Charles Bukowski ran through my mind, the lyricism providing cadence for my steps. I'm not ashamed to say I cried a little as I held fast to the skipping stone while walking, the talisman and its origin bringing only small comfort to an uncomfortable exercise and reality. I thought about looking out on Table Rock Lake. That helped a little more. I plucked a bobby pin from my pocket and smiled. A little better still.
Five miles. No cane. I'll do it again three times this week. By week's end I will force the limp into submission.
I'll need more bobby pins.
Now it is Monday and a different task is at hand. After an enlightening weekend and a glimmer of unexpected nighttime sunshine, it's time to slip on the work mask and become aloof, a stranger again. Only a few weeks ago that would have seemed an impossible feat. But I can do this. I can play this role. Glen Hansard was right: games that never amount / To more than they're meant / Will play themselves out.
In the meantime, I will walk. I will wear a mask. I will prepare for the challenges ahead. No one ever said life would be simple, or free of pain. But I am resolved to live it. I have to know what comes next.