Thursday, February 05, 2009


I'm daydreaming as I walk home from the bus. I'm humming "Someone's in the Kitchen with Dina," the remnants of a rousing rendition performed by an anonymous 3-year-old on the bus. I am intimately familiar with these crosswalks, so I run across the street despite the authoritative STOP hand, knowing I have a good 10 seconds before the light turns green. This enables me to make the light at the next crosswalk, and I run across the street, not because I have to, but because right at that moment I am celebrating the fact that I can. I reach the other side and keep walking, quickly now because it's cold outside, and because I've gathered momentum from the running and to slow to a stroll would feel wrong, like listening to James Taylor on the way home from a Guns n Roses concert.

I walk faster and faster, and now I'm playing a game, wondering whether I can make it all the way home without stopping, even when I have to cross the road. Then I think it would be much easier if I could just walk through things, and I imagine myself stepping off the curb and woooshing right through the Prius coming my way. Then I decide I'll walk straight through everything all the way home and to make it more interesting I choose a path through the houses rather than the adjacent sidewalk. So I walk through the yellow house on the corner, stopping to pick up the toy for the baby in the exersaucer, tipping the 1950s hat I'm now wearing at the woman stirring the sauce in the kitchen as I step out onto the lawn and then woosh through the red house with the black trim, the one that Eleanor envies, causing static on the television as I pass by, and I can hear the man cursing about the damned worthless cable company as I leap over the grass and woosh into the next house, the one that's for sale, and it's eerily quiet and lonely and perfectly staged for showing, and I notice the dust on the end-table and the old copy of Popular Mechanics that's been left on the coffee table as if the lagging economy has limited the staging crew's choice of magazines.

I hop back to the sidewalk and time my crossing to avoid a white sedan, then increase my stride as I reach the crest of the hill in front of my house, following the voice of Eleanor who is climbing and now hanging upside-down in the plum tree, and now Sylvia sees me from the front porch and she's running down the stairs to greet me, and she jumps into my arms and shouts, "My Mama is home! My best Mama is here!" I gather her up and tell Eleanor it's time to go in, then I close the front door on my daydream, but I can hear it quietly knocking as I turn around to face the question of what's for dinner.