My Boredom Has a Fish Mouth
My excitement hurts, my daughter sulks at Columcille Megalith Park, where stones stack on stones upon a great big stone circling the sun. It’s mid-July, muggy, and my excitement hurts too, though somewhere along the line I lost the right to say so. Or the nerve. Or the family we’ve traveled with are too damn nice and who are we to knock anyone’s excitement with glazed over eyeballs, our disinterest in rocks? Instead I tug my kid to a nearby pond where sorbet-colored koi curl the perimeter. I once heard koi can live for two centuries, and so imagine their excitement must be hurting about now. Then suddenly, amid the heat and koi and our friends snapping selfies between some basic-looking archways, my daughter starts singing. I mean really singing, at the top of her lungs. All the trees seem to steady in Bangor, Pennsylvania, until I can feel the soft arc of our planet in orbit, and dark space like muscle behind the sky’s blue face. And it’s true, experience can be so peculiar—the way it rises like a fish in still waters, its alien lips agape, gasping at the air. And here I am, beside myself, gasping.
All This Gold
Do not confuse what is valuable with what is sought after — a fortune cookie fortune
Do not confuse public with pubic like my comp student did in her otherwise strong essay which argued for “more security cameras in pubic spaces.” And do not confuse allergic with addicted, like I did soon after my throat swelled shut. ADDICTED TO PENICILLIN! I wrote then displayed in the window of my chain-wallet till a baffled grocery clerk clued me in. I am not above confusing pity for affection, affection for love. I’ve mixed impulse and free will like gin and tonics— mistaken my tolerance for what others can’t bear. Oops, I heard somewhere should be the anthem of our age. Oops, like a chorus of misdirected rage over the pinging bass line of an errant text. Bless us. Or don’t. But rest assured there is value in our hapless seeking: in every trap door and aimless detour and in the moment before the moment the solarium goes boom, a bridge gives way, and the ground far below looks like a painting my son made and called— “All this gold and then a little bit of blue.”