When the yard explodes with violets and dandelions,
And wasps inexplicably thump head first into the window,
I know it’s finally time to break out the jellies. (They’re grown up jellies, with a low purple heel, comfort ridges and everything.)
I know I’ll need comfortable* shoes because today I’m walking.
I won’t have a car for an hour or so, and there’s some unexplored urban territory nearby.
Jaywalking is involved. The weather is perfect, and I wish I had my bike. (It’s hiding in the shed on cracked tires.)
A strip mall adjoining a nature trail is mine to conquer. A rare thing, like an old tree growing in the center of a parking lot.
There is even a creek, with a flat bridge with muddy dog and raccoon prints, and the discarded head of a crayfish.
I find a wooden bench and look at the public flower beds with blooming bulbs (Someone carved a small Pac-Man into the bench.)
It looks so wild, down a leaf-covered hill through packed-together trees, farther than I want to walk in glorified sandals.
Something catches in the holes and I look down.
A gray and brown striped feather (that I slide into my hair elastic).
No money in my pocket only makes me want to wander more, my currency curiosity.
A decor shop sells bowls engraved with puns, scarves and chunky jewelry, baby clothes, stylus-pens and whimsical paintings of cats.
A Chinese restaurant/grocery storefront has its windows covered, except for a long rectangle along the top, showing off a canopy of paper lanterns. (They also sell Orangina.)
A used record store with an old barber pole outside
Sells grooved celluloid with genuine, vintage hisses and crackles.
I decide to listen to a Liszt recording (as my knowledge of 60s and 70s rock is embarrassing).
When I take the record out, the light hits it and I see something,
Writing scratched around the edge of the center label.
“Always see me the way you did today. (Your cold, beautiful fingers.)”
Those words follow me home as I drive through the afternoon, glowing in a halo of new green leaves.
On the porch, I scratch the kitten between the ears, and he leans over backwards with adoring orange eyes.
I ignore the blisters on my feet (*I really need to work on my perception of comfortable shoes.)
Bathed in sun and warmth I think aimlessly of cold hands
Decapitated crayfish and painted cats
And watch the feather on the glass table (fibers tickled by the whispering breeze).
I wrote this based off of two recent, local explorations I took, and wove the separate details together (with a few changes and elaborations) into their own short story. I’d love to hear what you think, so please post your thoughts in the comments!!
In case you don’t know about Weekly Venture, Sarah Shotts is encouraging her friends and followers to go on a little adventure every week to jump start their creative juices, and then write about it. It’s ridiculously fun, and you never know what you might find. You should totally try it out for yourself!