Monday, February 02, 2009

Waiting for Spring Thaw

In honor of Groundhog Day, for you, a story:

Twenty years ago this month...
My friend Whoopie and I went for a walk.
It was a brisk night, no special occasion except that we were young and free and dreamers.

We walked for hours. Up and down every street in town, laughing and singing and sharing.

At one point during our walk, we found ourselves on a bridge that crossed a small river. One of us had pennies and wondered aloud if we could make wishes by tossing them over the rail into the water.

I don't remember what Whoopie wished for with her penny, but I knew what I wanted...

In the last two years since graduating college, I had been a waitress, a brewery tour guide, and a bartender, and I had just been demoted at the radio station where I'd had a lousy dead-end job anyway. I was going nowhere. Strike that: I was going backwards.

My only real light of hope was shining in Wisconsin where a former co-worker had landed a job at a stable radio station that was on the verge of hiring a new night-time DJ as soon as money could be budgeted. He put me in touch with the program director who did everything but promise me the job was mine as soon as he had the okay to move ahead. But so far, nothing. Just waiting.

"I wish that job in Wisconsin would open up," I muttered outloud into the cool, quiet night.
And I chucked the penny over the railing into the dark.

Whoopie and I waited for the splash.

There wasn't one.

"Did you hear a clink instead of a splash?"

We both leaned over the edge.
Right below us, the river was frozen.
My penny had landed on the ice.

"Would you look at that?" I said. "Now I'm gonna have to wait for Spring Thaw for that stupid job!"

Whoopie offered to climb down the bank and jump on the ice to knock the penny in.
But I told her that wouldn't be necessary... or smart.

So. We left it.


It was mid-April when a different position opened at that Wisconsin radio station. I had a formal interview and was moved into an apartment by the end of the month...

Right about when the last of the ice had slipped away.


Thumper said...

I have a hard time conceptualizing anyone WANTING to go to WI...Well, my best friend is there so I'd wanna go see her, but to STAY? Through WINTER? It's COLD there! Snow is EVIL! Did you survive?


Truly, that is a way cool story.

Richmond said...

Way cool story indeed! :)

Bob said...

And then a Hobbit found your penny in the bottom of the stream and the pennywraiths came riding in on black horses ... right?

Mrs. Who said...

Wow...that's like a Chicken Soup for the Soul, er radio dj story.

Really neat story.

Roses said...

Thumper: Eh, I moved here from Michigan. Same weather, different zip code.

Richmond: Isn't that how you got here from Florida?

Bob: You keep those giant spiders away from Richmond, or I'll have to hurt you... after she does.

Mrs. Who: I'm glad you enjoyed it. Thank you.

Anonymous said...

Why did that story make me all.... teary? *sniff*

Roses said...

Anonymous: Well, if you're really Darin, it's because you miss me. :)