Notes On Attention Paid

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Walking

… a young couple passes with luggage, hustling towards the train station… a delivery truck pulls out in front of a car driving down Main Street, leaving it little time to stop… an emphatic protest honk…

… a mannequin at lucky 31 clothing has changed into a black dress and is sporting, for a change, a sensible handbag…

… a short, stout woman, with gray hair pulled back in a bun, stands outside her building watching a video on her iPad… we say good morning and inquire about each others state of being, which is good by both accounts… i see this woman most mornings…

… the aftermath of a pleasant fall weekend, overflowing garbage bins everywhere…

… rainy day… i confine my walk to Main Street… i sit down on the steps at the falls, accepting the probability of dampening my derrier… releasing my back… as i consider the pain in my back i wonder about exercising to strengthen my stomach muscles…

… as i walk along the downstream side of the bridge near Roundhouse, i remember a chance encounter with M and their spouse P, near this spot… i catch M’s eyes and they are radiant… their smile… their green hair… the warmth of recognition layered with longtime affection… even as they lean into P, holding their hand, love obvious… every encounter with this creature is beguiling… i worry that P has noticed i only have eyes for M…

… a third of the way back along Main Street the sensation something is missing… my umbrella!… left at the falls… i turn around to head back and retrieve…

… a young woman pushing a stroller, expressionless… as we pass i notice there is no child in the stroller or nearby… i have a momentary flash of a child lost and a grief stricken mother pushing an empty stroller around as if waiting for the child to reappear and take a seat… she, suspended between incomprehension of loss and acceptance…

… the umbrella is where i left it… i pick it up and set out on my second attempt to return home…