The mind tends to make decisions based on familiarity and comfort. But this time I stop myself and ask, "Why?" - Why are we going for this problematic option that will cost more and give us a poorer return on our efforts?
When reading at the park on Saturday afternoons I'm used to seeing squirrels dart across the small paths by the lake. What I'm not prepared for are rats. Rats don't belong here. The first rat is a large one with a long tail dragging behind it. The second rat, which darts out a minute later, is smaller and might have been cute had it been in a cage at the pet store. Rats aren't 'park animals.' They're pests or pets (or lab specimens). Then I remember meeting with someone once in an old building in west Philly where our conversation kept getting interrupted by loud thumps from inside the walls. "The squirrels are lively today," she told me, and I guess any animal can be a pest if it violates the boundaries people have placed around it.
After playing piano for half an hour I sit down again in front of the computer and forget how to type. For ten seconds or so my fingers can't settle on the keyboard and every movement I make with them feels alien. It's as if my brain is still in piano mode, wanting me to play chords and trills instead of typing (this is what a trill looks like on the keyboard: jkjkjkjkjkjkjkjkj). It takes a mental shift just to get started again.
She plays hopscotch on a basketball court where her brother and his friend shoot hoops with a soccer ball.
We're a pair of misfit Jews.
We talk over runny eggs. At the table next to us a baby shrieks.