Snapshot of an Hour

A little boy called “ba! ba!” with great urgency, and the mother pushing his stroller said about the lovely ball of blue yarn, “That’s not a ball you can throw or kick.  It would unravel.”

A grey-haired woman said, “That’s quite a picture of how our small actions accumulate over time,” as she gazed at the hosereel.  She told me how much she had enjoyed watching my progress.  “What’s your name?” I asked her, and she said “Liz.  I feel like I know you.  At least a bit.”  In a lot of ways, I feel like the residents of South Hill are more aware of me than I am of them, especially the people that drive by in their cars.  I just catch a blurred impression of their faces if I’m lucky, but they see me sitting there on the bench every day.

Scott the manager walked by the bench with his employee, smiling and friendly as usual even though I called him Kevin by mistake.

Candy came strolling towards the bench in a lace blouse.  I commented how long and lovely her hair is getting.  She praised the hosereel overflowing with knit yarn.  “It’s kind of crazy,” I said.  “Good crazy,” Candy said.  “What are you going to do with it once you finish?”  I told her I was hoping to get it into a museum.  “We’ll put that energy out in the universe,” she said.  “Say a prayer for me,” I said as she walked away.  “I’ll say more than one prayer for you,” she said.

A man driving a flooring van told me several times, “That’s really obsessive.”

C. came down street level with tupperware full of compost in hand–I could see the leopard skin banana peels splayed like yellow octopi through the plastic.  She asked me how my weekend alone went. She sat down with me on the bench, and stayed quite a while, laughing and waving hesitant drivers over the knit line.  She feels that our deceased neighbor is present with us, though not in a spooky way.  I kept waiting for the alarm on my cellphone to go off, but it never did.  Finally I checked it.  I had set it for 8:30 am instead of 9:30, so I ended up knitting for two hours.  I must have needed it.

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