Three Women

Her cart was in the middle of the aisle. Her boyfriend said ‘hi’ to me. I mumbled a reply, not even words, really. That cart was in my way. She stared at me. I navigated my cart between hers and the shelves. She did not move.

///

She was wiping down the gas pumps while I pumped gas. I said ‘hi’ just as squatted down to continue her work. She looked up, smiled, and asked how I was. An honest smile. I returned her smile with my own and wished I said hello while she was standing.

///

I had the expectation that she might not be friendly. She had disappeared when I entered the store. She was friendly. My hair was messy. Hers was not. We talked about wildflowers, clothing, Ocean City, Maryland, and paying the rent. She asked if the shopping was good in New Jersey. I said no. We both wished we had longer torsos.

At night

At night, when we settle down to sleep, my son is not ready to sleep. Sometimes, I ask him a question, to focus his mind, and help his body let go of the day.

“What kind of farm animal would you chose to have?” I ask.

“A jaguar,” he replies.

I laugh and think of how I’d prefer a jaguar to a hog or a chicken or a horse.

“He could be best friends with Mountain*,” he adds. “And, protect him.”

*Our cat.

Dryer, Broken and in the Basement

Dryer, Broken and in the Basement

9:06 p.m. We’re on our way back from the grocery store. As we drive down the rainy road, I notice a mother in a window illuminated by florescent light. She loads her dryer. Her hair is tousled. She our neighbor down the way. Don’t really know them too well.

A partly dried lump of laundry waits in my dryer. When I arrive at home, I will run downstairs and turn the dryer back on. I will haul the groceries in on multiple trips through the never-ending mist and rain.

Read More