A Very Short Story
Once, lying curled beneath a sheet, I felt an earthquake. A soft but distinct rolling from left to right across my bed. When I could confirm no seismic event, I began to reason with the ghost in my walls. Apprehensive but not yet afraid, I asked her to kindly not disturb me in my sleep. She agreed, leaving me to the disturbances I could not bargain with. The 11pm laughter and the 1am ambulance and the 3am radiator hiss.
Months later, I felt the rocking again. Had my ghost betrayed me in her hurt at being forgotten? I listened for her accusation in the gentle swaying, and recognized the rhythm at last, as the movement of my own living heart.
Last night as I was zipping up my coat outside of Blanchet House, preparing for my walk home over an inch of solid ice, a fellow volunteer bid me goodnight with a very ominous “Tread Lightly.” I want to believe what he meant was “walk carefully,” with the ice and all, but standing in the middle of Chinatown with the sun already below the horizon, I couldn’t help but read a little extra warning into his adieu. Nothing happened of course, but I thought about that choice of words the whole mile home (which should have taken twenty minutes, but with the level of caution I was exercising took thirty-five).
This Saturday I’ll sign off with an equally calculated “Tread Lightly,” but in this case I’ll explain that I mean “lightly” not as in how someone should step over eggshells, but as in “with a spring in your step.”
Tread Lightly :)