I went to visit my sister at work tonight and afterwards found myself walking back to my car parked on 50th Street and France Ave. The light summer air rested inside the lazy atmosphere of the evening. I could smell the Chinese food from one restaurant mix crazily with the seafood place across the street. The neon sign flashing "ice-cream" on an old painted building begged me to visit. The chatter from people passing by on the sidewalk or sitting at any random outdoor café sounded laid-back; untroubled.
The surroundings brought my mind flashing back to my untroubled days when Shawn and I would have glimpses of unhurried moments to linger and absorb the fancy-free style of a quiet neighborhood, good food, tempting desserts and breezy summer nights. It wasn’t the norm. Yet, neither is life without him. Things will never be the same. Strolling a stroller alone is not the same. As I observed life comfortably living around me, my throat tightened and I wanted to quickly retreat inside my car.
I have never been good with clichés. And I am known by those who love me most to rarely remember the exact phrase. So, this time I need to differentiate when I say, “the rock in my throat.” I purposely mean it was more than a lump. The rock in my throat prevented me from swallowing. I was stuck. My mouth went dry. Soon, I was convinced; I wouldn’t be breathing at all. I changed my focus, slipped into the ice cream shop and ducked away from the casual summer street. Avoidance does not seem to be a solution, but it did shrink the rock a bit for an immediate escape.