Pine Street, Episode 50

Kassandra the barista had no idea of the drama unfolding on the sidewalk in front of Marilyn’s house. She recognized an unsettled feeling of the sort that occurred periodically. During these times, Kassandra’s friends would say things like “Mercury is in retrograde” or “there must be a full moon” or “I feel a great disturbance in the Force.” Those friends who would say that last thing were Star Wars geeks, but Kassandra loved them anyway.

That evening Kassandra went for a walk. Her apartment felt far too small and her roommates’ activities far too large. She needed to think, to process the day, to see if her unsettled feeling could be settled again. Most of all, Kassandra needed to move. Not exercise, she never called it that, but movement. Walking meditation, or some such thing, she remembered Marilyn calling it in one of her art classes. Kassandra needed to walk, think, meditate, and be on her own. She needed to be out of doors.

As she meandered with no particular destination in mind, Kassandra pondered that expression, “out of doors.” It could have several meanings: outside, of course. But also: running out of doors, as in venturing out to a big-box home improvement store only to be told “sorry, we are all out of doors today.” Or simply: no doors around at all. No distinction of standing on one side or the other of any door. Just being.

Hardly the musings of a future world-famous economist, Kassandra heard her mother’s voice in her head. Then her dad’s voice, with one of his typical back-handed compliments: don’t worry, Kassandra’s inherited intelligence will come out one of these days.

She picked up her pace, walking faster, trying to drown them both out. Turning right at the next corner, she was blindsided by a bicycle rider using the sidewalk.

Kassandra went down, hard, on the uneven concrete. The bicycle rider tumbled off, too, and there they were, the two of them, sprawled on the sidewalk in the deepening dark. Kassandra lay on her back, struggling to regain her bearings, wondering if the numbness in the back of her head would transform into pain, sooner or later.

No one at the wedding had mentioned Mercury or the Force, but sure enough, there was a full moon straight up in the blue-black evening sky.

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