I’m looking out my window at the front lawn. The grass is cut low, but not because I cut it. My wife deals with the lawn maintenance because, honestly, she does a better job at it than I do. I don’t feel upset at that because I admit to it, but when she lets me I try my best to mimic her lawn care techniques. When I did mow regularly I used the push mower, even though the yard is not small. It’s how I got my workout back in the day. But I doubt the grass was this low back then.
Beyond the lawn is the sidewalk, which was freshly poured approximately three years ago, separated into blocks of concrete straight and true. It leads in a direct line toward the north of the village, where it dead-ends in a thick patch of woods. Odd, that a thick patch of woods would impinge upon an otherwise civilized place, but nevertheless it is the case. When I go for a walk, I can follow the path only so far until I have to take to the street to avoid the atrocity.
And I wish I still rode my bike, the one I grew up on — no, not a 10-speed, but a brown Huffy with stubby legs and huge wheels. I remember when I first started riding and I kept falling off. I would curse the universe that knew I would fall off before I did, but that did nothing to stop it from happening. I blamed my uncle too, because he bought the bike for me and he didn’t believe in training wheels, which was a travesty. But eventually I learned to ride that thing, to push myself beyond my preconceived limits, and to soar down the hill before capsizing.
If I had a bike now I would ride it past the thick patch of woods at night, so I could feel the wind against my scalp and imagine I was in another world where dreams came true just by wishing them.
Then there’s the green house, newly painted lime green for whatever reason, past that piece of ground, sticking out like a sore thumb in the middle of this nice village, staining it as truly as the woods do in my rearview as I travel past. In my mind’s eye I imagine it as it used to be, a whiter shade of pale yellow, weathered by time and elements. And I can understand why they painted it, to cleanse its aura, but also to make it fresh and new again. Green for spring, for renewal.
The sidewalk picks up again past the green house, leading to the empty playground that should be full of laughing children. And I wonder why. Because it’s so nice. I sit on the swing and push off the ground with my feet, launching myself into the air before I come back down to earth.