★★★★ A little yellowish cumulus was showing in the distance up Columbus Avenue. There were some sort of clouds directly overhead in the overall blue, but it was too bright to look at them. It had taken real resolve to put on sunscreen and get out the door. People in medals and bibs, more motivated people, had already finished their morning exertions and were on their way out of the Park. A blur and a shine lay on the Sheep Meadow. Strollers clustered under the trees; sunbathers dispersed themselves in a slowly accumulating gradient fill. The sun raised damp vegetal fumes out on the open grass. The two-year-old had picked up a stick and he exulted in it all the way across the meadow, till his older brother felt obligated to find one of his own. On the far side, a low white hump of clover rose beside the low gray humps stone pushing through the lawn. A dusty-looking bee worked the blossoms. The bright veins in the rock gleamed like glass. Under the oaks there were plenty of sticks, enough for the two-year-old to start passing them out: "This can be your stick! I found you a stick!" There were sticks for sword-fighting, for jabbing into the mulch, for pointing execution-style, as an imaginary blaster gun, at the head of a blameless little stranger. Here and there also were plastic forks, a puzzle piece, a wooden ice cream paddle stained with chocolate. Two abandoned beer cans showing no visible punctures. Dragonflies passed three or four yards overhead. A white passenger jet, a dark helicopter, and a bunch of lost blue and white balloons went their separate ways at their separate altitudes. Amplified music, hardly more than a throb or squeezing sensation on the air, carried from somewhere out of sight, probably in the east. The shade was cool and filled with a floral scent, a paradisal subset of the available conditions. On the way back, along 67th Street, a dead fledgeling lay stiffly on its side. Sundown brought a descending crescent moon, thin and melon-orange.
Monday, June 30th, 2014
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