May 9, 2006

There was a spider in my bathroom when I went to take a shower, I meant to sweep it from the ceiling but forgot, and the next time I looked it was gone. That’s okay, spider. You keep your distance, I’ll keep mine.

Contractors came to our house and started hammering, the sound echoed down the hall and JB said I can’t believe Riley is still asleep and I said I can’t believe it either and we ate breakfast and I read the comics pages and finally walked down to listen outside Riley’s door and I heard a quiet steady rattle as he turned a toy over and over and the hushed vowelly sounds of his contented babble and I opened the door and dramatically stepped in and I said Well HELLO and he turned his bright face towards me and smiled with his entire body.

Who’s a wriggly, I asked him. You’re a wriggly. You are. Yes.

It was sunny and cool and the shaded cement floor chilled my bare feet when I stepped into the carport to take out the trash. A pair of starlings chattered at me from the overhead power line, a truck ground and grumbled nearby, my son pressed a button on a toy from inside the house and through the open door I could hear the furrow of concentration in his brow. Ba, he said. Da.

His father bundled him into the truck with the bag of bottles and jars of food and I said have a good day, JB said you too and we kissed and I said bye Riley, bye. The house was strange and echoey in their wake, washcloths and toys and bibs strewn as if from a great height, but I could take my time now and so I did, stood in front of the mirror and bared my teeth in a sharky grin and looked at my face, the tiny radiating creases around my eyes and mouth, the bacon-spatter of freckles, and it was familiar and okay – let’s shake hands, face – and I slid on some lipstick in a shade called plumsicle and carefully blotted with a piece of tissue and left a plum-colored artifact of myself behind, crumpled.

I drove down a street in my neighborhood flanked by wetlands and the car in front of me screeched to a stop, the car next to that one braked and did a fast jog around something in the road and I slowed in time to see a mother duck waddling busily across the pavement, and bumbling behind her were at least seven baby ducklings, yellow-speckled and tufty with new feathers and moving in a disorganized line that compressed and expanded as they hurried to keep up, stepping on the backs of each other’s feet and holding their tiny wings out as if for balance.

I crossed the 520 bridge and the sky looked like a production cell lifted from The Simpsons; oblong white clouds formed entirely of Bezier curves, pressed flat against a Prussian blue backdrop.

I was playing Liz Phair and it was early and my voice was scratchy from too many cups of coffee and I sang the lyrics (watching the lake turn the sky into blue-green smoke) in perfect pitch, low and level, and I stopped at a red light and for a second I turned my head slightly so the person in the next lane wouldn’t see my mouth moving, but then I noticed she was singing, too. I thought, what if she is listening to the exact same music, queued to the exact same moment, her mouth forming the exact same phrase as I am (in 27-D, I was behind the wing), wouldn’t that be something. And the light turned and we all drove forward.

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Teri M.
16 years ago

Thank you for my zen moment of the day.

Meg
Meg
16 years ago

That’s brilliant.

suzanna danna
16 years ago

i loved this post…. so visual

Lori
Lori
16 years ago

I wish I could write like you can. :-)

warcrygirl
16 years ago

Beautiful.

divinemissk
16 years ago

lovely

thanks-

Heather
Heather
16 years ago

That was lovely. And Stratford-on-Guy is one of my favorite songs ever.

Leah
16 years ago

You = talented. Thanks for sharing it with us.

Caitlin
Caitlin
16 years ago

Thank you. I just finished “The Elephant Vanishes,” and this made me think of that. You are that good (if not better. No shit.)

Jo
Jo
16 years ago

Beautifully written, thanks for a lovely start to my day :)

Kirsten
16 years ago

a book – seriously…you MUST write a book

niki p
niki p
16 years ago

I got a chill when I started reading it- like there was bad news coming. Wow. I don’t like spiders.

Holly
Holly
16 years ago

poetry!

maura
maura
16 years ago

Please post every hour…you make my forced hours in front of a computer tolerable.

fifi
fifi
16 years ago

Beautifully written. I feel like I just eavesdropped on your stream of consciousness. *tiptoeing away quietly*

Em
Em
16 years ago

breaking out the pretty words! wonderful.

Anna
Anna
16 years ago

I felt like I was right there, what a great morning.

Sabine
16 years ago

Gorgeous….

fellowmom
fellowmom
16 years ago

Thanks for reminding me to stop, be in the moment and appreciate life. And thanks for the window on your lovely morning.

Anne A.
Anne A.
16 years ago

Thanks, Sundry. That was a really nice ending to my not-so-nice workday!

Mandy
Mandy
16 years ago

Just beautiful. Thanks.

Kristin
16 years ago

I think you are the best writer in the blogosphere.

That’s a fact.

Nikki
Nikki
16 years ago

Nicely written. It’s days like those, observations of a life, that paint the most vibrant pictures.

Jem
Jem
16 years ago

Wow. That was awesome! I love your writing

Wendi
16 years ago

Also Wow! Thanks for that.

Anais
16 years ago

Reading that was like diving into a warm pool- very relaxing. Thank you for that.

tophermo
tophermo
16 years ago

I don’t get it.

Just kidding, but I was waiting for the spider to jump out from behind a door or something… with a knife, or something.

CartwheelsAtMidnight
16 years ago

Nice. I’ll let this be the last before bed.

jonniker
16 years ago

Dude, this was so what I needed after this day of cancer scares, cat poop and crappy doctors. Thank you.

Annie
16 years ago

I love when my son talks to himself as he plays in his crib. I always wish I could understand what he is saying. Wishing you many more mornings like this one.

Nicole
16 years ago

That made me happy. So very good. Thank you.

Kathy
16 years ago

How lovely and poetic. You’ve inspired me.

MoCo
16 years ago

I read this yesterday just before my long train ride home from work, and was inspired to dust off the liz phair… so thank you for the beautiful writing and for making my commute far better than normal.

no singing over here, though. safer for everyone.

Ashley
16 years ago

That was grand. Just grand. You know what I love!? That reading your blog is free. It’s like being going to the public library and reading the best book on the shelf. Go you.

Mel
Mel
16 years ago

Those were some cool descriptions. It’s neat, knowing how observant you are.

Jim Costello
15 years ago

Google is the best search engine

Miguel Carter
Miguel Carter
14 years ago

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