My oldest boy is a rather adventurous spirit so I was a little surprised this morning when he resolutely declined the opportunity to ride Metro to school, just a few straight-line miles down the road. He may have felt somewhat intimidated by the high schoolers who tend to cluster like ornery, dazed fowl (who wear too much cologne and perfume) at the adjacent stop in the morning. Nearby Garfield High is one of the big in-city schools, the alma mater of legendary record producer Quincy Jones. The Holy Names girls disembark by us and walk a block up the hill but the Bulldogs hop on for Garfield. Meanwhile, the junior high bus has been late this week because a substitute driver has taken over the route and he seems to struggle mightily with left and right turns but that’s better than last year when the school district brought drivers down from Alaska and had to first supply them with “urban driver training” which brings to mind this monochrome from exploring I did around my brother’s hometown one recent winter, when I rode the train for hours, variably back and forth from downtown not unlike the spokes of a bicycle wheel. No turns to worry about. I could never tire of riding the train in this one of America’s great cities but still I was reminded what a country mouse I am. Seattle is sort of the right size city for me. It could be just a little littler.
It was such a beautiful day, yesterday. After school, Oliver Fern was the human pendulum on the neighbors’ sidewalk swing (an improvised buoy which dangles from an overgrown small maple) for nearly an hour. He talked to himself, sang songs and made piles of leaves to bulldozer with each breezy pass while I sat on the porch and did my own daydreaming in the sunlight. Every so often he noticed me smiling at him and sheepishly waved back.