On the way home the windows in the car were cracked and the wet pavement poured in like the smell of a hot iron. The little dog was panting fast in the back seat and smearing black pawprints on the leather.
I looked at myself in the rear-view mirror. How ugly. My bangs hung in wet pieces around my eyes and my ponytail frizzed out from the side of my head in surrender. Little white flag of faux-pas. I adjusted the mirror to look at Cadence. She looked like me, but pretty.
Smaller. Her wet hair framed a beaming angel's cheeks and a bubblegum pink pout. "That was fun," she whispered. The dog nervously shivered next to her grinning and drooling.
Ahead there was a man on a three-wheeled bicycle pedaling in slow motion. Thin waterfalls cried from his fedora and crashed onto the pedals. The basket followed him like a stray dog- full of aluminum cans and junk. I passed too carefully for the moment. At the stop sign I slowed the wipers to low. They dragged over the drying glass and made a yucky noise. Cars splashed by and drowned us in blankets of muddy street water.
"Wasn't that fun?" Her eyelashes- survivors clinging to eachother. I thought of the mud on the seats and the dirty dog feet. "Sure," I said wanting to turn this moment into a movie scene where the timing is always right and every movement is bound to perfectly orchestrated music. I had to remind myself to take a picture of us. Three mermaids. Their sweet faces knowing nothing about the responsibility of sorrow. Click. And my face.
They were sweet, the two of them. Like the deluge had re-birthed their faith in true fun. Both she and the dog watched the buildings blur by and I said, "I wish we could do this every day."
And the part of me that can still do cartwheels in the grass really, really meant it.
7 hours ago