There are days that just have a natural, receptive vibe as if your body has invisible, tentacle-like receptors that reach out feeling for vibrations that easily move you. This morning was this way, and within 50 minutes between taking my daughter to school and coming back home, my day was completely filled with life. This day needn’t go further it’s perfect right now, and it’s literally Lucky.
I woke up still feeling the leftover pot cookie my lovely neighbor shared with me while celebrating my children’s Godfather’s birthday the night before. It was a sweet night of story telling and our kids getting along in what seemed like a new understanding of one another, a silent awareness of each other’s coming of age.
Last night my daughter also asked me what the first worst thing I ever lost was and how did I feel about it? Such questions. I told her of a dog that I had as a child, a Sheltie called Bambi who I loved and adored. When my mother came to the U.S. she had to live with my American grandparents who she felt looked down on her as a foreigner. My mother is not a dog lover, dismissing them for their smell and neediness. However, my grandmother had a Sheltie that showed a lot of empathetic devotion towards my mom, perhaps her only friend for a while. When the time came for my family to decide on getting a dog, my mother agreed with the stipulation that we get a Sheltie. I guess my mom didn’t realize that not all dogs are the same, much like people. My mother thought Bambi was flawed so she made us give her away. One late evening, I saw my parents through my bedroom window delivering her to a family that lived just across the way. I would visit her and sit in her dog house until her new family moved away which, thankfully, was not long after she was handed over. My daughter cried when I told her this, her tears touching my heart so deeply, her compassion such affirmation of a good person I’ve been raising.
It’s a lovely San Francisco late September morning today, which is our warmest and brightest times. I am in a bohemian mood dressed in floral, culotte shorts and a black felt, wide brim hat. I feel like Jodi Foster in Taxi mixed with Fairuza Balk in The Craft.
When we got to school, I had the pleasure of sitting in with my daughters third grade class while the children took their Friday spelling test. They count down out loud in Dutch, Spanish, and the teachers own Native American. They all chimed with impeccable timing and clarity like a word song. It was so lovely and sweet. I had no idea they did this.
Walking home with my 2 year old son we approach a street repair crew that he must gawk at. My son doesn’t realize that he is causing the street crew to gawk at me. I don’t pretend to not recognize this. The crew and I have a silent understanding that this gawking and blushing session is happening, which makes it much lighter while my son calls out back-hoes and tractors.
Continuing our regular route home, as I find he is much less adventurous in this way than my free-spirit 8 year old daughter, we fall in upon an old man with a walker. We begin to pass when he starts talking to me. Slightly ahead there is an Asian man sporting neon green sunglasses lingering on, listening, and taking in our encounter. I feel alerted that an “encounter” is underway. The old man starts in with a voice that sounds like he listens to a lot of east coast blues. His face is long and his eyes are feisty and fogged over with grey clouds.
Old Man: “Do you wanna hear something that will help you?”
Old Man: “When you wake up in the morning and you stretch, and you use the lavatory, and you climb back into bed and maybe your little guy is there [points to my son ahead] and he’s waking up…that’s all you need to do. There is no better life. You can’t be a crybaby about this and that, [gestures with one hand up in mocking exasperation, the other on his walker.] You all want to cry a lot, don’t you?”
Old Man: “Don’t you?”
Me: “Oh. Yes.”
Old Man: “Well you don’t need to do that. This conversation is all that matters…taking the time. Right?”
Me: “Yes.” [I’m getting it now.]
Old Man: “My name is Mmiucky”
Old Man: “You ever heard an M sound like an L before?”
Old Man: “LLLucky.” [More exasperated hand gestures.]
Me: “Great name.”
The Asian man has stopped being ahead and instead waits for us to catch up.
The Asian man: “Okay Lucky, let’s catch this bus.”
I see what is happening now.
Lucky to the Asian man: “Hey, wasn’t that fun though?”
The Asian man to Lucky: “Yeah, that was fun.”
Yeah that was fun. Lucky even.