At eight, like any other eight-year old, I was fascinated
by tall swings. I’d found a new playground
, one with the tallest set of swings I’d ever seen. So I sat down in the curved leather seat, gripped the chains and tested the balance
of the metal legs. As I gained height
, the playground recede
d, came close, receded again, and I felt as though I could see in all directions. I bent into and back from the weight of my body, the swing, the chains. What had previously seemed to be a very tall hedge bordering the playground (that I could not see over while on foot), became a mere detail
in my seeing. With each pass of the swing, I gained height over the hedge.
From the vantage point of the upswing, the hedge seemed so usual in contrast to the four-lane highway beyond it with so many fast-moving cars. They looked like toys to me.
And then I saw him. On the rise of the swing, I spotted a very old man, walking very slowly along the sidewalk. On the next rise of the swing, I saw him turn and look into the road. On the next pass, I saw him step out. And on the next pass I saw him hit by the car.
On the next pass, he lay in the road, twisted and still.
I knew he was dead.
I let the swing slow and finally stop. Then I walked home… but home was never the same after that.