Get Off My Lawn

I can't tell if he's laughing or crying.

Friday Night

Friday night I rode home from work on the top half of a double decker bus.

The weather has been strange here in Edmonton.  For the last few days the temperature has been hovering around +10. Aside from the occasional cold snap, we’ve had one of the mildest winters I can recall.

Last night it was pouring rain as I made my way home. All that dirty snow and chunks of brown ice filled with gravel and bits of garbage were sluicing down the gutters and emptying into the sewer. I hopped between puddles as I got off the local bus and onto the 414 commuter.

It was just me and three white boys who were laughing and, almost a little too loudly, rapping Straight Outta Compton with not an ounce of irony. My first reaction was to scowl. Then I did what I’m trying to do now: remember a time when I was young and had more testosterone than brains. Earlier in the transit centre the boy with the stubble and red shoes was doing a funny little dance for his friends. Something must be going right in his life and my heart softened a little. And besides, it was only us boys on the bus.

I got off at the university and walked the couple of blocks home. Tiny rivers of water flowed as the rain kept coming, and it felt like the whole city was being rinsed clean. Asian girls with umbrellas meandered back to student housing. They seemed in no hurry. And the Earls was packed with people eating and drinking and ending the work week.

The sound of raindrops on my coat was music. This night, as I walk home in the rain, I’m alive.

I am a human and this is life. I will never have this moment again.

Categories: Personal

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27 replies

  1. Wonderful to live in the moment, isn’t it? And yet it’s amazingly difficult to do. Glad you were able to capture it for a bit.

    “more testosterone than brains”—Ha, loved that.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I’m wearing a t-shirt and capris with open-toed sandals. I’d kill to wear a cardigan without sweating.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I am walking in the mall watching girls wear class of 2015 T shirts strut their stuff, remembering what it was like to feel like I owned the mall. Then I head into the Disney store with my three year old and I am brought back to reality. Gah!

    Liked by 2 people

  4. Oooh, beautiful. I loved the moodiness of the ending. So cool when we get to a stage where we begin to stop judging and just being. Very beautifully written, John.

    Liked by 2 people

  5. You might never have that moment but I’m sure you’ll have others! Lovely post!

    Liked by 1 person

  6. What Andrea said.

    I know just what you mean. Every now and a blue moon, a moment comes and you’re *IN* it and all your senses are heightened and all is right with you and your place in the world. It’s so real it suspends time.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Outstanding writing John, I was right there…it’s been an age since I walked in the rain. And, yes, being very present in the right now was breast cancers gift to our marriage.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Been way too long and far away! reminders are nice


  9. This is a beautiful moment and such a recognition of all the good things that go on around us, no matter how small they may seem to be. Thanks for sharing it with us. I like that you acknowledged that your first reaction was not so positive, but you recognized it and shifted your perspective. More people need that skill.

    Liked by 2 people

  10. Obviously inspirational. And the funny thing is, you were just reminding yourself to free your heart – not scaling Everest or pumping up to knock down some MMA champ. =) Precious, John. I take the spirit of this post into my day.

    Liked by 1 person

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