I found this pure moment of bliss yesterday down by the river.
The world just stopped.
All the shouting and the anger just collapsed into something serene. It’s moments like that I live for. They make me think I’m gonna be okay as long as I can read and write. The river had a gentle whispering sound to it.
It was June — yet there was a gentle breeze. A cool, gentle breeze.
I found a used bookstore not too far away. That was both serendipitous and hopeful. It reminded me that sometimes the world isn’t opposed to my way of being.
There was a sadness to yesterday, though. A knowledge that it couldn’t last. The sun went lower and lower until it was gone.
I’m older now…and soon, older and older. Life is so short. Life can be awfully bitter. Not down by the river, but other places.
The Dalai Lama’s face had been spray painted onto the sides of the walkway that took me down to the river.
I was wearing shorts and a blue jumper. How would I have looked to a Japanese man walking around the neighborhood? I would have looked out of place. A little cold. A little hairy. My glasses would have seemed ill-fit for my head. I would have been reading a book quietly.
I calm, pleasant, foreign stranger. A friend in waiting. Alive and smiling.
Down by the river.
**You can read more short stories and essays absolutely free from “Pure Writerly Moments” here: