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Breathing the right air

Nothing brings more comfort than a bag of good things to cook, swinging under your arm as you make your way home. Somehow it blots out the rest of the world. In these moments, the entire universe consists of a late afternoon sun, a stray dog and a clump of flowers growing strange and wild in a yard. A hit of basil jumps from my elbows with each swing of the bag, a gift from one of the ladies I buy from the most. I visit markets without intention, just eyes open ready to discover fresh peas, or the first corn. Knowing that these products will disappear as quickly as they present themselves creates a certain form of excitement. Each season offers up this rhythm and without it I might become completely lost.

I think of when we were in Tuscany a month ago, feeling like such a tourist until I wandered out along the highway and found the local vegetable stand. I shoved squash blossoms and tiny tomatoes into a bag, rushing back to our room like I had robbed a bank. I made pasta with them th…

in-between (there is no name)


The streetlights blink off, and we cross the road in darkness. Our breath hangs in the air. There is a tent of trees going yellow and brown, a wet path, a certain silence reserved for making our way in a dark like this. 

This is the moment, when dawn has not come and the night is surrendering. We are in-between. 

Our steps make soft noises as we weave around the biggest puddles. Old women suck on cigarettes. Young men stick their chins in the air, putting their hands in the pockets of thin coats. A dog pulls hard on its leash. E looks up at me, her face glowing in the dark air. She knows I must go away soon, for some days. This is the last morning we will walk to school together for a little while. 



Later she will jump on the bed and sing some Ramones at the top of her lungs. She will cry for a while in my arms. We will pack a bag with her toothbrush, a comb, her school clothes. I will tuck a fresh empty journal in them, with a message from me on the front page. 

She will ask me later what it says, as no one can read my handwriting. I told her to write it all down, everything she feels when I am away. I tell her it will make her feel better. I promise this. 

"Just like your Monday stories?" She asks me.
"Exactly." I say.

On the plane, I keep thinking of that moment when the streetlights go off, that in-between feeling. Not here, and not there. Not night, not dawn. It has no name.


Comments

Mely said…
Have a safe trip.

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