This is Summer: Season Three {#8}

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Late night when Mom’s out,
Sleep strike camp out on the couch,
Reading til midnight.

~Natalia

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This is Summer: Season Three {#7}

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Pick Dad up at work,
Sitting in the pouring rain,
Party car all mine.

~Natalia

Shortest Ever Bullet Point Post

• Often I return to previous posts to remember what I’ve said, what I’ve done, what I’ve written, and what I’ve learned. Sometimes, I find a minor spelling or grammatical error, which I usually fix. Just now, I opened last night’s post and was surprised by its coherence and wide grasp of vocabulary and writing conventions; the rare posts that I’ve written while bobbing in and out of sleep are often surprising in that way.

• One of my favorite parts of the friendship between Mary and I is the ever-growing message thread that we share on Spotify. Sometimes songs with a brief typed message (love this, have you heard this? MAR.) but often it’s simply a song found, heard, enjoyed, and sent. Our friendship has grown through these Spotify song recommendations, whether they’re sent while sitting side by side in a downtown dorm room, or from miles away.

• 12:25, be it AM or PM, is hands down my favorite time. BECAUSE IT IS CHRISTMAS. I celebrate Christmas every day, thanks to the multiple digital clocks in my home, and sometimes even twice a day, when I happen to be especially time conscious. I recently sent a snapchat of a rather exuberant selfie with the time (12:25am) superimposed over my face and a caption reading, “Merry Christmas!” Perfecting the timing of the snap was an imperfect system of obsessively checking the time, clicking my phone on and off every twenty seconds, and then typing like the wind when it finally was 12:25, so as not to miss my twice-daily opportunity at festivity.

• Six minutes after sending the snap, my cousin David responded with a picture of his own. Living on the West Coast (I’m jealous. Very jealous.) for the summer, his clock is two hours behind mine, and the digital numbers over his grinning face read 10:31, the words beneath the time wishing me a Happy Halloween.

• I began (re)reading The Elegance of the Hedgehog this afternoon. It’s the first on my summer reading list, which is composed of both voluntary and compulsory reading. I might write more about the book here, or I might not. Or you could read the book and write your thoughts here, too.

• I’ve been listening to Spotify’s Top Songs playlist in the past several minutes that I’ve been writing and I am rather unsettled by the changes the Top List has been undergone since my last extended listening period. I hardly have a chance at remaining on the cutting edge of media developments when the Top Songs change at such a fast rate.

• But All of Me and Happy remain high on the list, and that is all I need to be happy, so I leave it at that.

~Natalia

Walking on Memorial Day

It’s hot; muggy heat hovering between the tall prairie grass all around us and the scattered grey clouds above us. This is not sun heat. There are bright rays of sunshine beating orange warmth on our shoulders, none of the trees, the grass around us glow green in the iridescent light of the sun. This heat is wet and sticky, the humid air seeming to be a lighter version of the near-saturated clouds gathering in the darkening sky above. Weather like this brings rain.

But it’s not raining yet, and we’re only just begun our walk. Parked in the half-circle lot at the base of the slight rise in the land, we’ve left the car in the shade of the thick foliage, as if leaves and vines could protect our black leather seats from the heat of the very air.

There’s a sign at the top of the miniature hill, ONE WAY carved neatly into the painted brown wood, with an arrow pointing to our left. Above the arrow, there are mile distances: 2.5 to here, 3.7 from there. We pause at the junction of concrete with concrete, six people there huddled randomly around the baby’s stroller, and we study the sign. The sign with its miles and announcements and left-pointing arrows. We study it all, and we turn right.

The flow of traffic is mostly for the bikers, the runners, we tell ourselves as we step up to the right, following the faded asphalt as it winds upwards, under a pale green tunnel of leaves. There is grass on either side of the bath. Next to me, the 9-year-old walks purposefully, her dark eyes wandering vaguely across the road, the trees, the ground she’s stepping upon. The grass along the path catches her attention and she exclaims over its height, throwing her hips to the side and waving her hand, palm parallel to the ground, between the grass and her body. The grass is so long! It comes up to here on me!

We continue walking the wrong way along the path under the green leaves and between the two seas of fresh, tall grass. A bicyclist passes us, going the other way. He’s wearing a helmet, sneakers, and long black leggings under his athletic shorts. The hood of his sweatshirt flaps faintly in the wind he’s created with his sheer speed. We move to the right when we see him coming. Move in the halting, uneven way that six people and a toddler in a stroller move anywhere. After he’s passed, we turn even so slightly, watch him disappear around the corner. We marvel at his attire, and the heart tolerance he must have been blessed with.

Bursting slowly from under the trees, we follow the curve of the path past the park’s office, towards the small lake, represented by a cheery blue blob on the park map posted in the shady parking lot. Bobbing up and down on the anchored dock, we stand on dried goose poop, look out at the murky water. Arms crossed, leaning forward in curiosity, coupled with vague disgust, we study the thick algae that’s covered the lake’s surface in soggy patches. The 7-year-old leans forward to touch a lilypad, surprised when it doesn’t float away at her gentle push. They’re anchored, I remind her. She nods, wiping her narrow fingers on her shorts.

But the lake is still, its shores uneventful, and we step off the wobbling deck, push the now-sleeping toddler to the path once more, this time joining the way of those who heed informational signs. We walk slowly. The bike passes us again and we remark on his speed, his distance. The girls wander across the path, scanning the foliage on each side for a walking stick to support them in the oppressive heat. And in the stroller, bare baby feet tossed dangling below her, the baby sleeps, the curls on her dark head becoming more pronounced with every hour in the wet, heavy air.

~Natalia

This is Summer: Season Three {#6}

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Sunday afternoon,
Hopping, scrambling on the rocks,
Beside this blue joy.

~Natalia

This is Summer: Season Three {#5}

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Saturday morning
Walk to the downtown; neighbors
On their way back home.

~Natalia

This is Summer: Season Three {#4}

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Walk from train to class,
Look UP to summer city;
Hancock and green trees.

~Natalia

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