Thursday, October 10, 2013

out on the corner

an enormous tree lost a huge branch right outside our house today at about five; remarkably, i was there, and saw it, pulled around in the van in front of the house when it happened. it cracked and dropped right on flint street with a thud, took up the bike line, all of the northbound lane, and part of the southbound lane. i directed traffic for a while, then, when people showed up, we dragged it over so that it took up mostly just the bicycle lane and a little more. we called the city, and, remarkably enough, they came pretty quickly and removed it.

this of course made everyone, especially my wife, remark at how they were directly under that tree not so many minutes before, or would have been under that tree right then had they not just stopped and talked to someone. i for some reason am not struck that way. it cracked and fell right in front of my eyes. still, i am not especially stunned, or feeling lucky or blessed. relieved, yes, since its fall was inevitable to some degree anyway. it's a huge old tree, one of two. both have these enormous limbs.

in addition, we just painted our house pink, with brown trim, actually a kind of desert-rose ochre, and these trees could actually do some damage, as could the fireplace, if the wind ever got serious again, but who wants to think about that. we are still clearing up glass from the last hailstorm. a little shard appeared in our carpet the other day, out of nowhere, it was what, left over from the storm i guess.

people are saying, that's quite a pink house you got there. actually on a day-to-day basis, it becomes less pink. the sky gets more pink, and the house fades into clay. it's kind of reassuring though, walking down flint, seeing that big pink monolith waiting for me. crossing flint, of course, i have ten lanes to get past. five have car drivers staring directly at me. five, i'm out on my own, on a wide street, sun burning down, nobody can see anything. a car drove right up to me the other day, stopped practically at my knee. i was daydreaming at the time. stop daydreaming, i told myself. be agile, and ready to jump.

one paper i saw at the writing lab asked the poor student to analyze an anxiety event; he'd chosen crossing the street. he admitted having anxiety issues, crossing the street, especially on test days. i told him about nineteenth street. i said, i only walk three blocks to school, but one entire block is getting across that darn street, it pretty much dominates the whole trip. some days i do it three or four times.

homecoming weekend, but they cancelled the parade, because television put the game at 11 in the morning, and they just couldn't see how they'd get a parade in before the game. i don't know how people feel about drinking before an 11:00 game; maybe they'll wait until after. one way or the other, it'll be a wild day; whether winning or losing affects the quality or quantity of drinking and/or rowdiness, I'm not sure; we'll probably win, so i can only guess the drunken rowdiness is, like, happy drunken rowdiness. we'll see. the government may come crashing down like a big old branch. if it does, time will freeze, right out here on flint street. a moment in time, weather clear as a bell, traffic heavy, the leaves kind of shimmering out in the breeze, contrasted against the pink. not aware that the branch was dying, rotted out from the center. and really, kind of a danger to everyone.


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