I should’ve crawled back into bed when I realized it was going to be a day like this. It started as soon as I got up. For some reason my hand-eye coordination was off. I fumbled around with the dogs’ leashes, I dropped my keys, and then their dog food, and then my breakfast. What the hell was wrong with me? I mean, I’ve always been a klutz, and also forget things if I don’t make a list, but today was starting out exponentially worse, and it did not get better.
All the books I’ve read about pregnancy say it does this to you. That there’s some scientific correlation between growing a kid and losing your mind and fine motor skills. Whether I can blame this on my unborn child or not, it was out of control today. I carefully made my lunch then forgot it on the kitchen counter. I somehow got what I needed to do done today, but not without bending over a hundred times to pick things up as I dropped them, dropping something else as I did that. For someone who is eight and a half months pregnant and a dogwalker it’s hard enough to stoop to pick up dog poop, much less my sunglasses, then my keys, oh, there went half the sandwich I had to buy because I forgot my lunch, oops, my sunglasses again…GARRR!!
I decided to try to redeem the day by doing something fun, so I went to the library. I know, what a nerd, right? But, I l-o-v-e the library. Especially the Main public library at the Civic Center. Yeah, it’s teeming with crazies and parking is a bitch, but it’s big and beautiful and holds all that I hold dear inside its walls. And right now they have a collection of Paul Madonna‘s artwork for All Over Coffee on display in the Jewett Gallery downstairs.
I reveled in each piece, soaking in the beauty of his pen and ink drawings of buildings around the city, letting my mind wander with the accompanying text, imagining the rest of the conversation snippet, or flash fiction story, and what the characters would be like. The one of the windows and balconies of an apartment building on Franklin and Golden Gate had lines pointing to intriguing descriptions of the occupants within each unit, like “kills pigeons” or “photographs well” or beginnings of fascinating stories about them. I love imagining what people’s lives are like, and let myself get lost in that piece for awhile.
Another favorite was called Haight and Scott. The composition was beautiful to look at, with only an off-set rectangle shaded in darker washes, leaving the rest of the setting light. It said “Does the smell of the air today remind you of another time?” And inside the rectangle, “Inhale through your nose. And the next time a day like this comes around you’ll be transported back to now.” Ah, I like that, I thought, thinking about the power of smells and memory and art and words as I left the library.
Only to find that it hadn’t even occurred to my pregnant-addled brain to put money in the meter. There was the dreaded white and red DPT ticket (that my husband so happened to design, which unfortunately doesn’t save me from paying $50) sticking out of my hood. I cannot wait for this day to be over, and maybe if I hold my breath no smell will ever transport me back to it.