22 April 2009

love, cities, & alleged crimes

I have fallen in love with sitting on our front porch. Not the "I'm-gonna-marry-it" type of love. It's just this perfect place to read or watch the cars drive by. It's incredible how many mechanical errors you can diagnose in passing cars with little to no automotive experience. I can recognize when that "clunk-clunkity-clunk" doesn't sound right or there's something dragging under your car. The most common is the brakes, though. Sometimes it's amusing to see cars slow to make a left turn, and traffic is heavy enough that they stop and cars back up behind them, some so impatient that they dart into the right lane to get by. Or when two cars are both trying to turn left, coming from opposite directions, trying to see past the other turning car to tell if there's any oncoming traffic. Of course all the cars are moving to the right lanes, so traffic flow there is twice as heavy, making a turn almost impossible. Some people are eating, some are talking on their phones, some just staring straight ahead. You get the occaisonal nose-picker, usually a male. If it's between 2-4pm, you get the carfull of girls making a 1/2-price Sonic drink run.

The house is far enough back from the street that it feels safe. There's plenty of grass and even a fence that partially blocks the view of the road heading east. People passing don't notice me unless they're concentrating on the houses. Most aren't.

I try to anticipate sidewalk-ers. Occasionally they're on bikes. I never did believe in love at first sight, but I guess I kind of imagined the front-porch encounter to be slightly romantic... guy passes on bike. Guy just turns his head in time to see me. Guy slows down, perhaps guy forgets he's biking and subsequently crashes, resulting in me leaving my spot on the front porch to make sure he's okay. He's bleeding. I go inside to get him a band-aid. I only have small ones. We work something out with paper towels and tape. He offers to take me to dinner as a way of returning the favor.

Okay, okay, so I'm not a porch-sitter because I'm looking for love. It's just that it's spring, and a guy just rode by on his bike, and I thought it might be nice. I'm out here with my laptop plugged into the side of the house. It's been cold enough lately that there aren't a bunch of mosquitoes out yet. I want desperately to go camping. I should be working on my essays (8-10 pages, all three due April 30). But I'm not. I'm sitting on the porch.

I sat out here for an hour before lunch, so my left arm and leg are blushing. The days pass too quickly. (Today, I kept finding grammar errors in my writings. It makes me feel like a hypocrite. I didn't make mistakes on purpose.) There's live music at Radina's, but I feel too restless to sit in a coffee shop. I can hardly believe I'll be in Nashville one month from today. I wonder if I'll have a front porch there I can sit on. I'm not into country music, but I did just get an alto sax. There's a blues place in Nashville. It's been seven years since I've played, but I remember most of the fingerings. I should be getting new reeds in the mail soon. Maybe I can get lessons in Nashville, not that I'll have money to spend on lessons. I mean I'll get lessons if I decide they are worth more than eating.

Tim just mowed the yard today. I love freshly-mowed grass. It makes everything feel straight and clean. It made me feel domestic. I made cheesy biscuits tonight. I braided them into the shape of a wreath. In other words, I braided them into a circle.

This morning there was a squirrel in our backyard trotting across the strawberries. I was headed out the back door and he jumped up the fence. He had something large and red in his mouth. I thought it was a strawberry, but they're all still in their white-flower stage. I crept closer and it was an apple from our compost pile. Sick. I went to the store and was going to buy some squirrel and/or bird food, but all the bags were like $10. I did buy a seed-bell that I ended up breaking up and scattering in the grass. I hope the birds find it. Sorry, squirrel, I can't believe you'll eat compost, but whatev. Weirdo.

I saw a black man almost get hit by a car crossing the street. He walked down the block, then he crossed back. He stopped at the end of our sidewalk. "That's a laptop?" I freeze, remembering all the lights in our house are off and it's probably obvious I'm alone. "What? Yeah." Seriously? No, it's a desktop. Huh? He says, "That's a nice laptop. What's yo' name?" Then he leaves. Uh, maybe it's time to go inside. And pretend like other people are home. Or invite someone over. Oh, good, Tim just got home. I'd be too scared to live in a big city alone. I better fall in love first.


JR said...

Great Post

View My Stats