#108: School’s Out

Ribbons of light on white linen curtains.
East English Village, Detroit, MI

Had a dream a couple nights ago that I was directing a bunch of toddlers in a Mario-Kart-like race through a many-roomed house. There were balloons all over the floor. I was trying to make sure the kids stayed on the track. E asked me on the phone what I thought it meant and I said maybe it’s about me trying to get back into my routine after a month on the road. Little things are off-course right now: I’ve been lying half-awake at night, I ran out of my usual breakfast tea and the substitute yerba mate’s been making me jittery, I went kendo and yoga finally and have never sweated more. Stopped by the pottery studio too, to pick up a few mugs that had come out of the salt kiln, and I’ve been on the fence about doing another eight-weeks of wheel throwing. Maybe it’s time to try hand-building, or something entirely different. Maybe.

Mario Kart also reminds me of middle school summer vacation. Being over my friend Ken’s house and playing time trials on SNES in his cool-floored basement and trying to shave hundredths of seconds off our record on Mario Circuit 1. That memory’s in my first novel, or maybe I cut it. Can’t remember. But now I’m trying to finish this new book about an eleven-year-old and last night I was out with my roommate and some of her friends and one of them was saying how apps like Uber are all just about paying other people to do the things our moms used to do for us when we were eleven – cook, clean, drive us places, etc.

And I’m thinking that if I were eleven right now, school would be just getting out and the entire summer would still be ahead of me, a whole two and a half months which for an eleven-year-old is, if not an eternity, still a lot of time. So much time.