expressway to my heart

01/16/2023 1 By BuddyCushman

I woke yesterday with this strange mark on my left forearm. Significant in size, it immediately made me think of the silhouette of a sitting cat. A few moments later I saw the silhouette of a sitting rat. Cats, rats…silhouettes and mysteries. I didn’t and don’t remember banging my arm in a way to cause such a large, picture-like mark. Ann said a dragon had swooped in during the middle of the night and bit me. Cats, rats, dragons – her explanation was more poetic, more cool. Filled with magic.

Earlier this morning, on my travel from there to here, I had the fortune to spend part of that drive on the MLK Jr. Expressway. The 94. I felt real lucky to spend just a little time on his highway. Even earlier this morning I read a piece about heroes, the ones coming in all shapes, colors, sizes, persuasions, and devotions, and I had a wonder: What if everyone on the planet woke today and discovered their heart was filled with the need, the urge to be a hero. What would that look like? The mountaintop? The whole shebang?

Knowing me, it wasn’t a surprise I landed with David Bowie – “We can be heroes, just for one day.” Pretty much the only day we can be a hero in. I wonder if this mark on my left forearm is some kind of a message from a dragon? Go be a hero, kid. You got it in you.

Once I hit ‘Publish’, and this post flies off into the world, I’m going back out into the gray rainy-ness and walk next store to the Starbucks and say “hi” to my barista friend Daniel. And maybe the kid Jaylen, if he’s working, for whom I have scribbled a couple of writing prompts on a scrap of paper, along with my phone number, so we can do a writing thing together, in different places. It’s something he asked for. I’m not going to buy a coffee because I’ve become enamored with one of their roasts that are not available in a paper cup, which I’ll brew from the pound bag here soon enough. I’m just going to check in. Say hi. Hopefully say, without using words, “You matter to me. I’m grateful for you.” Will that make me a hero?

You might want to ask a dragon.