|side of the city bus, out my window|
Frost glistens, nature's jewelry, on the side of the deer in the ditch by the entrance to the subdivision. Stomach bloated, its stiff legs jut into the air as if waving as i pass. Head turned, i don't have to look it in the eye. Brown and yellow grass is broken by patches of green fighting for life against the season.
Even at 35 mph, driving through the subdivision saves fifteen minutes it would take to go into town and then back out. Children are just coming out their houses, wrapped in thick winter coats, fat back packs settled between their shoulders. Breath rises like smoke signals from their lips. dark recedes into the shadows of trees, houses & cars, as the sun rises beyond the mountains in the distance.
Midway through the subdivision, i take a left on a secondary road that will spill me out by the library onto the southbound byway. large black, wheeled trashcans stand sentry at the end of driveways. Stone Gossard and Ed Norton are interviewing each other on the radio, 'The first couple years you are happy just to get work and then you get to the point where you can choose what you want to say through your art.'
Rounding a bend, I see them---within feet of the same place I saw them yesterday. And the day before. Walking together. He, in casual slacks, a plaid button up shirt, the kind padded for warmth. White hair tufts at the edge of his mustard yellow hat. His golden retriever meandering beside him.
It is hard to tell most days who leads who, as they walk side by side, no hurry in their steps. His hand goes up. My right leaves the wheel to return the wave. In the rear view, their backsides continue along the edge of the road.
One day, I will bring a biscuit for the golden. Rub the pups behind his ears. Ask the man his name & let him know I look for them every morning. An unknown constant in the ever changing world.
Halting briefly at the stop sign, I swing into southbound traffic. 'You have all these ideas, but then you have four other guys will their ideas and you have to come in willing to listen,' Stone says to Norton. A kid on the school bus in front of me holds up a sign, a smile cracks my face as I read it.
The turn signal counts time, between us. Trees are empty, without leaves.