R.’s first day of second grade. Her class is all boys, the second grade is all boys—where have the girls gone? Private school? Oregon?
She puts on a plaid dress and leggings, elliptical hoop earrings, gets on her scooter, very chic, J. follows her around the corner to school. I get on my bike, clicking chain I still haven’t tamed, arrive at the office and am told, thanks for your recent supererogatory efforts on the big data project. I say that the portage over the steepest part of the mountain is over, and hope it’s true. The head of our department comes in, sees us all standing at our desks typing—“How can you do that all day?” We don’t know.
Lots of new people at the zendo, young and scruffy: must be the start of term? An older woman asking about the timing for a certain ceremony, is told, “We’ve had a lot of calendar-related challenges recently.” Low, fast fog, the sun keeps fading in and out, God’s mad hand on the dimmer knob. R. and J. both reading by lamplight when I get home. They’ve already eaten, I make myself a five-minute dinner out of the first things I find in the fridge: kimchi, carrots, last night’s orzo, fried eggs on top. I call it “Marco Polo Goes to Incheon,” and make a couple of extra gyoza for R., who’s still hungry. Quiet, warm.