Brother needs a shave…
I love morning walks, especially Sunday morning walks.
The Avenue had a big block party last night. There were hundreds of people crammed onto the sidewalks. I’m surprised to find the streets clean. The only sign of the reveling: a few abandoned chairs and several trash cans overflowing (but somehow tidy in spite of steady breeze out of the north). A pair of road closed signs lurk in the dewy grass.
There’s no one about, just like any other Sunday, but the memory of the big block party gives the whole place the feel of a town hung over. I suppose it’s the chill in the air too.
Even for late Spring it’s a bit cold.
I picture people snuggled up in bed with windows cracked open. They’re sleeping and dreaming and maybe just lying there thinking of getting up to make coffee or nothing at all or maybe making love in the way that you do when it’s too cold to throw off the covers.
The sun feels good as I cross out of the shadows on one side of the street to the other. I walk down a winding street, toward the edge of the big hill (upon which I am at the top). A cat watches me from the third story window of a hundred year-old house. The house gets painted every year and the trim looks thick and padded because the painters don’t scrape it down. The cat seems unimpressed with the world as cats often do.
As I walk down the hill, I slow my pace.
Everywhere there are signs of people getting ready for Summer. Porches are decorated with terra-cotta figures and strings of lights. Big, wrap-around porches are stuffed with white and chocolate-colored wicker furniture and all the cushions are bright red or yellow. Sprinklers are hissing and misting.
At the bottom, I cross the community gardens. There’s one lone person out working in their patch. One lone industrious soul breaking the pattern of a lovely lazy morning. Even the motorcycle cops roaring by look lazy, the bikes weaving just slightly in their lanes. Yet, this one person defies the world and claws up the weeds and carries some heavy thing or another and brings dangerous implements to bear upon the soil.
I cross the railroad tracks so that I can go back to thinking about nothing in particular.
By the time I make my return loop to the top of the hill, the Avenue will no longer be empty. The early birds at the cafe will begin to filter in and sure enough I see that they are there. The usual Sunday morning crowd. All waiting for the door to open, milling about in sun as the breeze blows puffy bits of poplar fluff around.
I think about the alleys I walked through and closed restaurants with their tables set for all those people who will come later today. I think about the empty shop fronts and the dusty squares of sunlight flickering across their floors. I think about the cat in the third floor window and I wonder what he’s looking at now…
And then, the lock turns in the door. In unison, we all watch as a bleary-eyed barista pushes open the door and scuttles back into the shadows. No one’s actually in a hurry to go in even though we’ve been waiting for this moment, but as soon as one makes a move we all head in that direction.