My daughter and I sat facing each other on the couch, comparing feet sizes. We played word-at-a-time story. One day, a television tried to eat a banana but could not eat the banana because the world was not working.
On the way to Oakland, I drove past a billboard advertising a memorial dedicated to sex slaves during World War II. Then I passed an ad for a brand of marijuana with the words Best Buds written over two women’s bare butt cheeks.
The day a child brought a gun to school in San Francisco, I could have bought weed for my pet. The man at the pet store said it might help our cat relax when we trim his nails. I did not buy the weed but thought of something that happened many years ago. My husband and I were eating dinner at home and arguing about something stupid. As we yelled at each other, the cat ran outside and threw himself off the deck. We sprinted downstairs and found him stuck in a bush, two stories down. We apologized to each other, and to the cat, who was fine.
A friend from Perth visited last week. She is a fish scientist. This is not the only fact that makes her interesting but it is the thing I think about most often, when I think of her. When I tell my children about all the jobs that we don’t even know about, I think of my friend who used to work at a company that makes clothing tags, and also my Perth friend, a vegetarian, who dissects fish for a living.
I took the fish scientist swimming in the bay. I warned her the water was cold but she has swum in the Atlantic and isn’t easily put off. She walked in and said this is nothing and floated on her back like a starfish. I noticed how pretty she is, and how at home in the water she seems, and there I go again, thinking about how she’s a fish scientist.
The water has been saving me lately, the way it always does. Twice a week I swim with my friend who has a new baby and she tells me what her baby is chewing on now, and how he is moving from two naps to one. I tell her I am looking at high schools for my daughter and neither of us can believe that babies become older. Recently I asked my friend if she secured childcare for the baby. She breathed a sigh of relief and said, “The German doula is back from Burning Man.” I told her that should be the name of a story, a story that makes no sense. She told me to write it.