by Lisa Douglas

Thirteen. Blocks.

That’s what I walk every morning. That is the distance from our hotel to the conference hotel.

Thirteen blocks and blisters that have formed on my feet with whom I’m on a first-name basis with. The pavement below me is alive and I walk those thirteen blocks swiftly in sneakers despite my style of dress, happily strolling, soaking up every last piece I can, feeling the alive through my heels, happy to be home.

Home is where your family and friends are. And today, the day before, and the day before that? I was whole. Both my friends and family alike within arms reach.


Thirteen blocks I’ll gladly walk a billion times again and again for the bittersweet parting from my family for the heart-exploding reunions a few hours later, the ones where they clutch onto your neck as though they haven’t seen you in years, and all you can do is breathe them in and pretend like you haven’t, because you feel like you haven’t. Where your ovaries and heart physically ached for them whenever someone else’s little squeaked or became present.

Thirteen blocks of aching muscles, heart-pounding breath. To rescue, rejuvenation and reward.

(Many thanks to Constructive Playthings for aiding me in getting here, ultimately helping me to walk those thirteen blocks.)

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