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Friday, April 15, 2011

Still Here



I think of the times I almost bought it.

Walking down 9th Avenue, a tractor trailer blocked the crosswalk - I decided to crab-crawl beneath it. The driver got his green light - the truck roared to life. I imagined Michelangelo's Christ jumping out of his tomb, just as that rear tire almost got me.

But it didn't.

High on scaffolding thirty feet over State Street, John Keefer and I spread a tarp over the face of the scaffold. Suddenly a gust of wind caught the tarp like a jib on a sloop, and pulled the whole structure away from the building. It teetered on two legs, both of us clinging to it.

But it didn't go over.

Next time, if there is one, I'll bolt the scaffold to the building.

At a bar in Matamoros, I got a bad feeling, after I chatted up the one pretty gal who was waiting table. One of the locals grimaced and stabbed a knife into the wood.

A big knife.

They all laughed - I can't believe I called him a gringo. My Spanish was never good enough to know how to do it again.

So I won't.

Ladders, spalling to one side, as I grabbed for a piece of pipe. Dropped like a monkey into a spilled mass of paint and broken stepladder.

Fought in the car at seventy miles an hour.

Dove into the deep water at the foot of a boiling waterfall before I understood the physics of waterfalls.

The first time I ever smoked datura I did way too much.

Still around though.

And then there was that flight through thunderstorms with my VFR pilot brother. Visibility zero. His instrument experience was just a few hours. We landed in a forty mile per hour crosswind at Westchester airport.

Still here though.

What about the time I split two fingers up the middle with a table-saw? Could have been my wrist.

But I still have my fingers.

And I still have the life that moves them.

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