the beginning of summer

Holding a stone, watching the kids
It’s muesli season again, every night a big covered bowl is set in the fridge for tomorrow’s breakfast. It’s nice to wake to, cool and good. The morning air is cool and good, too, and the kids get the breakfast themselves, and I hear the birds outside our open window in my dreams. But California summers are changeless and dry. It’s a long time til October.

We’ve been eating muesli. And I’ve been making yogurt like a fiend. Yesterday, I biked to the store for (again) more milk, biked without the children. I rarely shop without them, and it was strange to be at my ease, lovely. I got to look around at people, let people in front of me in line, say things like “You go first.”

A woman was buying dozens of tomatoes. She had an aging face, tired eyes, and the body of a fifteen-year-old. She flipped through Self magazine with Gwyneth Paltrow on the cover: assured gaze, toned, hairless belly. She put the magazine back.

The woman looked tired that afternoon, and maybe I looked tired, too. And around her lips were the scars of some old augmentation. I have been thinking about her. I have been thinking about the scars. None of us come out unscathed, but we’re all together, here, too.

It feels good to bike home when it’s hot, when the air is dry, and the sun isn’t too high. When you have a trailer loaded down with groceries to feed yourself and your children. There’s another batch of yogurt to make, another night of children talking and playing in their bedroom instead of going to sleep. Another night. Thank goodness. Another night.

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