We will have a handful of days like today before he goes to day camp in July. Weather permitting, we'll rotate between the park, the pool, and the library. He is a ball of energy and has that unmoored social ineptness so common to singletons. But he'll find his way because he is sensitive and smart.
He loves to hear about the tomfoolery (he also collects archaic language) that my night job delivers on a regular basis.
Last night a restaurant manager called to report that she received a phone call about a naked man on the roof of the restaurant. As soon as she hung up the phone, another call came in. This time it was the naked man calling. She hung up on him, called the police, and went outside to walk around the building to see if anyone was out there. Or up there. Nothing and nobody.
Charlie was hysterical and said, "She should have told him NO SHIRT, NO SHOES, NO SERVICE!" I wish I had been that witty.
This park is fifteen minutes from home. Wide-open, brand new equipment in a very large oval yard surrounded by wide sidewalks and low walls with polished concrete seating. I need to remember my seat cushion. Beyond the playground, are open fields with miles of walking paths. There is a little kid's playground on the other side of the park. Pavillions for picnics and BBQs. All that's missing is a splash pad. Charlie plunges in and leaves me to my devices. I sit where I can see the kids. Check for his blue/black flash every few minutes.
Today was different. I found myself watching the perimeter. Looking for the out-of-place person. And I wasn't the only one. An elderly gentleman looking like Santa on vacation set up a canvas folding chair in the shade off to one side. He had a huge hardcover novel but didn't turn many pages. Across from me on the other side of the playground, a black woman, arms folded also looking behind the children. Noting who came and went. We watched. Behind us, the teachers and families of a kindergarten class were setting up a graduation party under the big pavilion. Clutches of little half-pints in red and gold caps and gowns flitted around the playground like hot butterflies.
I put my cloth on the pavement between my feet . The cloth had nothing to say today.