I sat outside on my deck in the sunshine a few days ago, when April was behaving a little better than right now, reading the New Yorker while freezing my ass off but stubbornly clinging to the notion that being outside was better than being inside. My all-weather fake-o wicker loveseat emerged from the winter like a Hollywood actress emerging from rehab: a little shell-shocked, but ready to get back to meeting its public. It has cushions, which live in the kitchen on the inside-side of the sliding doors when not in full use. Full use means that either me, or a cat, or both, is hanging out. Me, draping my legs over the left-hand arm rest, cat under my knees until he decides this is total bullshit and huffs off to hang out on the deck underneath the chair to wait for me to relinquish my spot.
Between sitting and reading, I looked up at the sky. And when I looked up, I saw a plane flying overhead. A jet of some sort, making its way from east to west. I realized I had not seen nor heard a plane since forever ago. At the risk of sounding cliché, it reminded me of the days after 9/11 when the airspace was just coming back online. But this is not the kind of disaster that has an expiry date, more like the kind where you glimpse glimmers of normality out of the corner of your eye, which disappear once you try to look at them head on.
I walked out to Longo’s to buy flowers today, through the parking lot of the former Freshco, currently being refurbished to be a Farm Boy, then over the chain-link fence that’s a little harder to breech now that the high school kids are on hiatus, then across the vast expanse of parking lot that’s ringed by the Cineplex, Swiss Chalet, Keg, and various other suburban stalwarts, including the Best Buy, where there were about six people lined up to collect their essential click-and-collectables.
The road behind the Cineplex that leads to the big box mall that houses Longo’s, Lowe’s, and LA Fitness (only stores that start with “L” allowed) backs on to a fenced open space. I never noticed there’s a gate in the fence. I discovered this today because there were three shopping carts parked just outside the gate, one each from Costco, No Name, and Walmart. I have no explanation for this, especially since it’s a good fifteen-minute walk to any of these stores. The gate was open and I went down a short gravel path that turns out to lead to a pond, where a swan and a goose were gliding along. Ignoring each other. No evidence of groceries.
I picked up my tulips and a few random things. Still no flour or yeast, but lots of bread to buy. I did not buy bread. I made my way home, retracing my steps across the parking lots, dodging a few cars that were startled to see a pedestrian. A pedestrian still wearing the workout wear she put on this morning, which has not yet participated in a workout. There’s always tomorrow.