Here we are today {Just One Paragraph 8/30} / by Christina Rosalie




He could have been Bean, ten years taller, driving fast after midnight for whatever reason. The police can't say. The autopsy hasn't yet been done. Driving fast, across the meridian, into a metal culvert lurking at the side of the road, the way so many do these days after the flash flooding and weeks of rain: waiting for road crews to excavate ground and lower their silver-ribbed bellies into place, making way, with wide mouths for unexpected storms. His van catapulted, cartwheeled, caterwauled. Hit a telephone pole. Dead on impact. He was just 17, a new high school graduate, the papers say, and though I didn't know him, I've likely seen him around. He could have been the tow-headed kid riding a four wheeler across the fields belonging to his family's dairy farm at the end of the road. He could have been the boy with freckles standing in line with his girlfriend tonight at the grocery store, buying soda and candy, staring with the bored look of every boy in the checkout line. He could have been any boy. Every boy. This one on his way to Marines for basic training to go wherever such brave, foolhardy boys go, toting guns, their lives and the lives of others in their hands. We drove by on our way to donuts yesterday, saw the kids crowded around the newly replaced telephone pole writing love notes in sharpies, sticking flowers at the base, even as the old one, split in half with the impact, being carried off on a tow-truck past fields of blooming Queen Anne's Lace and Black Eyed Susans and also poison parsnip, that looks, to the untrained eye to be a lovely golden firework of blossoms. We never know, do we? We can never anticipate the danger, the wisdom, the wide terrain of possibility that makes the topography of our lives. T winced driving past and reached out. I grabbed his hand. We looked back in the rearview, the boys laughing, anticipating donuts. Sweetness. Today, there are cars gathered at the farm at the end of the road. Too many to be dinner guests. There is a lump in my throat as we ride by, that swells, even I feel my body lithe and balancing on my light bike, my life impossibly beautiful and real, pulse measured, cadence marked. Here we are today. Here you are.

  {Go love the people you love.}