Have you ever listened to someone with opinions on grass? I don’t mean opinions on lawns. Those are a bore. Who even talks about lawns and lawn quality other than Americans? Don’t answer that, I don’t want to know. I mean talking about grass on its own terms. How it feels on your bare feet. How fuzzy is it? Does it desperately hold you close, terrified of letting you go, threatening to cut you up if you try to get away? When you press against it, does it hold you up, or does it give way and let you hit the floor, quietly whispering in your ear “what were you expecting, exactly? I’m grass.” Today’s grass is soft, like a blanket that I’ve washed thousands of times, to the point that the fabric and seams are fraying. It’s rained a bit but not too much, so the ground is just dry enough not to leave a stain on my clothes, but just damp enough to act as a firm mattress. It’s almost as comforting as I would want for a patch of grass, if it weren’t for the couple of bare bits lost over the years.
I am so close to making it to my home. If I could look up right now, I’d see the front door. I guess work took more out of me than I thought. I guess I’m gonna be stuck on the floor for a while. Do you know those people that are just looking for someone to unload on? To just corner some hapless victim while they’re minding their own business to just go on and on about whatever mind worm is eating at their brain? You’re waiting for the next bus. You’re at the register, working. And this dude just has to talk to you about government conspiracies, their personal problems, or worse, flirt. Well, that’s my brain right now. Doesn’t it ever get tired of making the same old tired arguments for why I should feel bad? My friends and family love and care for me, thank you very much. No, life isn’t pointless. I have more mangoes I want to eat. A friend invited me to go to the movies with them later this week, and I’m not going to stand them up. That’d be rude, and they would be sad. Truly, you’re wrong brain, and I wish you wouldn’t try so hard to be right. No, you weren’t right those times either. I just gave up and let you have the last word.
Huh. A bicycle ring? From behind me. I wonder who it is. I should get up and see who it is. I try to get up, but my body won’t move. I can’t yet, huh? Sigh. I try turning my head in that direction. I manage to move it a little, but not enough to see where the noise is coming from.
“Are you Ramicia Tirado?” says a stern, unfamiliar voice. “Creepy,” I say. Oh. I said it out loud. Whoops.
“Doña Pantalla has requested your presence. Do you have time to meet with her today?” the person asks.
“Oh, I don’t know. I’m kind of busy right now,” I say, half-jokingly.
“I see.” A brief awkward silence passes before the person continues. “Doña Pantalla has offered to provide dinner if you decide to come along. Apologies if I’ve arrived at an inconvenient time for you. Should I ask her to reschedule?”
I appreciate their effort to be polite and overlook the obvious mess that I am right now. “Dinner sounds good, actually. I can’t say I have the energy to put together dinner for myself right now. Could you give me a few minutes while I try to get up?” I ask.
After a few minutes of willing myself to get up, picking up what felt like two or three times my actual body weight, I’m finally standing. I look in the direction that the voice had come from. A woman in a fitted suit and tie is standing in front of a plain looking two-seater bicycle, waiting patiently. She has her hair in a ponytail and looks a little older than me. Looking closer, I notice she’s wearing a round golden pin with a stone tower depicted on it. Hm, have I seen that before? Oh well. She quietly hops on the bicycle, I join behind her, and we’re off to have some dinner.