The other day I stayed home from work with a fever and bronchitis.
Of course my cold doesn't stop the world from turning and since I live in the city that never sleeps I got to stay home and do five loads of laundry. I then had to pick up my son from school and walk over to Pier 40 on the west side highway where he has his baseball afterschool session.
There's nothing like having a fever in 90 degree heat with no voice or breathing capacity. And like all devoted 9 year old boys, my son couldn't give a shit. As long as the old broad shows up with a sports bar and a Gatorade - life is as it should be.
So I sat there baking in the afternoon sun like any other masochistic over compensating mom with a high pressure career would. After a point even the nannies started taking off for some shade and water.
I wandered down Washington Street and found a dunkin donuts on the first floor of a carpenter's union building - talk about excellent product placement. The store must be making money hand over fist. I sat there for 10 minutes in the glorious air conditioning listening to the theme of St. Elmo's Fire blasting out of the sound system. I must have been near the end of my rope because I actually became nostaligic for the 80's....which was actually a great decade for me. It's just that St. Elmo's Fire had nothing remotely to do with it.
I resigned myself to return to the Sahara like sports complex I escaped from and and began walking behind a lively young woman in beautiful athletic gear. She had the word STRIVE tattooed across the back of her neck in all caps. I stood behind her waiting for the light that would deliver her to the bike/running path along the Hudson River and me to another thirty minutes in the blinding sun.
Here she was. A young hopeful twentysomething - inspiring the world with one word. STRIVE. All I could think of was - what happens if she runs into a jag in her life (like we all do) when we sit on our asses and deconstruct after the loss of a job, a relationship, a family member, or a dream?
What happens when she doesn't live up to the back of her neck and it shows? What if she became a heroin addict or an anorexic?
I've decided that if I have a tattoo placed on the back of my neck it will either say:
DON'T FOLLOW ME. I'M LOST TOO!