Six o’clock rolls into seven like buses coming and going from a busy city station, especially on a weeknight, and especially in the summer. Time goes by.
After dinner, six had already vanished, but there was still much light out, so I walked around. Families were sitting on the lawn chairs. Kids were playing on the playground. Two ten year olds had their scruffy dog at the dog park and were trying to teach her to fetch.
A warm evening.
Earlier, I talked with a woman who said I must be a musician. She was watching my hands, said I had long fingers. I told her I used to play the cello and she said she used to play the violin. She was round and short and wore a bracelet of the Madonna on one hand and a ring of horned skulls on the other. When she talked, it drew me up. A strange picture. Different than how I see myself.
My walk ended at the apartment, same as I started. At the stairs, I was stopped by Sally the Cat. She waited for me to kneel down then drew around me counterclockwise three times, brushing up against my back, same as she always does. A small, indiscernible ritual. But I feel protected now.
Currently Reading: Kitchen Confidential, Anthony Bourdain
Everything ritualistic must be strictly avoided, because it immediately turns rotten. Of course a kiss is a ritual too and it isn’t rotten, but ritual is permissible only to the extent that it is as genuine as a kiss.
We were promised thunderstorms. I checked the weather all week. At work, I heard from customers about their houses getting water-logged. I was excited, but I never saw a drop.
In my novel, I write about the Anpanman museum in Fukuoka. I hadn’t been there so I looked up lots of pictures. There’s a big glass ceiling over the stage where they do costume shows. I thought: I wish I had seen it rain from below the glass. There were lots of storms in Japan but never one while I was in Fukuoka. Now, since the novel, my memory of that city is changed: raining, static, wet and overwhelming.
It’s made me doubt myself more broadly. If I can rewrite a place for a novel, couldn’t I be doing that with the rest of my life? My four years of philosophy come out like spring spiders and start eating this and that certainty; I sit with Descartes at a candlelit desk and contemplate. I’ve known for a while that I don’t know much of anything, but to think that maybe I’m less in touch with things I thought I did? Spooky – where’s the Halloween candy?
But when the doubt fades I sort of love it. My life, your life, we’re narratives. That’s romantic. Telling you my story until it changes, until the me between your two ears is one that I don’t even know.
Outside, clouds are coming. We were promised thunderstorms. A little out of sight, the sky bled like a new mother, birth-marking peat and loam.