On one of those early spring days that feel already like summer—high sunlight and the faint smell of rain on dirt whispering their promises—you find yourself wandering.
You’re holding a stolen gardenia flower, which you breathe in every few steps, eyes closed, not so much smelling but remembering. You barely even slow down to glide around a dead ??? lying smack in the center of the sidewalk. No head, ribcage and spine like a too-many-legged spider, shaped all wrong for a cat… raccoon maybe? One time on a walk like this—not so far from here, actually—you found a purple dildo lying spent on the sidewalk. You didn’t slow down then either. But you did pull out your phone and take a picture.
You’re walking because you’re in search of something, but you can’t quite put your finger on what it might be… You decide you’ll know it when you see it. It is, obviously, not a dildo or a dead cat.
You leave the sidewalk when you reach the canal, walking along the grass for a while next to its onyx-smooth surface. A purple-blue flower called “kiss me and I’ll tell you” makes you smile, makes you wish you weren’t alone so you could share the joke. You jump as a heron, nearly as tall as you, breaks cover on the opposite bank, cutting across your path.
This is when you finally do stop. There’s a single cabbage palm next to the canal, and in the new quiet of your mind, the wind blowing through it sounds like a rainstorm. You breathe. Laugh.
The sun is starting to set. You pull “kiss me and I’ll tell you” up by the roots and take it home to plant in your garden, in the dark.
© Jaime Greenberg and discovered in play, 2013