I bought a seltzer yesterday.
I do not know if we are supposed to hurt each other as much as we, sometimes, do.
There are birds above
I ran toward the river, a few miles. I stopped there, breathing heavy. It was starting to rain. The river water slashed at the rocks. Two seagulls perched on them. They didn't seem afraid.
I wasn't, either; just watching. There were other people there, a woman loading a baby carriage into the trunk, an old man strolling, a dog chasing a squirrel up a tree. That they can climb so fast!
Yesterday: another squirrel. It ran up a stone pillar to avoid two dogs and the man who ran with them, straight at the squirrel, for good fun. They lingered beneath the pillar awhile, and the squirrel clacked at them, angry, afraid. Even after they left it stayed there, tail twitching. I worried that it couldn't get down.
I craned my neck to watch from the park bench, as if my watching would be of help. I thought about walking over to the squirrel, putting out my arm like a man to a woman in a forgotten century, saying here. let me help you. But my presence would have scared the little creature even more and this frustrated me. I didn't choose a body that frightens!
Of course, the squirrel didn't choose its body either, but it knew how to inhabit it, from birth and years of training. Of course, when I looked back around (I had looked away a minute, thinking "a watched squirrel never climbs back down a pillar"), the squirrel was already gone.
Next I listened to a young man with a plaintive voice sing derivative lyrics from a makeshift stage in front of a smattering of people, most of them dressed all in black. I was wearing a skirt and it was much too cold for a skirt but I was wearing it anyway because I had changed out of my pants earlier, after having walked down the street and been eyed by too many men. The skirt was baggy and, as such, drew less attention. So I sat on the damp lawn, goose bumps lining my calves, and I listened to the young man sing and I watched another man, beautiful, lie down on his back on the grass. Then I got up, smiling, as some heavy metal youngsters climbed onstage and started making jokes about Fifty Shades of Grey, and I hope the rest of the audience laughed, and I hope the heavy metal rockers didn't think I was leaving because their music was loud, or their stereo poor; rather it was just that I was a little chilly, and that I had already gotten what I needed from the park that day--
a memorial, wind, rocks lining the river bank beneath an old stone bridge and damp earth pressing into my back