flip flops

End of summer, San Diego, August 2015

There’s a poem in my head and I don’t know how to write it.

Riding my bike home, I hear the bing-bing of two metal things hitting. I decide to not stop. The sound is rather pleasant.

A man is installing a rain gutter in hopes of El Niño. A woman in white pants trims something in her garden, as I pass a large van with a bumper sticker on the back window that reads WITCH.

Two old cars rot under a plexiglass carport. Across the street a whole new house is going up. I remember seeing the signs that warned of this transformation to come. It seems a long time ago. Nothing was happening at the time, at least not that I could see from the sidewalk.

Some days I feel the futility of it all: figuring out the soccer carpool, gathering the Legos from the floor and piling them in clear plastic boxes, how the bed unmakes itself every night. This is the morning that hearing the kid wailing “Mama” at TK drop-off unnerves me. It’s not my child, but I feel the weight of it on my chest.

I extract myself. Give myself permission to get on my bike and ride off. I tell myself I can’t solve all the problems. I can’t even manage to get the dirty dishes to stop repopulating the counters as fast as I wash them. I can’t even write a poem and call it a poem.

Please tell me you have these days too. Maybe crying will help. Or cold coffee. Or lying on the bare wood floor, listening to the refrigerator hum.

All I can do is get on my bike and glide. Appreciate the way hot air moving still feels like a relief. Listen to the bing-bing of metal touching metal and not try to fix it.


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