I take a two block walk to Safeway to buy milk. I pass a screaming infant in black stroller, hungry, freaking out, its minders chatting about frequency of screams, intent. I remember walking with baby Arlo, having to stop in the uptown park to feed him on a dirty, bird-pooped bench surrounded by old, leering men because he wouldn’t stop being hysterical and the need for him to stop being hysterical overrode my own need to not nurse my baby on a dirty, bird-pooped bench. My reward: he slept the rest of the walk home.
An old couple on a bench, slouching against each other, their feet touching.
Three young boys on bicycles, whipping wind behind them as they tear up the path around the park.
Teenage girls doing soccer drills, stepping like show horses around cones, passing the ball. Their pony-tails swish just like actual pony’s tails.
The air smells like barbecued things, lavender, cigarette and marijuana smoke. It’s the still, warm air of a summer evening before the sun goes down.
Two men do synchronized lunge-squats across the field, drop to their fists and do push-ups, then alternate squats–one up, one down, so they resemble those pop-up toys the kids used to play with.
A man and his dog, one of them bored, the other thrilled. A man and his gangly middle-school son. The son has a basketball, the man is distracted. A car pulls up and parks, the driver talks on the phone, blows smoke out his window, the engine is still running, the stereo is playing.
An SUV the size of a tank drives by, the small driver has big sunglasses and holds an iPhone aloft.
A different baby is taken out of its stroller, its screams muffled against an adult’s shoulder.
Milk, limes, cross the street again, around the park again, there are boys playing basketball, girls lying on the grass, knees bent, talking and texting, and then I’m home.