"Andra, I don't know how this happened......"
The last time MTM said that, he snuggled up to me in bed. Offered to give me a massage. Brought me an adult beverage as a nightcap.
What resulted was this post........
In the United States, today is National Bike to Work Day. I woke up this morning to overcast skies that lulled my brain into wanting to participate……only, I work at home, and my bike was at MTM’s office. Not to be deterred, I walked the two miles from the concrete jungle to MTM’s work place, snapping some pics of our new Charleston ‘hood along the way.
I have often wondered what kinds of grub they serve in Hannibal’s Kitchen, on Drake Street in Charleston’s East Side. The name has always been a bad association for me, as I tie it with another Hannibal………the one who ate people.
Once upon a time, things were actually manufactured in downtown Charleston. Here’s an abandoned cigar factory. It was being converted into bazillion dollar condominiums before the downturn.
I couldn’t resist the composition of this shot along Alexander Street. I love the sleeping cat. I wonder if it put the bricks there, too.
Scene from a proper Charleston garden in a courtyard around the corner from MTM’s office. An urban evolution in the span of two miles and a few city blocks.
Riding my bike back home, I mean, to work, I was inspired by the East Side, a rough-and-tumble African American neighborhood this city has forgotten. Oh, the South-of-Broaders/Ansonborough‘ers remembered it when they wanted the cruise ship terminal moved there, away from their own upscale neighborhoods. Otherwise, it is a swath of historic Charleston nobody visits.
And, they should.
When I was a little girl, most of downtown Charleston looked like the East Side. Peeling paint. Boarded up clapboard. Burned out shells. Bedraggled snarls. Nothing antiseptic or picturesque about it. People trying to get by. Living life.
Just like me.
The light was green, going my way up a one way street. Maybe I was doing twenty-five in the lead up to the intersection, blinded by buildings that ran out to the strip of concrete on every corner.
Sunlight flashed on metal.
A college-aged girl shot from the side street into the convergence. I had less than fifty feet to swerve or stop the car before I mowed her and her bicycle into the asphalt.
Her streaming red hair wasn’t covered by a helmet.
Pressing both feet on the brake, I screeched, trying to miss her panicked eyes as she almost fell from her seat. With a quick pivot, I swerved into the vacant lane next to me, finally coming to a stop beyond her, inches from her.
I cried all the way home.
Tell that to her grieving parents, who surely would’ve sued me anyway.
Remind my nightmares that the memory of her pooling mutilation wasn’t my fault.
Pour that on my agonized guilty conscience every minute of every hour of every day for the rest of my life for having to live while someone else didn’t.
God help me. MTM is building a bike storage shed under our downstairs piazza so that puny, lazy me can get my bike out and ride, ride, ride. Now, it is stored in his man-shed in the back yard. Between the flesh-eating mosquitoes and the piles of man-stuff, I cannot wiggle my bike through the door without scratches to my person and bad words galore.
So, Labor Day Weekend has turned into toil and travail for MTM. Not only has he re-pointed the footings with historically accurate grout and constructed a perfectionist-fantasy of level concrete to hold the walls of the bike structure, but he has also conducted an archeological excavation under our very own porch. I think I am going to crawl under there with him and start sifting through the dirt. Who knew people in Charleston used to just throw their trash under the house?
I wonder what child lost his army man to the hidden depths of dirt, what dog buried a bone, what person threw a half-eaten orange so casually, not knowing it would petrify? Who dragged river stones all the way from someplace else, only to deposit them in the dark recesses of the porch? And, the bottles he unearthed, rainbows of old glass, elixirs of promised healing through quack doctoring or moonshine, some with the names still intact, blaring down through the passage of time and the pressure of dirt. Who left the toy cement mixer to tease MTM and his cement-mixing self into thinking his hand system was inferior?
I guess this stuff is trash, or was trash to someone. Did the person who swilled Buffalo Elixir sleep in my bedroom? Maybe the army man crashed down my stairs more than once, flung by the hand of a vanished little boy who liked to follow it with the tiny cement truck. Oranges grow in my back yard; did this one originate here or elsewhere? I studied each bottle, hoping for a wadded up note, a few remnants that would make it a time capsule, anything that might yield a message from someone who came before me.
Alas, the trash is the treasure, the only clues to the people who once called this house ‘home.’ What can I leave behind to excite some future someone to wonder about me?
Let me preface this post by admitting something: I know I am being ridiculous. RIDICULOUS.
Still, I can’t stand to look at my blog statistics right now. What does this photo resemble to you?
Okay, besides WordPress.com stats?
It looks like the freaking finger to me.
I mean, I’m still pinching myself that a post I wrote last week about a celebrity (Kellie Rasberry) got over 4,000 views in one day. It is the biggest day I’ve ever had on this little blog.
Obviously. Anyone can see that by looking at the photo, where a day of 200 is about my average right now. And, right now, that looks like NOTHING, because of the finger.
As an unprofessional, hobbyist blogger, it is surreal to have something I wrote be viewed that many times. I’m grateful. Heck, I’m blown away.
Yet, obsessive harpie Andra, my alter-ego, is taunting me. No matter what I do or how I write it, I don’t know how I will ever, EVER top that day. I know. I know. I said that when a post I wrote about biking got over 400 views in one day. That was dumb and stupid.
This time, I really mean it. I guess the finger will just have to cycle through my statistics and return them to normalcy. It should only take another week…………..