The beauty of the river was demystified by the stench of sewage, incongruent as the gorgeous woman who speaks hatred and slander through perfectly painted lips.
The raw smell of the river wafts in and out of narrow downtown streets like a rat lost in a maze, poking around corners and then quickly withdrawing. Sometimes it charges back and forth on the same block, this way and that, trapped in the narrow streets, looking for it’s way back to the river.
I run down paved sidewalks passed murals on buildings, painted by small hands with dreams of growing big. The messy work becomes an abstract blur as my heart begins ascending into the day’s running adventure. Bounding down the hill I am a child, carefree, arms swinging wild. My reflection projects an adult, controlled, tightly moving, serious attention to form. I am two people in one.
As I climb out of the maze of buildings I have a clear landscape view of the winding path along the river, which is littered with brightly colored shirts, which scatter about like leaves in the wind. Volumes of air moving in and out of my lungs quench my thirst. This is what drinking breath feels like. The Minnesota sky, uninterrupted by mountains, is a giant blue dome overhead. I feel like I am inside a shakable globe. Everything is fixed, a perfectly painted world, and I am a moving toy bounding up the river path weighted so I land proper in the scene.
Nothing beats a good fruit salad after a run like this. Yesterday I went to Tanya and Allison’s house to see their vegetable garden. They had an excess of raspberries and invited me over to pick some. I walked into the yard and saw Tanya standing in what looked like a giant tomato jungle, rake in hand, squinting from the sun. It was their first garden, and, it was quite impressive. They had baby cucumbers, small and pimpled and nestled under leaves like street teenagers waiting to be rescued. They had green beans, so new they were sticky and in their infancy they clung to my tongue. They had spicy mustard greens, whose aggressive flavor hit me between the eyes. The zucchini were my favorite. In the shade of giant heart shaped leaves hides a little village where giant yellow squash blossoms, billowy at the bottom and peaking in a point like a soft ice cream cone, sit atop little green zucchini. They look like Dr. Seuss characters. When Allison brushed the leaves aside to show me the zucchini, I half expected them to gather and sing in whoville chorus. The raspberry bushes were contained in a giant hairnet, I left with a container of beautiful fresh red raspberries.
The fruit salad for today is simple. Just fruit. I used ¼ watermelon (cubed), 1 honeydew melon (cubed), 1 cup blueberries, 1 cup raspberries, 1 cup grapes (halved). Mix and enjoy!
Jesse’s vote: “I liked it so much”