Ten AM today and I was leaping down the stairs fueled by goat yogurt, four cups of coffee, and an extremely satisfying journal write. The sky looked like a pool with the pale horizon shallow end and the view above where children dare not stray for fear they will sink into the universe, there was a breeze and I was wearing my flappy green shorts. I was ready to hit it, and hit it hard.
On the way out while crossing a street I noticed that an iron pipe cover had come loose, and feeling warm toward my fellow man I kicked it back into place, barely breaking stride. I thought Yay Me! as I speed walked past all the men and women in ill fitting business suits carrying plastic Publix bag lunches and looking pissed, as we all do when we are going to work and the day is hot.
The walk was fine and so was I. There was no more walking, it was all flying, the people, the birds, the buildings and the cars all a blur and I sang songs under my breath and felt assured that I looked no more crazy than I really am.
Halfway through my walk and I've already passed the Witch Family House, the Fairy Family House, a former apartment of a friend where I always holler HEY JOE!, the House of Strange Trash (today it is still the matrice set complete with sheets, the other day it was a box of Easter paraphernalia), and the Tree That Grows Out Of the Sidewalk (that knobby bitch always tries to trip me up but I can dodge and feint with the best of them). Now is the Big Hill. It's not a very high hill but it is a very long hill, it is the hill that I was never able to run the entire humping length of it at one go before my screaming bones told me to stop fucking running. I don't even try to run it, I'm in it for endurance not Popeye calves, and so I walk like the hounds of hell are nipping at my heels (but only the walking hounds of hell) and I pretend that I am in a race and I am winning.... until.... Until a crazed mother mockingbird dive-bombs my head and again and Yes Ma'am I am Running! I am running up this motherfucking hill with the now running hounds of hell and the dive bombing mockingbird from hell and I am doing those crazy arm whipping motions around my ducked head thinking Not the eyes! Please God don't go for my eyes! and now I am at the top of the hill! I am fucking Iron Man!
Now the coffee has worn off but the adrenalin is full free flowing, I round the bend, I pass the German Lady House, I pass the Italian Man House, I pass the What-the-fuck-someone-painted-two-fucking-knights-of-the-round-table-on-the-wall House, I can't be stopped, I won't slow down, it feels too good. I get to the Korean War Memorial and do my soft shoe flim-flam shuffle that firms my abs and plumps my butt up the curvy path and down the curvy path, faster than I've ever done it before, an old man watches- his mouth open in pure amazement. I am Youth! I am Vigor! And then as I am crossing the street that leads to my street and almost home I bust my toe on that same damn iron pipe cover that I kicked back into place not an hour before. Foreshadowing people, powerful stuff. I almost go ass over tea kettle but I'm crossing a damn street and if there is one thing I will not do it is fall down in the middle of the road.
Shake it off, Slugger I tell myself, channeling Shoeless Joe Jackson I pull out of my stumble and go for home. It's not wrong to finish strong I tell myself The toe's not broke if you can still kick ass.
Post protein shake and shower, the busted toe and murderous mockingbirds aside, it seems like a good idea to walk to the library. This is a chillin' walk, a saunter in my summer skirt with the lace at the hem that kicks out over my tanned (ahem) calves and flip-flop clad feet. It's hot but it feels good, which is pointed out to me by another old man, this one on a ladder painting a house. We agree we live in Florida, we agree we like the heat, we grin thinking about all those suckers who live in northern climes, we bid good day.
The library is there in all it's bookly glory. The librarians are ornery, the homeless men are grunting craziness, the children load their mothers up and dash away to get more books already forgetting the ones in arms. I got two talkies and three fat eye-reading novels full of potential. I am as satisfied and excited as a dog with an unwatched cake.
On the way home two girls in a white Camero honk an air horn at me, laugh hysterically, and then honk at a guy on a bike who swerves into the next lane and narrowly misses getting creamed by oncoming traffic. The girls laugh again and speed up. But guess what ladies! There is a red light up ahead and I AM PISSED. Gone is my sunny day and disposition. Gone is my warm regard for fellow man. In two seconds I am standing by their car.
Roll down your window. I shout at the glass.
No! Screams the girl, looking at her companion.
Roll down your fucking window! I say, my words and eyes steel.
They do. They comply. The girls are at the most 17 and pretty. They squint their doe eyes at me, looking up through matching curtains of over highlighted hair. I pull out my cell phone.
I am calling the cops. I have your licence plate number and I am calling the cops right now. It is illegal to blow an air horn out of your car in traffic. You could've killed that dude.
Bitch. Says the girl in the passenger seat.
You're a bitch. That guy could've died.
The window goes back up at the same time the light turns green. They speed away. I put the cell phone back in my pocket and walk on down the road. As the light works its way back into my eyes and the blood drains from my face I see a stair car driving down the street and I stop to watch thinking about that show Arrested Development and I realize I am smiling. It's a good day to be alive my friends, a very good day indeed.