Bull Creek Part IV
You need to know that one side of a creek is one place, and the other side, another. Another world, guarded by spiders crawling across dartboard webs dripping serum and jagged leaves that graze your arms like bony fingers warning you not to pass. Whenever I see these signs, I know that’s our cue to go ahead.
But thinking about rattlers, my son’s overconfidence, and my wife’s random fears drive me mad with stress when we’re on the other side. My wife is a better hiker than I am, but I never know when one of her fears, like lightning, will strike. She’ll bend down to pet a toad, but if an insect flies close by, we have to calm her down like someone that’s just escaped a burning house. Sketchy incline to climb? I can hear her talking to herself, keeping the bangs out of her eyes, staring down, and ignoring every word I say. You might tell me to take it easy, but I need to inform you, this woman has jumped out of planes. Many times.
And she’s done other things, too, I haven’t seen others do. She’s got two sides. Just like this creek. A little girly over here, but mighty on the other side.
We have this story. Once, early in our dating life, we decided to go to Mary Moore Searight Park when it was snowing. Snow covered everything. We were on the concrete loop that goes around the park. She had on her rain boots and I had on tennis shoes, brand new. Boxy, white. (What did she see in me, right?) The further we went in, the more we encountered deep puddles of melted snow. I told her we should head back. She said, casually, matter-of-factly, “Get on my back.”
I reared back. “Excuse me?”
“Get on my back. I’ll carry you over. Piggyback.”
She proceeded to carry me, 200 plus lbs of ‘man,’ over every puddle around the mile loop. Must have been ten of them.
I didn’t know whether to be embarrassed or just marry her, so I bought a ring.
Here on the other side of Bull Creek, my wife and son casually walked over a shallow part of the water in their fancy waterproof sneaks. Me? In my boxy, white tennis shoes, I stayed on the other side.
She walked back, splashing water, and said to me, “I’ll carry you over. Just get on my back.”