01 February 2011

one two three

i drove past mr. t's pizza on sunday. it couldn't have taken more than 3 seconds--but it all seemed like one moment. it didn't seem like a succession of events, but a smooth, swift firework of motions all at once that exploded into a little story. beginning, middle, end, all at the same time--little sparkles hanging in the air to look at for 3 seconds. a moment is 3 seconds, i think. it's just the right amount of time to contain one neat sliver of existence--a sliver that doesn't easily break up into smaller segments of time in one's memory.

see, first i saw a big black dog romping through the parking lot at mr. t's. no place for a dog in a busy area like that.

the car kept moving--i didn't even need to flick my eyes to see a woman near mr. t's window. she stood about two feet away from the building, but she was leaning forward from her hips so that her face was very close to the glass. her back was to me. i saw four white corners framing her ponytailed head: a flyer. my brain said, "maybe that's a 'help wanted' sign? maybe she's looking for a job." i didn't think it in sentence form, because there wasn't time, and because brains don't need to do that. i thought in keywords and just general wordlessness, i think.

just then the woman turned around. she was scrunching her eyebrows together and her chin was warbly--but i could tell that this wasn't a reaction to the bright sun, because the movement of her head unobscured that flyer so that i could read it. i was reading her face and the flyer together. the woman's ponytail slapped against her cheek. "LOST DOG," the paper declared desperately beneath a photo of a big black mutt. the woman's mouth opened and i saw but didn't hear her holler at the dog that was now thirty feet from her.

and then mr. t's was behind me. it wasn't an earth-shattering moment. but hey, then again, maybe it was. if it weren't, why would i have gotten a little shiver down my spine? and maybe that dog is home now!


kyrie bushaw said...

so those flyers DO work! miracle. simply a 3-second miracle. (that it happened and that you saw it go down). love it. (ps. I'M SO HAPPY YOU POSTED AGAIN!!..i love to read you!)

hannah singer said...

i can totally picture this magical moment, you've shared it so perfectly. i adore you, darling annie, and am thankful for your written words-they are a cozy crackling fire to my soul!