“Do you know," Peter asked, "why swallows build in the eaves of houses? It is to listen to the stories.” ~ J.M. Barrie, Peter Pan



a lily cat, a summer skirt and bare toes, and a story read aloud.

Each evening before heading home, I settle into the scrunchiness of the couch at work, which is really a loveseat, which makes it all the more scrunchy and wonderful, and Lily and I share an hour of words, some read aloud, though the sounds of the air conditioner, pages turning and purring are the true noises, quiet and hovering in the background; the out-loud words are just here and there, a sentence or two so delicious they must be spoken. If I stay late enough, the bells and wind-up-toy music of the Mexican ice cream vendor will break the spell of otherwise silence, he pushing his cart down the almost deserted street outside, headed to the downtown square or to home - I like to think of him selling ice cream to folks relaxing under the trees and on the park benches as the temperature begins to cool, but I also like to think his day is done; he walks staring straight ahead, our area emptied of folks, all but me already gone for the day. I wonder how he got here, how long he's been pushing this cart, is he one of the business owners - their building is a couple of blocks north - I wonder if he is happy. I guess at his age - is he 30? 40? only 25? I wonder if he speaks English; in this area of downtown it is easy to lead your life in Spanish. I wonder about his story.

I will stop him some day and buy a popsicle and learn an answer or two. For now, I like the wondering.


  1. I love that you read to Lily. That sounds so marvelously peaceful and comforting.

  2. take his picture, too....to go along with his story. i would love that !....but you know me and strangers...i know, i'm strange like that. he might have an interesting tattoo.....

  3. the way you framed the image around the story and questions of the popcicle man ...thrilling ...

  4. Yes, it is the wondering that keeps you going, makes life interesting...
    I love this image, it is perfect, in so many, many ways.

  5. What a wonderful way to wind down before heading home, just you, your Lily cat, and a book. You definitely must get that popsicle. =)

  6. I am amazed every time I get a chance to learn someone's story I was previously wondering about.

  7. Oh, I need some of those delicious sentences right now.

    I've been so restless lately, my own words have dried up in equal measure to the lack of refilling my recent habits have caused. So, thank you. Thank you. Your previous post and this one gave me the nudge I needed. I've finally written a post that wasn't a list or poetry. I was running dry.

    Thank you.

  8. I love the picture in this post. The soft detail in your dress, the most essential words in perfect focus, your cute little toes, and Lily...accompanied by the imaginings of her purrs.


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