Been here once before

Yesterday's weather was "flawless," if you like that kind of thing. I'm in the midst of my annual "trying," so I went out early for a walk/run through the park and then rode a Citi Bike back up Central Park West, which is a marvelous adventure to have on a brisk and sunny spring morning. I was so proud of myself. "This shows real personal growth on your part!" I said out loud to no one at a stoplight on 78th Street. I almost took a header into a parked car when I started up again but shook it off. The starting up again gets me every time.

When I got home I showered and had breakfast and went back downstairs for the newspaper, which still hadn't arrived, but since it was so nice out I stood on the stoop for a moment and continued to feel good about how the day was shaping up. It had everything: aerobic activity + fresh air + personal growth + the future of infrastructure AND coffee. If I'd been a man wearing suspenders I would have snapped them triumphantly against my chest and whistled a jaunty tune, so pleased with the universe was I.

It was then that I glanced hopefully up the sidewalk to see if the paper boy/girl/person was in sight. He/she/they were not but I did notice an ambulance sitting quietly at the corner with its lights on. Normally I wouldn't have been able to tell what was happening so far away but my new contacts have gifted me with laser sharp ocular powers, so I could see a couple of paramedics pushing a gurney up the street, on top of which laid a body covered with a sheet, which I assume belonged to a person recently deceased. It was still early and pretty quiet out, so it was just them and me and the stupid birds and a couple of people walking their dogs. And since I'm a fully grown, fairly rational adult who has nevertheless retained a tendency to romanticize just about everything I was all ready to be sad about the loss of an adjacent human spirit or at the very least pen a quick elegy to the rhythms of life on a typical city street, but in the end I just didn't have it in me so I whispered "Peace out, man," and went back inside. Twenty minutes later the paper had arrived and the ambulance was gone.