Today was one of those days that started early and if I hadn’t gotten stuck on the east bay side of the Oakland hills waiting for people to merge in a way too narrow tunnel, I would have floored it all the way to Ocean Beach and sat at the Cliff House parking lot with my foot hovering over the gas pedal wondering if I should tempt it and see if I could drive straight across the water to make the day last forever.
I was annoyed in lab at tricky test questions and classmates that wouldn’t speak up leaving me shouting out answers in order to make those awkward, painful silences in a class of 30 people as short-lived as possible. While I know my lab prof knows what she’s talking about, getting it through her native language then her second language of French then into English is like a time-suck of mixed up words that has me pronouncing the anatomy of plants with a Spanish accent b/c I haven’t a clue how to pronounce it otherwise. (gah MEE toe phyte, I can make it sound sexy)
I left in a bit of a fluster having missed brunch with a friend at Cafe Cacao and got home after a 4.5 hr morning. So I did the only thing I know how to do when feeling discouraged and loaded Jack into the backseat and took him and ex-boy to Walnut Creek for a hike.
It’s rainy season so we haven’t been doing our Sunday hikes. Today was the first hike in a few weeks and Jack’s smile took up over half of his tiny little head. Part of the hike has a dry pond-bed that fills with water for a few short months of the year. Jack saw the water, raced toward it, dipped a paw, backed up, looked at me, took a few more steps then bounced out and started to do laps along the water’s edge. He stopped, whined, cocked his head at the water and continued to do laps. Ex-boy went to one side of the pond and I stayed on the other, and Jack high-tailed it around the edge back and forth until he couldn’t take it anymore and ran straight across the water for a good 5 steps before going under completely. I swallowed my breath and waited and finally his drenched head popped up and I belted out with a laugh as his little head bobbed back to the shore. Passers-by stopped to see the little puppy swim and run along the water’s edge like a toddler on his first sugar high. I didn’t want to leave. And Jack didn’t want to leave. But the mocha raspberry latte was hitting my bladder and the trail was way too crowded to just pick a tree to pee behind. So we headed out for a few dessert crepes, errands and then came back home while that first glimpse of spring air faded somewhere behind the hills and I was stuck in traffic as the temperature dropped wondering how it’s possible for anyone to not move here after 1 visit. I dropped my right hand into my lap and ex-boy grabbed it and have you ever stared straight-ahead knowing someone was inspecting your profile? It’s an odd feeling that leaves me both flattered and nervous and wanting to chase time and put it in a lock box so that a single moment will never be left in the past.