Today’s ride took me over to Johns Hopkins east hospital campus, as per usual. Today is the start of my second week of radiation treatment, and I got up plenty early to ride my bicycle for that 8:15am appointment. The promise of 70 degrees and sunny made me almost too excited to sleep.
The appointment was a quick in-and-out, leaving me the rest of the day to ride my bike around. I walked it through Hopkins and then through Dunbar High School, pausing to greet the ducks washing themselves in a puddle in the faculty parking lot. Oh, Baltimore. I crossed Central Avenue to get my helmet on and head south. I snapped this picture through the fence at this empty field. Johns Hopkins has been doing a number on East Baltimore for a long, long time, and this field is part of the next phase. At a panel at UMBC last week academics and organizers talked about the need to preserve the history of these neighborhoods before they are cemented over with another. It all happens so fast, but also so, so slowly.
I biked down to Harbor East, drank some coffee and ate a baked good delicious enough to almost make me forget I was sitting on top of a toxic waste dump. Barely a mile from Middle East, and it was like I was in an entirely different city. And then I walked my bike east, talking to my brother on the phone, before getting back on my bike to head to Canto to eat lunch and buy a bra without a wire because I’ve got maybe another week before the underwire bra is against medical advice. I rode back slowly, up through Highlandtown and weaving north and west, north and west, back through Middle East and to home. I remember days like this. I though I wouldn’t get them anymore. Just five months later, here I am. Cue tears.