From the air conditioning vent in a bathroom on the other side of the house, I enjoy the smell of watermelon as its being freshly cut in the kitchen.
On a piece of stationery in blue ink, I write the words, "You are so very loved. Everything is going to be just fine." I randomly select a stranger from the phone book and mail it to them, hoping they are a need-er of truth and believer in signs.
Upon hearing the news that my former boyfriend is dating someone new, I consciously wait 24 hours before looking up the imagined bastard on Facebook - just so that if I'm asked later I can honestly say I showed some restraint before going stalker on his ass.
As I'm standing in the backyard, a tiny speckle of white appears and begins to flit around my head when, suddenly, I feel a small drop of moisture hit my cheek. I wonder to myself if I just got peed on by a butterfly...and question whether or not urination is something that butterflies even do. I decide that, pee or no pee, having a butterfly visit is special, and that it's safe to conclude some form of goodness will soon be approaching.
On a bright afternoon, from the passenger seat of my grandmother's car, I gaze out the window and smile at the sight of an old man riding past in his electric wheelchair, which has a small umbrella attached to the back, shading him from the sun. Some minutes later, further down the road, we pass two young girls with a lemonade stand, shielded by a large, brightly colored umbrella. I'm heartened by how full of Cute my world is - and notice how umbrellas seem to make it more so.
A few days after the swimming pool is filled in, I carry something on to the newly laid grass and get a sense of vertigo as I step over the edge of where water used to be.
I lie in bed, listening on my iPod to a program designed to induce gamma brain waves, which are known to bring about "heightened self-awareness, and unity with the world around you." Using it as a potential gateway for astral projection, I'm thrilled when I begin to feel the intense vibrations and quakes that signal an oncoming out-of-body-experience...and am then let down when they subside. Unconsciousness comes and sweeps me away.
At the park in late evening, I sit on a grassy hill along the creek. Somewhere in the distance, I hear a young kid say, "Shut the fuck up." I hear snippets of conversations spoken in Spanish. I notice the reflection of the trees in the water. I watch the ducks; I watch the ducks getting chased by children. I smile at the woman who runs with a kite that doesn't quite make it in to the air. I hear the bouncing of a basketball as a young man dribbles as he walks the path behind me. I see an elderly couple walking together, slightly hunched, and beautiful. I feel the breeze and notice the sunlight slowly fading.
Feeling rejected by a dear friend, I take a pair of scissors and destroy two well-loved paintings that they'd created and given to me years before...I immediately begin to loathe myself.
I'm walking in the neighborhood late at night when the smell of fresh laundry comes and appeals to me softly from the house I'm passing by. The scent is so inviting, I seriously consider sitting on their porch for a spell...or at least hovering by their doorway a minute or two.
I tell my pregnant friend that the potential name she's chosen for the baby is the same name as my first oral sex partner. It dawns on me then, she'd probably have been fine not knowing this.
From in the kitchen, I exuberantly belt out one of my seemingly random sing-songy screams for no other reason than it brings me a unique sort of pleasure...a release...and I laugh when, from the next door neighbor's backyard, multiple dogs start howling in kind.
Walking down the street I lived on as as a child, I stop at the house I used to live in and decide to go to the door to see if I could get a peek inside somehow. A little girl answers the door. With no real plan, I pick a name from the air and ask the child if "so and so" is home. When she says, "Yes, hold on," and goes to get them, I turn and run.
I write a heartfelt something - and it seems to me, that the one I want most to read it, couldn't care less for my words if they tried.
The first time at a gay bookstore, a stranger flirts with me. I nervously wish he'd leave me alone.
I look through my drawer and find the lonely harmonica I've never really played. I think of how when I bought it I figured that surely, I'd learn to play it eventually. I pick it up, give it a halfhearted blow, and put it back in the drawer.
Posing for a picture, I make a crazy face with the thought that a deliberately odd expression will be easier to swallow later than having to see my natural face, odd by nature.
Inside the tank, I float naked on the warm, salty water. The body's muscles loosen. The mind's spinning slows. Space and time leave me be.
I approach my cat on all fours and start barking at him. He stares at me, indifferent. Again I'm delighted by how he beholds me unfazed.
Riding in the backseat with friends, moon roof open, windows down, music playing - we stop here and there for photographs around the city. The following night, I'm with another friend in the backyard breeze, sharing soul stories over pretzel crackers and wine. Heaven is clearly not a place, I find, but a string of joyful now's when I'm wise enough to open and receive.
I find a picture of my mother and I from my first birthday party, and when I see the decorations and the cupcakes that she'd baked herself, I'm almost brought to tears by the effort that she'd made. What had I done for her that year? I'd peed, I'd pooped, I'd cried. I wouldn't even remember the event after all...and still, she thought my little self was worth the celebration.