Tuesday, October 23, 2012

why it doesn't matter if i keep singing after everyone has left the room

I am the white-haired woman, Chinese and unconcerned, in dawn-colored silk running suit.  She moves slow and self-contained through her poses in the park. It's autumn and the leaves come trailing down in golden spirals.  Flurry of pigeons just beyond like sudden insight, flights of fancy.  She moves to invisible music. People walk by, in dark clothes and bundled against their own frosty breath.  She is still there a long time after. 

I tell myself this.

Or maybe, probably, I'm not so graceful as that.  Nothing flows.  Maybe instead I'm the driver of the red convertible I saw once from far behind on one of the last sunny days of October.  The driver was holding something up, shaking it.  Shaking it and shaking it. Trying to shake a map open?  But it would not shake open.  I got closer and could see it wasn't a map.  It was white. It was a bird?  A puppet of a bird?   Some elaborate way of flipping other drivers off?  The driver was a heavyset, middle-aged woman.  On her raised hand a real live bird.  A cockatiel?  Her helmet hair softened by the wind.  She wore white eyelet, short-sleeves, unashamed of her soft freckled arms. Dimples on her elbow.  She held easily a white bird testing its wings in the bright wind of the road, held it up next to her in her open red convertible.  The license plate said BLISS.  And she was smiling into the sunlight and never noticed me passing her.

This really happened.

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