Things Encountered On A Hot Morning Walk To The Park

Dog shit, purple flowers that look like giant fluffy dandelions in a Dr. Seuss book, a baby in a sunhat so loose it falls over her big brown eyes, a man letting his dog’s tongue lap water straight from the metal fixture on the public drinking fountain, unrelenting sunshine, apartment buildings that resemble castles with their giant oak doors and stone archways, dog shit covered in flies that scatter as I pass by, a smashed cockroach on concrete steps, a black squirrel who freezes in his tracks as I get closer and then darts up a tree, a woman on the phone saying “there’s just something about her that rubs me the wrong way,” a glare at my close-mouthed smile as I pass a stranger, flies buzzing around spilling black bags of garbage, a woman in workout clothes alternately running and walking up a hill as she loudly sings to half the music coming through her headphones, the joyful incredulity I still feel when I realize I live in New York City, dog shit, the urge to rip my sweaty bra off and throw it into a bush, a man trying to convince a woman on a bench that his three-year-old absolutely loves avocado, a tiny dog that looks like Chewbacca and is shaved everywhere but his head, the desire to write something that isn’t terrible, a young man with a Scottish accent who scares the shit out of me when he sprints towards my back and asks for a dollar, lilacs, the fresh scent of lilacs, a wide view of the deep blue Hudson River reaching north as I round the bend, a stranger who smiles back, the cooling shadows of trees who have lived here much longer than I have, leaves that dance between shades of green in the sunlight, a garden bursting with a rainbow of fragrant flowers, a giggling toddler smelling of sweet coconut sunscreen, and more dog shit that smells like dog shit.

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