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September 2017

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1. North

Waking at 5:30, just on that borderline between "much too early" and "interestingly early," I put books and vests into my backpack, and carrying in one hand a small green paper bucket of strawberries (a little aged but still edible), I went out to seek my fortune.

I peered into a couple of Little Libraries and left a few books here and there, happily disburdening myshelf. Then I walked up to H.'s to drop off the vests and the strawberries, since she leaves for work around 8.

Then, because I was in a good mood, I climbed the hill to the Secret Park, where the scattered playground equipment stands hip-deep in wild grasses.

From there, up even higher to the aquarium store. It was not open, but I like to visit the salt-water tank in the window. At first, you think you see some dark rocks and a few bright fish flickering between them. Then you realize that everything you thought was still is moving, and everything in the tank is alive. Every surface is really a living skin. Everything is twisting, very gently, in the artificial current -- leaning, opening, retreating, closing. All sorts of eyeless mouth-riddled life.

There were some new crabs, white as delicate living bones of the inner ear, and something like a crayfish with a bright stripe and shocking white antennae typing out rapid messages on the rocks.

If I'd had my notebook and provisions, I'd've set off into the world, but I didn't and I was hungry, so I went home and checked on the no-confidence vote (no result until this evening).

I knew H. wanted strawberries because we ran into each other last night at the neighborhood market; she was hoping for berries but found none, and I knew I wouldn't eat all of mine before I left to visit the fam (today or tomorrow -- tomorrow, as it rolled out).

I know that writing "I can't eat all of these strawberries" makes sense only grammatically, but I can't help it. I cannot account for myself. I will not try.

It's a fine feeling to have done so much before nine o'clock in the morning, though I never can sustain such motion over a full day.

2. East

For the day's second walk, the Walk Proper, after much map-checking and bus-aligning, I simply followed one of my usual routes, more or less due east towards the sea.

(I mean, it's the sea in all directions, obviously, though north would take you a while. It's more that the only thing of note to the east is the sea -- north is tracts of suburb and farmland and tech park (and sea), south is gardens and castles (and sea), and west is downtown-and-sea. So -- east to the sea and the white sand.)

The beach was very crowded for mid-day on a Thursday, but then normal people are probably on vacation. I bought a cherry popsicle, which broke as I walked, thereby requiring some nearly obscene acts of consumption.

Then I lay down under a tree and dozed to podcasts of clever conversations until the shade moved, and the sun, clapping me full on the face, ordered me to rise and walk again.

To the library to return a shamefully unread volume of poetry, and then home. I washed all the dishes and put away all the clothes, so the house won't run wild in my absence.

I've spent a number of the sunnier days over the last few weeks inside, working -- and perfectly all right with that -- feeling even a bit mole-ish, a bit dim-underwater-denizen-ish, a bit relieved to have a reason not to go out -- but I had full use of the sun today.

3. South

This is only an errand -- to get a bus pass for me and bus tickets for LB, but the day is so fine that every errand risks translation into some almost ethereal, light-soaked realm -- you might, at any moment, suddenly and helplessly transubstantiate into your radiant plasmatic true form.

It's pretty out, is what I'm saying.

I ought to have a fourth walk west to round out the compass, but I may simply end up returning to center.


ETA: Oh, also it is moving season, and the curbs are piled with treasure. I found four brown IKEA bowls and three semi-matching IKEA plates on the way to H's. This is a great boon from the universe, as I would very much like to have simpler dishes, but I have no funds to replace my existing set, which I bought while in a post-divorce fugue.


4. West

And then LB roused S. and I to drive West, towards the sunset (and the cruise ships) for a last night walk, so in the end the compass is complete.
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