an old couple walks a cute wishbone-y puppy across the street towards us. the puppy poops, the mama curbs, and the three of them immediately return to the other side of the street. this intrigues me. the crossing was purposeful; the puppy hardly got to walk at all; i wanted a closer look at the cute puppy.

papa walks the puppy to one side of the entrance to the dry cleaner’s store, steps on a bit of leash to shorten puppy’s reach, then stands there. the two of them wait, gently lit by light streaming through the windows. mama tarries at the street corner for a little while, then joins them in the waiting. there are now two people and one puppy standing in front of the store. waiting for nothing in particular.

by the time i look up again the windows are dark; the doors locked for the night. the owner is outside; chatting with the old couple; petting the puppy.

i feel i’ve spent my entire adult life waiting… i’m not sure what for. the perfect moment; metamorphosis; clarity. perfection. i’m too old for “when i grow up” thoughts.

life is understood in great swaths but lived in moments; strings of minute endeavors.

it’s difficult to wash the dishes, weed the garden, to work while so overwhelmingly aware of the emptiness, meanness, gloriousness, bigness of life; or is that of humanity. one could shut ones eyes and live a happy life; or risk glances into the precipice in exchange for a meaningful one. a meaningful life isn’t planned; it’s constructed from the pieces in front of you.

kitten has a wooly pompom he carries in his mouth, while walking about, yeowling in loneliness. then he sees me (or his papa) and promptly abandons the ball to hurry over for a snuggle. the other day, i hear M walking up the stairs towards me, making cat noises along the way. i look up as he appears in the doorway, wooly pompom in hand, held aloft near his mouth then dropped to the floor.

Michel Gondry’s “Mood Indigo/L’Ecume des Jours.” we occupy a mere slice of the infinite ways to eat, drink, dress, make, grow, love. putting away silliness is often the darkening of a region in the heart. pianos can make drinks if we wish. music can make the room feel spherical; dancing can make you feel tall. anything that makes one’s heart grow is worthwhile.

we go out for dinner in a group on Monday. as we sit down, someone at the table announces Robin Williams has died. “Robin Williams?” i ask in shock. that Robin Williams? the Robin Williams? a conversation is carried to confirm the news pinged by an iphone. M stays characteristically quiet throughout.

at the end of the meal, M announces we need to stop at a party shop. when asked for a reason, he makes a flimsy excuse. much later, i realize he had been thinking of Williams during the meal; he had been thinking of ways to remember this funny, dear, alien man; he wanted to stop at the party shop for rainbow suspenders.

at a local Dairy Queen:

  1. an 8 or 9 year old girl lights up at the sight of her school librarian–a wondrous meeting out of context. summer vacation and an ice cream shop. she wants to know about how the library is. she wants to know if the books are ready. the librarian bids her farewell with “enjoy the last week of summer!”
  2. an old woman, 65 perhaps, approaches the counter to retrieve her order (hot dog and a small banana split), then slowly makes her way out of the shop. some patience or quietness in her movements says this is a sort of ritual. i wonder how long she has been coming here for hot dogs and ice cream.
  3. a 5-year-old nursing a sundae examines her own lap. “my dress is stained!” she announces to her father, her sister, the entire patio.