I became acutely aware of the heavy rhythm of my breathing syncopated with the pulsing in my neck as my face gently broke through filament after filament of the fine filigree of first webs. I spun my pedals at a high cadence right on my limit, working my weight back and forth on the saddle to balance rear wheel traction against front wheel steering. I thought of the fine delicate strands of life under my hands and the laboured breathing of a man I’d worked to resuscitate late last night. A more desperate rhythm, balancing on the threshold of life and death. He would have felt his pulse throbbing in his neck too. Getting weaker all the time. His breathing getting faster and faster as his energy left him. As his life left him. I spoke with his family. I touched him and said goodbye. I completed the paperwork. I walked to my car and I drove home.
I drank a beer. I microwaved the dinner left out for me by my wife. I slipped under the bedclothes quietly so as not to wake her. I lay listening to the soft breath sounds of her vibrant life and felt her warmth. I took a while to drift off to restless sleep. I woke today, kissed her and my two boys and said “see you later.” I made a coffee and now I am riding my bike back to the Emergency Department the long way, through fine filaments of webs tickling my face on technical singletracks across beautiful Mount Wellington’s flanks in a dawn commute and feeling glad to be alive.