Tuesday, April 13, 2010

small world, so big

I open the front door. Blink into the sunlight.

I want to plant both feet firmly back inside, back where the walls are painted green and there's juice on the floor and the covers are rumpled on my bed. But I move forward. Get into the car. Drive. Do. Be.

I come to a traffic stop and see fifteen cars lined up to head to fifteen different destinations, dragging behind them fears and joys and vices and pains and anticipations. I look in my rearview mirror – mine are hanging out there too. I glance at the driver next to me, an older woman. Maybe she's going to get her hair cut. Maybe to visit her husband in hospice. Two car doors and six billion people stand between us. She doesn't look up. The light turns green.

At the store, in the line. The checker moves through the motions – the smile, the bag choice, the change. She's young. Her eyes are outlined with makeup. I wonder what's behind them. Her fingertips brush my palm as I take my receipt. I walk through the door that opens automatically for me. I'm on the other side.

Overhead, an airplane. My toes curl in my shoes.

I'm driving again. Behind a school bus. It stops, red signs unfurling and I wait. Two children get off, streaking towards the sidewalk and home and what. Where they're disappointed or supported or shaped or distrusted. And tomorrow they're taller.

At home I'm chopping onions, eyes brimming. John walks in, speaks hello. I know his voice.