of Interest.” A day of smiles, laughter, warmth.

I was tired last night. It was a quarter past Seinfeld when I got home.
I fed the boys, read a bit…wrote a bit. Falling asleep, I was warmed by the heat of a new furnace and the thought of a new week.

And I was, once again, in my rhythm.

One Response to “I GOT RHYTHM”

  1. Aunt Helen says:

    Bruce, you know that I don’t always appreciate your sense of humor.

    BUT, I do appreciate your mathematical skills.

    As you know, this was my 97th Chanukkah celebration.

    And if your brother was as sensitive/kind as you, this WOULD be the year that I light my 4,268th candle.

    Unfortunately, there have been MORE than a few times that I have not been offered the honor of lighting even one candle at his house. Just this past Saturday, as you pointed out to me three times, AGAIN I was not offered the opportunity to light either a Shammas or ANY candle from even one of the 13 menorahs (sic., menorot) that were on display. It was a shandah. Because of his insensitity, even if I light every candle the rest of this yuntif, I will not be able to break 4,200 this year.

    Regardless, I hope you enjoy the rest of Chanukkah.

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