“It’s a fulltime job just holding onto my hat and this umbrella,” I told Thomas Wood and his friend Todd Burton who were out for a stroll. Thursday a strong wind was blowing, white caps flecking the surface of the bay.
“You need an assistant to hold the umbrella for you…Maybe you could get a student to do an art internship with you…”
“Conceptual Art Internship. Duties include: holding umbrella,” I laugh.
Tom Wood said that he had tried to find the bench the other day but he was on the wrong street. “There seems to be only one bench on all of South Hill,” he remarked.
“There’s actually another one lower down on 16th along the same bus route,” I said.
“Oh, does the bus still run?”
“So now the bench just exists for you.”
“When’s your expected completion date?”
“I don’t know…that’s part of the project.”
“How often do you knit?”
“Every day, one hour, that’s part of the project too.”
“Did you know how to knit when you started?”
“Yes, since I was a girl. That’s not part of the project.” The absurdity of trying to define what is and isn’t part of the project, but I do it nonetheless.
“So when you are done with the project, you can retire from knitting every day.”
“Yes, I’m looking forward to being done forever. I hope this is the last long distance knitting project I do.”
“On to something else…”
I also met Wendy, short hair, smart black and white glasses.
“It’s my lucky day! I walked by the bench twice today but you weren’t here and now you are! You don’t have to scoot over–I don’t bite!” she said as she settled herself on one end of the bench.
“I don’t want my umbrella to hit you,” I explained. I was holding the umbrella handle between my legs in an attempt to project myself from the glaring sun. But the wind kept trying to yank the umbrella out of my grip. When the wind takes me, it takes you to. Great Lake Swimmers song in my head. Tiny seeds were blowing, scattering in the wind. I love the wind! A reminder that everything is alive, even the air.
“So you don’t listen to music while you knit?”
“No I like to listen to the sounds of modern day life.”
Today’s sounds included a stump grinder. I was disappointed that I didn’t notice when it stopped, only when it started. The mind adjusts itself to noise to make it more bearable.
A woman with a large fluffy white dog walked by wordlessly. She’s the one that gave me an ice cream stick last year. She stopped yesterday to tell me about her daughter who is hiking the Pacific Crest Trail by herself. So far, she has had close calls with a cougar and a mama bear with two cubs.
I finished dogsitting Citrus, the German Shepherd today for D. the Dem. She lives in a blue house straight out of Snow White and the Seven Dwarves with a steep gabled roof, tucked below street level on a hill. Yellow and scarlet begonias blooming in blue tubs all over her front yard. After barking sharply several times last night, Citrus settled down and slept peacefully. When she licked my hand in the morning, I knew I had won her over. She even let me stroke her ears, but only for a few seconds.