We finished out the summer stash of water balloons, gave ourselves one last hurrah of backyard mayhem. Bee saved a white one for herself, Sharpied on a cat face and named it Dinah. Spent the rest of the evening dragging it along by a string leash, the sloshy balloon thumping and splashing close behind.
Can I keep her? she asks.
I’d wanted to say yes, had thought the “right” answer was yes. But I found myself saying no. Tomorrow is a new day – a totally new creation, I tell her. Join in! Make something wonderful and new once the sun comes up?
This morning, Dinah is an old pizza box.
This month, as all, has been one of the good and the not-so. The four of us carving out an afternoon together to split a pork burger and sit on a haystack, leaving halfway through the first bluegrass tune to carry a feverish Bee to the car. Preparing dinner parties for family friends moving far away. Stalled projects, afternoon runs. Toast crumbs to vacuum from the kitchen cabinet.
But also: toast.
Last week, in Louisville, I run into a woman named Mara on the street. We duck into a burger joint and I order her a combo, ask what else she needs for today.
Just some words, is what she said.
Me too, is what I thought.
Extra fries, please, we say to the cashier.
A Lorrie Moore quote from my journal:
“There was finally, I knew, only rupture and hurt and falling short between all persons, but the best revenge was to turn your life into a small gathering of miracles. If I could not be anchored and profound, I would try, at least, to be kind.”
Almost home? is what Scout asks in the car. When we turn into the neighborhood, when he passes the familiar corner maple. When we’re leaving the grocery, sacks in hand. When we’re on our way to church, the coffee shop, a park.
Almost home? with curious eyes.
Yes, I say.
But this morning, over a banana pancake and Aesop’s Fables at the table that Ken built, he puts his fork down and interrupts my mice impression to ask: Almost home?
We’re home now, I tell him.
Home now, he says, takes another syrupy bite.