January 4th, 2004

the globe

My beautiful reward

Bob and I woke up this morning feeling sluggish, and frankly, a little depressed. We’ve spent so much quality time together in the past few weeks, save my visit to Los Angeles, and we’re both faced with the workaday habits that prevent us from doing what we best like to do – to spend time together. We’ve had a lot of fun during the holidays, Bob and me, as we’ve explored many parks, some by the guidance of Joe, and taken rides to places we’ve never seen.

Today we set out to find a nice park in which to sit and read. It’s 72 degrees today, something I can only assume is abnormal for Washington DC in January. We loaded ourselves in the car, Bob sitting up in the front seat with his nose working overtime in the opened passenger window, and I brought a book Gretchen gave me for Christmas entitled The Prophet, authored by Kahlil Girran in 1923. I stopped at McDonalds to get some lunch (Bob loves the french fries) and aimlessly drove through the city looking for a spot to land.

I’ve never mentioned my history to Gretchen or to anybody else, for that matter, at work except for Jodi, my boss. When Gretchen gave me the slim, elegant volume of The Prophet, she asked if I had heard of it. I told her no.

“It’s helped me through some hard times and I thought you may gain something from reading it,” she said, carefully choosing her words. I turned to her and wrapped my arms around her petite body, and I thanked her.

Bob and I found a park on Connecticut Avenue, a random little spot of land that somehow escaped development in the middle of the tony neighborhood of Cleveland Park. Breathing down its neck to the west was a huge modern complex that could have been anything from CNN to the RNC. We walked the park's circumference and finally settled onto a bench. Bob lay in the leaves while I quickly ate lunch then started to read.

What I read was a fable of a man leaving the safety of all he had known to venture into his new life. Literally, his ship came in. The townspeople from all over the land came to beg him not to leave or to bid him farewell. Each citizen had a pressing question to ask before his departure and he addressed them, one by one.

Collapse )

I looked over at Bob and I had tears in my eyes. I looked at him sniffing the moist earth and I thought of Billy dancing, really dancing, in the magic and the light. I cried at my good fortune and I felt the painful sorrow that comes with finding my beautiful reward.