Chapter Five

I remember checking the clock, that is to say, I asked Alexa what time it was shortly after seven. Early, and knowing my only scheduled task wasn’t until three pm, I rolled back over. Last night I had closed my door and the room was near full dark. Next I stirred traces of light were fighting through the twice shaded windows. Asking Alexa again, it was almost nine thirty. Stretched and risen quickly, I went to take my pills and headed downstairs for tea.

Sometime last evening, almost in disbelieve, I ordered a package on Amazon that claimed it would be here between four and eight am. Next day, first thing in the morning as a free Amazon shipping option. Though I had numerous uncomfortable ankle stabalizing boots last year that I wore for the prescribed times and until my physicians said were no longer required. However, the only way I have found to effectively manage the pain in my ankle is to either ignore it until my ankle goes numb and swells, or to minimize and limit activity and use my cane.

On my porch as promised, was my new ankle-stabalizing mid-high walking boot. Only just slightly more bearable than my last boots to strap into, yet being twelve inches shorter there were three less straps around my calf if I recall correctly. Though awkward at first, I got used to it throughout the day and the extra weight on that side can likely only spur a bit of muscle growth. No worse for my balance than walking in my shoes or barefoot and it does completely isolate my ankle from movement, which is a great relief for it.

I had barely gotten the boot out of the box, strapped on and given it a few test laps around the house when I got a ding of a message on my phone. My friend that I had ran into a week or two ago at the neighborhood fire, reached out to see if I was available to hang out and smoke. We had already connected online after running into each other, lets see that was the 22th, two weeks ago. A few messages and a few missed timings of availablitly already past, and the online conversation had dwindled off over the last week.

Until today, not conversation at all so much a check of available to talk in person at the very moment. Affirmative, yet holding her off for ten minutes, I ran (walked in boot…) upstairs, showered and dressed. Half an hour later, before eleven, my guest arrived. Nearly thirty years since the time I first met her, and even then, I did not know her well. Yet even back then, I had a crush on her and had shared that with a mutual friend. Likely, she knew that then (as I had hoped for a response to such an ill-devised communication.)

Initial attraction aside, much more today as I had two weeks ago, I felt a strong sense of familarity and ease (and do also hope, this all is reciprocated,) in her presence, even though realistically, I do not know much about her at all. Old bare memories, only two or three times that we had met even then; seaching for faint recollections of conversations and inferrences of the crush I clearly still recalled. Enjoyable converstation for several hours ending with an opportunity to be bold in way I never would have thought of thirty years ago. Gladly, now with the selectivity I learned twenty years ago and self-control I’ve learned over the last ten years.

Mutually, we both had more obligations and parted ways shortly after one, yet in the time we each shared several stories about ourselves and I did my best to listen with all of my senses. Already knowing everything about my own opinions, I was fascinated to explore hers on several topics, asking exploratory and explanitory questions along the way. Including her recollections of the past to ensure I wasn’t missing any, I had asked. The topic had my desired affect, informing me quite clearly of the thoughts and feelings she pulled from her memories and experienced in front of me.

Perhaps, I was not bold. Perhaps, I am still calculating- yet, with different variables, more than my own. Yes, as bold as a first kiss, not that I would tell of any such thing, yet in the same way, my actions under any circumstances would have bold- perhaps most so when authentic- and glad that I was. Reciprocation is a wonderful thing, especially in a clear situation. Less questions about what happened and more questions about what will happen next. In any case, she shared a love of gardening with me, showing me many photos of her own home gardens – an abundance of beautiful flowers in neatly-edged tended beds.

Having only stories of past homes with flower beds created, I shared what I had- the vision of my front porch remake I’ve been planning. Planning, as in since I bought the house in 2016. From the far off back burner where it has resided for the last seven years, the plan has advanced in the priority list (as, it is so much fun,) to this Friday. More reflection shall be required for this… ha, novel situation while writing this novel. A new character? How do I handle that? As for this website, silence is best I think (though, I did plainly mention I had published a book, no inquiry was given to the statement.)

That wrapped up and I did have over an hour to reflect before my study group. Finding the campus library (in the WA building, for reference,) my groupmember, Tommy, found me. He and another had found a free table upstairs (the campus library has an upstairs, for reference.) Guiding me up the stairs (after refusing to walk to the other end of the building for an elevator, as he offered,) and arriving at the table, the three of us began a long converstion on plan for our presentation.

Key to this was the absense of two group members. By the end, we took the simple division of a chapter each of three, four and five. I took the ending chapter, as I will be a clear case study for it with my rTPJ damage. If nothing else, it will give a full introduction to myself, my video should “catch their attention” and give an “in person” example of change in a person’s brain. Not a mental handicap, a mental different. Most people go their whole life only have their own perspective, now I had two. And this second one, is so eye opening.

I could talk more about Tommy and Zachary. Zachary a four-year Marine Vet now in college at 23, and Tommy 18 and still living at home, a recent High School graduate. Tommy is the groupmember that had emailed me about the reading assignment, and was the one in addition to myself that had completed it.

We broke after an hour, never studing the material, rather just the plan to present. On my way home, I stopped at the Stone Depot. Relaxed, smoked, and ate dinner. Then realized it was also breakfast. Great day, yet breakfast was completely forgotten about and lunch never even crossed my mind. I’m planning on a good breakfast tomorrow, then a pair of classes starting at ten a.m. with a three hour gap inbetween them. Depending how I feel in the morning, I may bring workout clothes and hit the weight room… and/or hit the library and knock out a couple more of the government quizes, only six to go.

Yeah, I could write more (we know…) and I might have already written too much, yet I was vague, was I not?

New situations, new experiences, this is life.

Time to rest.


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