i took violet on a walk for 1.75 hours yesterday. we dropped off the film from easter and, because i needed to pee, we went to world market where i accidentally purchased ritter sport bars and two non-paper cup coffee mugs. then, we located the short cut to the duck pond. i read three pages of infinite jest and violet woke up for our return home.
today, we went to pick up the photos and then on over to the duck pond. i parked us on a bench near the first pond, where the geyser is located. at some point, i realized violet was awake and just staring at the spray of water. we hung out like that for awhile before i decided to plop her down in the grass. i love how simple and straightforward babies are. they can entertain themselves with grass and leaves for ages. nothing more required.
i watched the older lady with paper mask on mouth with the younger man across the sidewalk as they pitched seeds to the pigeons and ducks and drew quite the winged crowd. then, i noticed a squirrel quickly making his way to within three feet of me. i'm all for hanging out with squirrels, but it makes me a little nervous when my baby is just on the other side of me. i kept imagining how it would only take this squirrel 10 seconds to remove my face, if it so decided, and there would be absolutely nothing i could do about it.
i got him to back up a couple of feet by standing up, but he kept returning. at one point, i peeked under the bench i was now sitting next to and there he was, standing on his hind feet with his little paws resting on the wooden crossbar under the bench. whether or not he could eviscerate my face (considering such a thing is even linguistically possible), i had to admit he was looking pretty cute. and i thought, "i knew i should have brought the camera."
i shooed him away again and probably again before he took the hint. of course, every time i brought out violet's little container of cereal, he, or one of his twins, would reappear.
then, two pigeons broke off from their crowd and meandered on over, looking a little menacing. they could peck my eyes right out and eat one of violet's toes before i could say boo. but they maintained a semi-respectable boundary. and i looked at them and thought, "dang it. why didn't i bring the camera."
violet dug excitedly in the grass and leaves and twigs and waited a very long time before trying to put her leaf in her mouth. at one point, i glanced at her face and noticed a tiny spider dangling from a web strung from her lip where it was trying to get to her mouth and lay its eggs. and i swept it away quickly and thought, "i don't need a camera for that."
people passed by on the path and made cute eyes at violet looking all happy in the grass.
i texted brian in his all day meeting to say:
the sky is blue. the leaves are green. the air in the shade is pleasant. we should lie in the grass soon. this is the longest text i have ever sent.
i wasn't trying to rub it in. just share a piece of the outside world with him. i daydreamed of lying on a blanket under the sky with oliver being perfectly still and knew it could never happen.
one of the most dependably beautiful things you can ever put your eyes on is the image of leaves against a deep blue sky. if you can work this out so that there are puffy, white clouds floating by in the background, you will score bonus points. it is timeless. it will always feel like childhood to me. especially if there's a pine tree involved, seeing as how i originated from the piney woods and all.
a cop with his gun in an old-timey brown leather holster drove by on his horse and i thought, "well, of course."
there was a willow tree next to the pond and its fronds floated languidly in the breeze. their tips would come to rest just an inch above the water's surface and i wondered if the koi nibbled them back every time they grew longer.
according to the time feature on my cellular, we had somehow been there for an hour and i knew i could not wait any longer for the family of elephants to swim through the fountain, as my bladder was growing heavy with dew. i rode home on the waves of potential urine energy yearning to become kinetic and just about wet my pants. my bladder really holds me back sometimes.
as i walked during the times i was not thinking of urination, i marveled how crazy it is that all paths across the country are connected. like, the road i was walking on is connected to the road robin lives on in seattle. like, we're on the same street, if you can just walk long enough. it made everything feel much more intimate. i realize this is a fairly pedestrian thought.
pedestrian. get it.
so that final butterfly was out of his cocoon monday morning and when brian got home that evening and we enjoyed mushroom stroganoff, it was time to take the old butterfly habitat out to the balcony for the big release. only, the butterflies seemed to have figured out that they had it pretty good with their orange slices and wadded up toilet paper soaked in sugar water. two of them jetted out of there fairly quickly without even turning to wave goodbye, but the other three were like those people at a party you're glad to see, but you end up checking your watch and wondering when they're going to finally find their way home. we sort of scooted two more on out once oliver was starting to lose his cool. none of them did that thing like in the video on the butterfly people's website where the small children have butterflies just crawling all over their fingers.
i think i forgot to tell you that after the first hatched, we asked oliver its name and he responded, "ton-kay." i implied the hyphen.
the last hanger on was named ton-kay's baby and we finally determined it was the last one hatched, as it was still pooping meconium and pumping its wings and really spending some time probing the old sugar paper. i worried we were letting him out too soon and he wouldn't be able to fly well and defend himself against whatever butterflies must defend themselves against, like small children with jabbing fingers. we left him with the plate of sugars and his own devices and when i glanced back out a couple of minutes later, ton-kay's baby was gone.
look at ton-kay's baby.
look at him! to think i wanted it to land on my finger. it could've stabbed my eye right out on a whim.
ps: i noticed this morning that violet has gone on ahead and made her second tooth. bottom front on her left side. perhaps this is the reason for the low-grade fever she has been sporting the last couple of days. either that, or the runny nose both she and oliver have been wearing this week.