Pine Street Episode 208: Recalibration

Franny closes her apartment door behind her, narrows the opening in her windows as the notorious valley winds rise yet again.

I’m a horrible, petty person, she thinks, letting the wind bother me so much. So many worse things going on. 

Is the wind a metaphor, a reminder of the serenity prayer? Let me change what I can, accept what I cannot change, and have the wisdom to know the difference. “Or something like that,” she mutters to no one. It’s as likely that I can change the wind as anything else these days. Ridiculous, trying to change it all. It’s acceptance time, I suppose.

The urge to lock the door of her heart against the world outside tempts her to take stock of her supplies, build her reserves, hide, ride it out.

I could do this by myself. I’m one of the lucky ones. I could fill my pantry with food and my closet with toilet paper. I could lock the door, watch the world go by from my safe place. I could live on internet movies and books. After all, I’m not that important. It’s all happening out there, whether or not I participate. 

Franny sighs, deflating her lungs, a sensation that is strangely satisfying, oddly comforting, a reminder that her breath is still with her, and momentarily at least, a thing she can control.

The wind will come and go no matter what I do.

But that small sprout of hope will not go away. It tickles her solar plexus, and makes her thumbs itch.

She heats up a mug of coffee, wraps her hands around its warmth. She thinks of the coffee shop across the street, its resolute cheerfulness, the handmade signs of encouragement that decorate its windows. “Stay strong, stay safe, we got this.” 

Do we? Franny wonders. I certainly hope we do.

Hope. That word. That stupid, powerful, dreadful, amazing word. It refuses to fade away.

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