If I could be anywhere…

As I’d push open the door,  it’d creak.  I’d step out and it’d bang shut. There’d be one tree in the yard, leafy and lush. The wind would be blowing.  The leaves, they’d swing to the side, like a cock faced grin, and the air would be full of their crinkly sounds.  My hair’d be blowing too, strays whipping my neck. The grass’d be spindly and tall. In a few days, someone’d have to push their mower across it.

Down the street a child lived who went to the same school as my girl. They’d walk to school together each morning.  Large oaks on the side of the sidewalk, shaded their path. And little beams of sunlight would flicker in front of their feet.

Across the street late at night a man shouts at a woman, and she’d start to yell back and then a door slammed shut.  Her eyes peaking through the hole in the door as he got in his car and went off.  And though I wouldn’t hear it, the woman would walk to the medicine cabinet and pour herself a drink and carry it to her bedroom. Now just hers, and she’d weep silently. But when her drink was done, she’d wipe her face with a tissue, roll over and make herself sleep.

Come the morning she’d take a shower, apply her makeup and get dressed in casual to nice clothes and go to her job.   She’d smile and be pleasant to customers and coworkers alike.  And no one at her job would know it was any day but a normal one.

At the end of the block would be a man and woman who would be selling their house after 50 years of living together and raising their three beautiful children, now gone and living on their own. They would be moving to one of the new condos that had just opened up. And I would walk by as they had a yard sale. I would be racking in the toys that their grand-kids used to play with, pointing out that this was an excellent deal on a rocking chair. Are you sure you only want two dollars?

He’d scratch his head and say he had a lot of fond memories here. But that needed to move into something smaller, more manageable. They had lived here the longest of anyone in the neighborhood.  The papa and mama of the block.  He had a big smile, he couldn’t wait for the move.

If I could be anywhere it would be where there were stories being made, where people lived.  For better or worse and made the best of what they had.


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