Writing a column is difficult, but not as hard as performing in a triathlon — which my 200-pound nephew, Beauxregard, from Brooklyn, did last month.
He borrowed a car, bolted on a bike rack and drove up here with his girlfriend and my son Beezly for a weekend visit and the aforementioned test of endurance.
They pulled in at 3 a.m. to surprise us, which backfired because all the doors were locked and we were asleep. Good thing they brought Beezly to shimmy in the doggie door. Beaux said he could’ve squeezed through but I suggested it would’ve been easier to get a camel through the eye of a needle or to write one of my columns.
If you go looking, not much farther than your own nose, difficulties are easy to come by. Most people avoid them every chance they get. This is referred to as common sense, something which evidently I lack because I insist on producing a column every week.
Sometimes, however, difficulties present themselves as mandatory toll booths along the way. Some allow time for head scratching to discover the common sense approach to take, but some require in instantaneous response and course of action.
I once had a dream that I was holding my sons’ hands while walking to the subway. Jackson was a little boy, Beezly was even smaller, and we had just climbed the stairs to the elevated platform in Queens. Suddenly, everything shook and a hole the size of a Pontiac appeared beneath our feet. I knew that I could step back to safety but my boys could not.
I remember the overwhelming difficulty of immediately having to decide which one to save — but because I reacted so quickly by throwing Beezly to one side, I had time and strength enough to throw Jackson the other way. To this day, I recall how proud I was of my split decision, even though I left myself to fall through the hole and into the ongoing traffic below us.