On paper you’d think that it would be one of the happiest evenings ever. Lisa and Stan finally took some much needed Lisa and Stan time, and I got to babysit Noah. We went to Waite Park at the top of the hill. It might only be the second highest point in Minneapolis, but the open sky and setting sun transported the park and everyone in it to the top of the world.
Noah waded and jumped around in the kiddie pool while I paced around the edge. At one point I had a flash of myself running across the wet concrete and hurling myself in to drag Noah out and my heart pounded and skipped as my breath caught. Not even a minute later I turned away for a second and heard him cough. When I looked back he was drowning his way to the edge of the pool. The world lost focus everywhere but where he was as I took a first lurching step towards his tiny wet form.
Then he was standing up and wiping off his face, and I realized that my panic was all for naught. He just doesn’t like getting his head wet and someone had splashed him. Three seconds of toweling later he was climbing back in and hopping around like a frog. He made every conceivable happy sound and a few that I hadn’t considered — mostly robot sounds — as he marched to and fro. For a while we had the pool to ourselves, which seemed ideal, because that minimized the chances of Noah getting splashed again. However, Noah plays very nicely by himself, which left me alone with my thoughts. My legs dangled in the cool water. The air was a motionless blanket of warmth, orange with the setting sun. Reflected wavelets danced on Noah’s skin.
My mind was elsewhere even as my eyes were locked on Noah. This is my last summer. In exactly one month I turn 30. Yesterday as I was dredging up my youth in the form of a four track tape recorder, I stumbled across a sketchpad from when I was 17. I flipped through it and found a note to myself about a woman. The note was so wrought with pain it made me cringe with embarrassment. The really awful part of it was when I had to ask myself “who the fuck was Liz?” I wasn’t thinking about either of those things, though - not turning 30 or that finding that old sketchpad.
I was thinking about this blog specifically. I have a general idea who comes to visit. I have a pretty good idea what any given person might take away with them. I write multiple meanings at once all the time. I cloak my emotions in blind after blind. You might think that you are seeing what is bothering me, but why shouldn’t I deflect it with a half dozen other minor dramas? Maybe I was mad at my dad again. Maybe it was getting old while surrounded by youth. Maybe I was freaking out over money. Maybe I was upset about never living up my potential. Maybe I was trying to figure out what I should say to you right now. Maybe I knew that you would be reading this and switched it all up to confuse you. Maybe I knew that you would know that I am reading this and switched it back. Maybe I’m not saying because it is about someone else entirely and I couldn’t bear to hurt them. Again.
Never bet against a Sicilian when death is on the line!
Incidentally, for a while I thought that Waite Park was indeed the highest point in Minneapolis, but that honor falls on nearby Deming Heights. Deming Heights has a plaque stating that it contains the highest point, and I tend to believe things cast in bronze. Speaking of things cast in bronze, Botero’s Roman Warrior isn’t standing to one side of the Weisman anymore. I wrote a paper on that statue for Freshman comp just last fall.
Maybe this will all make sense in the morning.