I no longer admire her. I acknowledge her achievements, I respect her work and intelligence, but in certain ways - through carelessness, unthinking conformity, and a disregard for conscientious inquiry - she has diminished herself. Probably not to most people who know her - she's the same to them; but to me she's different now, a knowledge I hold to myself quietly and tiredly.
When I walk home in the dark, fireflies tap at my elbows.
Tote bags, grocery bags, a cart, multiple trips to the grocery store, then to the community house where I'm throwing this meal (I don't know how many people will show up, only that it will be more than the number who said they're coming) - and it feels good later on to just sit and watch everyone chatting and eating; getting a few quiet 'thank you's and some help cleaning up doesn't hurt either.
Vanilla yogurt on thin wafers - a cold sweet treat for a hot afternoon.
My feet insist on walking. Across one river, beside another, down streets with cobblestones and giant flower pots, bright window shutters, fan-shaped windows, fountains, flower baskets hanging over painted doors, memorials, wreaths, sun and shadow, horses clopping, beds of crisp green grass. Different neighborhoods disclose secrets to me, down side streets that are still and golden.
There's a point where I can't stay at my desk anymore; the doubt has pressed in deep, and my thoughts have tangled up in absurdities. I head out, go to a quieter place where the traffic noise is muffled and the smell of grass and clover is intense. A few minutes after I leave, one of the problems resolves and the tension in me eases.
The fun of washing dishes past midnight, when I'm sleepy and a little swimmy with drink. The water whooshes into and over the pots, plashing and singing, racing in a bright stream.