Monday, August 30, 2021

Week in Seven Words #551

This covers the week of 8/9/20 - 8/15/20.

The moment has arrived: We're getting pizza from a restaurant. A milestone during a year like this. As we wait outside the pizza place for our order, we stare into a neighboring window display with a sign that advertises psychic readings. A woman comes up to us and warns us not to see the psychic. "They went to jail for stealing people's fortunes!" Her voice is harsh, her eyes hard and bright. I wonder if she's one of the psychic's victims. Or maybe the pandemic has pushed her into the borderlands between sanity and madness.

From our bench on a high point in the park, the view is only tree canopies, thick with summer growth. Layers of leaves, subtly shifting shades of green.

The less I'm exposed to the contents of their brains, the more faith I have in humanity. 

After a morning of heavy rain and thunder, the sun emerges like yolk from a cracked shell.

They snipe at each other, sometimes viciously, but I think it's a strange comfort to them, to get tangled up together in long text threads.
On one side of the street, there's a stretch of restaurants with lively outdoor seating, people crammed around tables on the sidewalk as pedestrians and dogs ease past them. On the other side of the street, there's a stretch of shuttered businesses and homeless people asleep under construction scaffolding.

On its way to the lake, the stream tumbles over rocks. Dogs dip into the running water and shake the droplets away.

Sunday, August 22, 2021

Week in Seven Words #550

This covers the week of 8/2/20 - 8/8/20.

I love looking at photos of her holding a frog. I wonder if, like me, she'll have a terrarium in her room at some point.

After a storm, the paths are crunchy and slick. The air is also cleaner. It's much less humid; it doesn't cling to your nostrils or stick to your throat. On a hill, in the soft evening light, two people are perched on boulders, their eyes closed as they breathe.

I draw a wonderful fork. A well-proportioned fork that's recognizably a fork. As for faces... I can draw the same face three times, and it will look like three different people (and not as some kind of intentional artistic statement). Some face variations are interesting and have more character than others.

The pier is dotted with ducks. They quack against a backdrop of creaking boats.

What stops us from crossing the path is a thick, unrelenting stream of bicyclists. They yield to no one, and they can barely manage the intense pressure, the high volume. One of them flies out of the stream when his bike hits a fallen branch. He lands hard on the grass and stands up, shaking, half a minute later.

For the first time in months, I set foot in a library. I half expect it to be a momentous visit. Maybe trumpets will sound from the speaker system. But it's anticlimactic. I grab a couple of books that have already been checked out for me. The librarians are located behind masks and a layer of plexiglass. A security guard, looking supremely bored, sits on a stool by the door.

One fountain spits and crackles. Another one drips. To the west, a stream makes thick, quiet noise. I realize I'm following it correctly when I don't emerge onto a baseball field, but instead spot a pool coated in algae.

Friday, August 13, 2021

Week in Seven Words #549

This covers the week of 7/26/20 - 8/1/20.

Before the fast begins, my stomach feels like a water balloon.

Social distancing is a handy excuse to avoid people whose company is undesirable under normal circumstances.

Feathery white flowers beside a riverside path. Five geese on a sward by the rocky bank.

The dancing skaters are back. I love watching their meetup in the park, where anyone with rhythm and a pair of skates can join in (I have one but not the other). Most of them wear masks, and one balances a bottle of water on his head as he flies around in figure eights. 

A walk transforms profound disquiet into new ideas, and I feel somewhat hopeful.

The little girl chases her dog across a sunny field. They end up under a tree, in the shade. After catching her breath, she orders the dog to chase her. She runs away from the tree and waves her arms. Her parents urge the dog to run after her. But he's a smart dog. He isn't trading the relief of the shade for the mercilessness of the sunshine.

Wearing the night guard makes me sound like a boxer (the athlete, not the dog).