I sit under a modest canopy of oak trees. If they’re not oak trees, they must be maple, I think. Although the thought of maple makes me think of syrup and Vermont and I am just lying on a towel in Central Park in New York City. Perhaps I am right and they are oak. I lie there, legs crossed right over left, eyes half open, hoping the sun doesn’t change course and pierce my shady respite.
Clouds head southeast at a breakneck speed. White clouds. I begin to think about the rotation of the earth and the traversing clouds and the flight pattern being strictly followed by silver planes glinting unnaturally against the blue sky. I begin to think about all of this movement and what part of it is real and what part of it I just have to perceive has real so that I do not begin to lose equilibrium. I start to get dizzy and close my eyes.
I sit, alone, occupying a miniature atmosphere all my own, my head resting on a towel I’ve owned for five years already. I now understand how my mother owns so many towels. Towels and blankets and sheets and painting supplies. Five years in the life of a towel feels like nothing. Five years as a towel collector feels like nothing.
Birds. Their beaks nearly translucent in the late June sun. Spastic wings beating about, their bodies going nowhere. So much effort required simply to remain stationary, little bird claws gripping onto the peeling bark of a tree. Sometimes I feel like this.
I am there, quietly there. The ground pushing against me and me pushing against the ground, taking a break from the heat, from my life, but never from the outpouring of thoughts that will never just let a day be a day.