This summer I have been dealing with fragments.  Wisps.

The intentions, June 1, were lined up and plotted.  Take a summer school class outside my department to fulfill an elective, then write the rest of the summer. Write, so that I would submit in the Fall.

What happened: I took the summer school class, then needed to recuperate from it til the end of July.  It turns out that taking a truncated course outside your department is complex, rigorous, and a trip to Funland (if Funland was designed by George Romero). It made for a terse student evaluation and my eternal gratitude for a fellow classmate. (Jack, if you ever find this blog, thank you.)

After the class, the ok grade sigh of relief, I retired to my backyard with pen and paper. They sat on the glass topped patio table. I floated in the pool. (Pool-in-a-box, assembled by me and my family after it was dumped off the back of a truck and carted to the backyard.) I cleaned the pool.  I skimmed debris; flotsam and jetsam of privacy-fenced suburbia. I aerobicized in a circle, a polka-like inner orbit. There was tanning that occurred.

Fragments of lines happened.  But often not.  You can’t float notebooks or put waterwings on a pen. Electronics? Double no-no.  I would try to write in my head.  I attempted to memorize sentences. I tried to latch on to to those fragments as I scooped out leaves and scrubbed algae from sides that wibbled like firmer gelatin, stretched vinyl hide.

I listened to the life of birds; watched hawks lilt and torpedo the air. Cardinals visited, went on couples dates on the low hanging branches of crepe myrtle cafes. Once, I saw a pair hummingbirds chase a starling out of the neighbor’s ill-kept bushes that draped across the fence.

Seeping into the humid highs that August perennially signifies, ragged suspicions: my orbit was circling the drain. My summer intentions were a smattering of tattery tissue sucked out to sea.


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