I was hungry and craving my newest junk food discovery… Lam’s Hot Fries and a soda. I put on my shoes, I found my keys, and rushed to the door before the cat could notice that I was going for it. I escaped without kitty escaping. Me = 1. Cat = 0.
I opened the outside door and was greeted my a tiny mouse. I said hello to him, and asked if I could take his picture for my blog, and went for my camera. He ran behind a piece of sheet metal. I took that as a no. Apparently mice don’t want to be on the Internet blog stars.
I walked up the stairs and past three little boys hovered around a Lightning McQueen Power Wheels car. I was tempted to say “Nice ride,” to the kids, but I thought that might be construed as weird, so my words got stuck in my throat.
I walked past the old Dominican ladies who are all sitting in a row on their lawn chairs, as they do everyday as soon as the weather gets warm. I wonder if the little old man who sits with them will wave to me or say “Hi” today, and can’t decide whether I want him to or not, but he’s leaning on his cane asleep. I hurry past and wonder why the women never smile.
I turn left at the corner to my favorite bodega, and breathe a sigh of relief. No one has acknowledged me. No one has noticed me. I feel as if I’m invisible. I briefly think about a blog entry that I want to write about something from my pass, and decide it would be a much better idea to write about my journey out. It’s beautiful outside.
I pass my favorite bodega and turn left down the next street, down the block one south for ours. I notice now it’s different than mine. How there are no little old ladies sitting in lawn chairs, how there are hardly any people and the people I do see are young and male. As I near the end of the block, I pass a pair. I smile at them, and the other stares at me suspiciously.
I turn left into the bodega on the corner, my third favorite bodega. I buy a can of Coca-Cola and a package of Lady Linda Creme Wafers for $1.50 from a lady with long fake nails who asks me if I want a bag and a straw. I say no to the bag, yes to the straw. I’m secretly impressed that I got asked about the bag. It’s damn near impossible to get out of bodega without a bag.
I decide to take a walk around the park. While I wait at the crosswalk, I put the Creme Wafers in my purse and open the soda, unwrap the straw and put it in the can and throw away the wrapper in the trash can on the corner. One of the extended city buses stops at the bus stop, covering the crosswalk and I wonder if it’ll be gone by the time the night changes. It is.
I cross the street and enter the park. I walk past the men playing dominoes and past the ladies lining the edge of a tarp playing bingo. Past the parents having picnics with their children. Past the two elementary school aged boys who were arguing over a baseball bat and nearly knocked me in the head with it. Internally I say, “Watch yourself, guys,” but lack the courage to do anything but smile and shake my head. The one in the Red Sox cap looks at me sheepishly. Past the little girl trying to stick her feet and only her feet into an overhead sprinkler on the playground. Past the little boy who looked to be about four years old who cracked me a huge smile.
Feeling satisfied that I’d seen what was going in the park. I walked back down the empty block back to my favorite bodega, and spent $4 on a bottle of soda, hot fries and Smartfood popcorn before heading back to my block, back past the ladies in lawnchairs, the old man still asleep on his cane. The children in front of my doorway gone, but replaced by handsome black men in white t-shirts who don’t smile back or even appear to notice me when I smile at them, and I wonder what their lives are like and I cringe a little when I hear them use the word that white people aren’t allowed to say.
I come inside, and write down this blog post. The cat tries to lay his head down on my hand as I type it out. And when I get to the end? I realize that as I was outside observing all of these things, I have forgotten to take a picture. And then I decide I don’t care. My readers have good enough imaginations.