Wednesday, December 5, 2018

Week in Seven Words #438

A tourist family clumps beside me on the subway. When they hear my reassurance that they're on the right train, and that we're all going to the same place – the Staten Island Ferry – they follow me like baby ducklings until they're safely on the boat.

He apologizes for talking too much, but there's no need. He's funny, clever, and down-to-earth. His brain is an old bookshop of anecdotes you'd actually want to listen to and historic trivia made more interesting by his theatrical retellings.

Two daycare workers push a large mini-van type of stroller with six babies, who stare at us in fascination, as if they're taking a tour of a zoo stocked with strange adults.

A silent, muddy path in the woods. Something is watching me from the undergrowth. A cat.

The dog hops onto the couch, where I'm working on some editing. She presses against me and sniffs at the small pile of pages balanced on my thigh. There's a chance that she'll try eating one of them. (She doesn't. Maybe the kind of ink I'm using isn't appetizing.)

There's a timeless quality to the park's headquarters. The main room is small and smells of sawdust. The lighting is cozy and dim. Maps are scattered across the table, and posters and diagrams that largely go unread make the walls colorful. I can see the room being preserved this exact way for decades.

The field is shaped like a bowl. It's screened by trees all around, and on one side it's bordered by a broad river.