Two words: pink flamingos.
Three words: really old ones.
I saw them in the yard of a house, those birds put there a decade ago maybe, probably on a lark. Which is funny, because the house is on 21st Avenue between Wren Street and Sparrow Street, and Lark is farther down toward the river. No kidding.
I wish I could share this entire day with you . . . but at some point, I just decided to accept it and delight in it. I did not even take any pictures except that leaf up there. Oh, toward the end I did take a couple, but I will save them.
And nevermind because here they are:
Earlier, I’d seen a doorknob, burnished bronze, that I had never seen before. It was worn smooth in one place where unknown hands had touched it. Perhaps it was the same hand of the same person, over and over again, in that same spot. Someone lonely? Or maybe it has been worn smooth from many visitors to that home by the river. Parties and gaiety over the years may have brought many friends to that house and may have brought others who became friends. Each one may have left a kind of mark on that doorknob. Perhaps they still come, or perhaps it has all gone away. And the owner of that house lives all alone now. Perhaps.
I saw those flamingos. Maybe they were placed there 10 years ago, like I said, when the kids were in high school. Why are they still there, even though the pink barely shows through the years? What happened to those kids, all grown now, with families? Did they move away, and the parents said, hey you can always come home and we will keep the flamingos here for you? Or, maybe those kids just moved down the street to the house with the burnished knob.
I saw some steps I had never seen before. The people at the bottom of the steps had a parcel. They do not get mail because they have a PO box, but I delivered a box to their door today for the first time. With the package, I skipped down the steps with my eye on that door. But on the way up and with a little time on my hands I took some of that time to notice that the steps were very old. And worn smooth. From visitors? Those stones, on the way up, had a delightful fleur de lis pattern in them. I stepped lightly in ascent.
By Noon I was getting drunk with delight and I did notice that the music was helpful and comforting as well. On the radio came this:
After getting drunk, I did indeed have to go to that bar again because they had mail and even a small package. The parking lot was full, and it was barely 1:30 in the afternoon. When I went in, I put the mail and package on the dark wood bar next to the row of taps. That barkeep who is too friendly was also too busy to notice, thank God, so I dropped and ran. To the restroom to pray.
I saw people everywhere, out for a walk in the cool sunshine. I wonder if any of them live with the flamingos? Or belong to that doorknob? I wonder what you were doing when I was doing what I am writing?
It was inexplicable joy on Thursday. Functional bliss on Friday. And sweet delight on this day. All day long.
Sabbath has ended now, and that means Sunday is here. And soon we will see the light of dawn.
Photograph “Green Delight” © 2018 ‘Timothy Waugh