i went running, the college's board meeting leaking through my earbuds. Usually, this week I've listened to "The Gambler" and Dolly Parton's America and a long stretch of Jonah's music. I ran east, up the slow north slope of Mt. Tabor, and came upon a group of crows in an empty parking lot, circled around what looked like a wounded Cooper's hawk. The hawk was peeping; I ran toward the crows, who startled and the hawk rose carrying a dead squirrel.
Jonah and D. are out of school for the rest of the year. I likely won't return to work until summer at the earliest, though perhaps not until fall. Maybe then. I haven't sung a note since early March. Trees are shedding their blooms, growing chartreuse with new leaves. I found a pile of old photographs in my desk: my old dogs, Charlie and Luther, chained to our campsite at my honeymoon in 2001 (if you can call a camping trip where we brought both our dogs, my ex's best friend came to fish with him and get stoned as fuck, and I spent the week reading poetry and writing annotations for grad school a honeymoon), my first attempt at headshots, taken by my ex in our backyard on Miami Avenue, in front of what I called the "tetanus shack", a dilapidated, locked rusted metal shed in our backyard.one of me and my college roommate and once best-friend, H. and a woman whose name I don't remember. Photos of Jonah as an infant in a terrible knitted outfit gifted to me by my old college President. When I used to be a teacher. In that old life. A photo of me at 32, signing the papers for my first house, the only house I bought on my own.
The hawk rose above the empty parking lot and the crows followed, angry. I saw few people on my run, and everyone crossed the street when they saw someone else. A young homeless man curled up in the vestibule of the little brick tax company on Glisan.
I have been practicing Debussy (god, so far above my piano skills) on our out-of-tune baby grand (my divorce gift to myself, once I bought that suburban ranch). I have been listening to choral spirituals, the music that moves me the most. And I heard this. This woman broke me completely. And I haven't stopped crying.
|Me at 22(?) in front of the tetanus shack|
|Me at 32, signing for my house for me and my small boy|
|Jonah, outfit thanks to Dr. Marilyn Schlack, President Emeritus of Kalamazoo Valley Community College|
|Girl I can't remember, H., me, circa 1998|