Mandolino

DiegoIt was just past 7 o’clock, a glorious sunny evening, as I approached the bench.  A teenage girl and boy were sitting on it, looking out at the water.  I asked if I could sit with them and they said yes.  The girl asked me lots of questions about the knitting project and said “cool!” to everything I said.  Then they walked down to Boulevard park together…My neighbor friend came out with her electric cello and tinkered on it…A guy toting a mandolin case came down 16th toward us and stopped to tell us that he’d only been in Bellingham for 2 hours but he loved it, and loved the look of us knitting and playing music on the bench, and would it be okay if he took our picture?  He said it was for his wife back home near San Francisco but I highly doubted it.  We said okay, and I asked to take his picture.  I loved his yellow glasses and red hat together.  I told him how to find the Green Tea Man’s door–they are old friends who haven’t seen each other in 10 years!  In a few minutes, the two guys came up to the bench to say hi.  (My neighbor friend is gorgeous, a magnet…)  It was bittersweet to see Green Tea Man again.  I have a little crush on him, but it’s not reciprocal.  When they left, she told me that she thought there was more to my knitting project than just connecting to the sea…She said it was connecting her to other people in the neighborhood.  We waxed nostalgic about our childhood–rushing home from school to play with our neighbors–hopscotch, pogo stick, paper dolls.  Now it’s the default to hole up in our separate apartments.  I told her how grateful I am for this daily knitting routine which gets me out in the community.  I knitted 20 minutes into overtime, expecting my neighbor to leave but she didn’t, and it was so sweet to savor the evening air together…

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