I woke up and decided to go to the park near home. At the entrance I met her.
“Arrgh!” I wanted to be alone today.
A family of monkeys was playing in the canopy I like. I decided to sit on the dewy grass. I like how the water soaks up one’s clothes. I also like the feeling of damp cloth on my skin when I get up from there.
“Do you think the monkeys know they are naked?” she asked.
I found myself at a ranch. My parents are looking to buy land. It’s hot and dry here. The air is empty; no texture or body to it. I don’t think people full of Zen can meditate here.
There’s ostriches. Dusty underbellies. Even dustier talons. Cocking their necks from side to side and flapping their wings, they look menacing. The rancher shows me some of the eggs laid by them. Large. Beautiful. Most have spots in no particular order.
I’ve never seen a little ostrich.
“What do the chicks look like?” I ask.
“Like hens,” he says.
I picture a little ostrich, just a few days old, and a fully grown hen in the same space.
I’m seated at the back of a theatre. There’s an orchestra on stage. My feet are dangling in the air.
Is there a body size limit, I wonder?
There are a lot of adults here, with children accompanying them. I see one scrolling through his phone. His feet must be dangling too. I doubt he’ll remember the symphony playing at this moment. He must have been dragged along because I can see the adult beside him swaying to the music, eyes intently focused on the instruments, somewhat nostalgically.
A former player, perhaps.
He is watering his trees, my father. They were three identical little trees when we took them from the nursery, sort of like broccoli.
One is grown, almost four metres long. It’s giving shade to the driveway. He is proud of it. You can tell from how he squints his eyes and smiles when he looks up at it with the sun in the horizon.
The other one is the height of a man. Very leafy, almost like a rosemary bush. There’s still hope for it, he says.
The third one never really made it out of the ground. The roots did not quite form. It must have been planted too close to the driveway’s foundation.
I miss it.
It’s a sunny day. Every other day since the first of this month has been dull and overcast. I think about her. She has a cold. This would be a good day for her to bask in the sun.
How would I feel if I had a cold during sunny weather? Irritated and angry, I’m sure. I’ve been there. In such moments one wonders why it’s called a cold.
When it’s cold and I have a cold, all I think about is heat. I dress in layers, wrap myself warmly and tightly. When the heat comes, my face becomes too hot and I want to tear my ears off.
I lay on the grass in our backyard, think about her and how she must feel.
I’d been sitting there for three hours, newspaper in hand. It takes me two hours to finish reading the weekend paper. It had been three hours.
“You’ve spent a while reading that, what’s so interesting?”, she asked around the third hour.
I couldn’t hear her. I was in a reverie. I was reliving the trauma of getting robbed on the streets. What I could have done differently. Imagining different scenarios; iterations of the same scene.
“If…Then…Else…” I whispered slowly to myself, my eyes staring at the newspaper, not quite seeing the words.
I’ve been in bed for an hour now. I was sleepy while getting under the sheets. The sleep is now gone.
My eyes are closed but I see things. I see things in my mind. I hear things as well. Not the crickets chirping outside, or the stillness of the night. I hear my mind’s voice talking.
Who is it talking to?
I can’t sleep.
“She said you should stay still for twenty minutes.”
I stay still but my mind is full of things. Can I will it not to think? To be still as well, like the darkness outside?