Of which last night’s was terrifying. But that was then. Sunday found us back aboard bikes for the first time since a whiff of January thaw many weeks and several yards of snowfalls ago. This highly seasonal Sunday witnessed two rides; the second reopened the ‘downtown’ trail first blazed by Charlie last year. That late-afternoon ride followed a trio of more-than-familiar daylight walks. Much later, Charlie’s evening jaunt suddenly diverged from the very well worn circuit he’d been traversing more often than daily since November last. ‘This way,’ he boldly asserted in hanging not a left but a right at the end of our long, straight home road.
Where to? Fearsome option One entailed return to Saturday evening’s sorrow; peaceful/easy alternate option hinted Charlie was intent on reprising the afternoon’s downtown bike route and why not, since he’d done the same in November with the left-turn bike route-turned wintry walking grounds. And just as along that route so too this night on the variant; the graceful pirouettes in same spots performed as after bicycle dismount; same unerring sense of direction through darkness (traveling westward away from the great metropolis’ eternally orange-ish glow). I followed Charlie for a couple miles after his fashion; guarantee no one else on earth tonight performed quite those moves as witnessed en street here in N. Ctrl Jersey! Under the trestle to the top of the hill: mid-point; a pause then request for guacamole
and back we turned.
If I knew how what happened Saturday night could happen, I’d know something that might help usher in the long reigning dispensation of peaceful/easy. But I don’t even know how Dr. Chew does what she does, inscribing a nightly witness going on five years now. I once fretted over Charlie’s imagined status as North America’s most thoroughly documented special pre-adolescent; now that the ‘pre’ is no more I simply marvel in gratitude, and dim understanding how devoted reporting—chronicles of one day yielding seamlessly to the
next–serves to gently disarm the catastrophic thinking that I, proud inhabitant of what a lovely man named Phil Schwarz calls ‘the broader phenotype,’ share with Charlie somewhere along that broad spectrum via which we’re linked in so many meaningful ways, not least by shared gift for joyous running ‘this way.’
Yet Charlie is truly sui generis in all his flights; a natural over asphalt just as in the deep churning surf off Harvey Cedars. I was ‘naturally’ apprehensive over reading Dr. Chew’s chronicle of last night’s events; yet as I ‘learned’ for one moment or the thousandth time, sometimes we need instead to linger or revel in those intimate connections forged to outlast storms all kinds, neurological or those not otherwise specified. Charlie’s ok tonight; in fact he’s right here before me, having chosen the ‘dining room’ couch as suitable place of rest, for now, on this night.