Laramie Mere

SLICE #9

Nulla dies sine linea (No day without a line)

Well, I now have racked up 2 days without a line…ugh. Life got in the way, but all is not lost–here is #9.

Mere: A lake that is broad in relation to its depth.

Piled snow banks line Laramie Avenue. It has been weeks without a day over thirty degrees and I don’t remember what the warm sun feels like on my skin. But Friday was different, we reached forty! The sun finally broke free wringing out the tight clumps of snow. Gray, murky water trickled out forming mini lakes on the sidewalk.

I left work early to meet my husband at his downtown office. Since it was such a beautiful day I decided to walk the eleven blocks to the L-train. Looking down I realized that I did not make the right shoe choice–caramel suede boots. Cute–but totally wrong. I spent the first half of my walk side-stepping, jumping over, and tiptoeing through the puddles. I wasn’t even enjoying the warmth of the sun anymore because I was too busy avoiding the meres of Laramie.

One puddle was just too wide and I had to take to the street. Since it was early afternoon the street was empty. Pausing for a moment I thought I heard something like a whimper. I looked around and saw no one. Head down I continued walking. Then I heard something for sure. I scanned the street. There lying on a snow bank was an elderly woman.

“Please lady, help me,” she pleaded. For a split second I turned to walk away. I’m not sure why. Did I not believe what I saw? Did I think it was a joke? Did I not have time to help?
“Are you okay?” I yelled from across the street.
“Please, help me.”
I ran across the street asking her again, “Are you okay?”
“Ice, ice under water,” she said in a heavy accent. “Speak Polish, lady?”
“Are you okay?” I said yet again. Why I kept repeating this I have no clue. “Let me pull you up.” I tugged and tugged but she kept slipping back onto the snow bank. She was so frail I was afraid to keep pulling her arm. “Can you hold me and pull yourself up?” I thought that would be better for her. No luck.

A van passed and slowed down. A young guy wearing a navy blue hoodie jumped out and grabbed the woman by the arm and lifted her up in one swoop. She was on her feet. Without one word the young man jumped back in his van and drove away.

“Tank you, tank you.” she said and sweetly kissed my hand. “I go Belmont now.” She pointed in my opposite direction.
“Don’t thank me, who was that blue hooded guy anyway? Are you going to be okay?”
“Tak, Tak.” Nodding her head she walked away.

Looking down, I was standing ankle deep in gray slush. Ha! Oh well. Crossing back over Laramie, sun warming my face, I walked with my head up all the way to the train station.

4 thoughts on “Laramie Mere

  1. This is beautiful. An excursion that started out focusing on protecting the boots and then turns into a moment to teach us about the importance of the human soul. Your description of the sun breaking free in your first paragraph is a perfect observation described in an unusual way that grabs my attention. I hope you don’t mind that I wrote it down. Beautiful word choice.

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