27 May 2020
we took the back roads home from savannah, cut through small georgia towns along the way. spotted an old roadside motel and pulled over. as I got out of the car, I noticed a man in army fatigues, perched in a plastic lawn chair the color of christmas trees. I could feel him watch me as I positioned my camera, knew questions were next. what are you doin, girl? welp, I told him. I'm taking a picture of this old motel sign. I do that sometimes. I smiled and turned away then, looked through the viewfinder at the old sign. better do it quick, he said. before they tear this down. they wanna change everything about the south.
here's hoping, I thought, as I got back in the car. here's hoping we work to change as much as we can. I knew he wasn't really talking about the sign.
26 May 2020
25 May 2020
I booked a hotel room with a clawfoot tub the color of eggshells and a window with a fire escape and a view of the streets below because on my fortieth birthday, I needed to feel a little bit like I was l living the life my fourteen year-old self dreamt of.
24 May 2020
23 May 2020
I took a walk down edgewood avenue, past familiar bus stops and bars, past new murals and the remains of old ones. I stopped to make small talk with the owner of a barbershop, who invited me inside for a few minutes. the soft metallic hum of the clippers, the occasional sound of the broom, layers of conversation. if I could have tucked myself into a corner there for the rest of the afternoon, I would have.
22 May 2020
I watched a painter work in new orleans, near the iron fence that encloses jackson square. she used a cardboard palette to mix her paints-- greens, red and yellows like fresh rainbow chard, the sounds of beyonce coming from what I could only assume was a phone. her voice muffled, as if she were singing through a sock. across the way, amber light on buildings, a scene that begged to be painted.
21 May 2020
I walked down aisle after aisle with my cousin at a sprawling fleamarket in rural texas, felt the scorch of the sun on my neck, thick layers of dust and sweat on my skin and knew (in my bones) there was no place else in the world I'd rather be.
20 May 2020
I woke up early on a wednesday morning to pick strawberries, arrived to find the field already teeming with pickers. I got to work at once, plucked berries until my fingers were stained bright red and sweat stung my eyes, until I'd completely filled the two buckets I brought with me. drove back home with the windows down, the air sweet and thick with the fruit, the juice still on my fingertips, on the steering wheel, everywhere.
19 May 2020
18 May 2020
17 May 2020
we spent an afternoon on the humid streets of downtown athens, georgia. flipped through records at wuxtry, books at avid. checked to see what was playing at the old movie theatre. chased ezra's neon yellow rubber ball as it pinged across a busy street. meandered down narrow brick-paved alleyways into vintage shops stacked floor to ceiling with musty goods. considered a quick lunch at waffle house but remembered the time ward found a spoon in the bathroom there and decided against it. landed instead at the burger place around the corner and as we sat out on the patio at the table with the poppy red oilcloth covering and waited for our food, decided athens might just be the perfect place for us to retire.
16 May 2020
15 May 2020
14 May 2020
we drove through downtown tucumcari, new mexico with the windows rolled down. slowed to a stop in the middle of an empty street, sat with the quiet and the color for a minute. a truck pulled up behind us then, blasted his horn, yelled something out the window and that was that. spell broken.
13 May 2020
while my dad stood at the kitchen sink and washed dishes, a cardinal flew right up to the window, landed on a sliver of frame, looked at him for a few seconds, and flew away. I've never seen a cardinal do that, he said. never.
he didn't say it, but he didn't have to. I knew what he was thinking. she'd been gone for nearly half a decade but, still. we saw her every once in a while. a crimson blur at the window, a soft pink opaline sky. mom.