This morning, I was running around like a chicken with my head cut off. Grades were due, I threw my ESL coordinator a baby shower, and I volunteered to be one of the people in charge of planning the end of the year staff party at school tomorrow. After school, as I finished entering the last of the grades, I hopped into my colleague’s car and we dashed over to the graduation ceremony. Of course, they needed the teachers’ help, so I did not get to sit down until an hour after we got there.
Despite all these stressors, my drive home was high spirited. I ignored the asshole drivers, the wailing sirens, the construction. I ignored the heat and the smog. Instead I saw three people who made me feel oh-so-very good about the end of the school year and the start of summertime:
A small boy with a homemade kite, made of construction paper and crépe streamers, trailing on the hot ground behind him, as he ran down Vermont and Vernon. The sad, little kite was not airborne, but he willed the kite into the air as he ran down the street. Car horns bellowed behind me: the light was green, and I wasn’t moving.
Un vaquero urbano, with his sombrero y botas, gliding down Vernon by the 110, on his sea foam-colored cruiser bike. As I craned my neck to look at him, I slammed on the brakes and avoided crashing into the car in front of me.
Sitting on my porch, laptop in my lap, dog at my feet, I can see the neighbor’s kid from across the street, playing with his younger sister. His bike lies akimbo, abandoned on his driveway. He rides his sister’s bike instead, confectionery pink, streamers whipping his arms as he zooms up and down our empty suburban street. He is an amalgam of the old man and the boy I saw on my drive home. In the distance, I can hear the ice cream truck approaching.