The Puppetbike

February 5, 2008 § 1 Comment

It’s cloudy today in Chicago, silver sky, mist, fog.  It’s going to rain this afternoon and then snow like all get out tonight.  It’s becoming that horrible horrible part of winter when I simply can’t muster up the motivation to do anything. I mean, like, anything: cooking, walking, writing, working.  They’re all just a bunch of useless exercises. 

At lunch I walked down State Street to Old Navy to check in on the baby clothes clearance racks and to get a top I’ve had my eye on.

And there, at the corner of Randolph and State was The Puppetbike.  A small wooden puppet theatre, like kids used to make out of refrigerator boxes in small towns that I didn’t live in, and two puppets, an owl and a kitty that reminded me very much of Daniel Kitty on Mr. Roger’s Neighborhood, the only cat in the universe with a good quality wristwatch.  The Owl and the Kitty were dancing to some peppy music.  Although the sidewalks were busy, only one or two out of every ten people even noticed the puppet bike, but I was thrilled.  It almost brought me to tears to see it. 

Ask some millionaire banker down on LaSalle to define ‘useless’ and he would say “i don’t know, like, driving around doing free puppetshows is pretty bad’.  But to me, it was anything but frivolous.  Anything but useless or stupid or a waste of time.  For the first time in many days, maybe weeks, I was smiling without knowing it.  I was almost giggling.  It was so silly, so out of place on a busy Tuesday lunch hour, it was so…brilliantly useless.  Thank God for the puppetbike to remind me that it’s not just about getting up and going to work to pay bills to come home and go to bed to get up and go back to work.

There are so many things I will never get to do in this life.  I will probably never get to fly first class, I will never see an erupting volcano, I will never walk down the red carpet or sleep out on a boat under the stars.  But darn it, I’ve seen the Puppetbike, and that’s more than a lot of folks can say.

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