Toasty cement sidewalks slide beneath our bamboo longboards. Kori zig-zags through sprinkler puddles and leaves trails across Old Main. I run and jump and flail, arms flapping like seagull wings caught in a sea breeze. I kick off against my back wheel, catapulting myself forward, sending my board off in the opposite direction. Bruises on my elbows, I laugh, stand, and get on knowing that I’m one fall closer to mastery.
A dare. We run around twisting First Dam walks to the small fishing bridge on the far east side. “No hesitation!” Kori says as she weaves her body through the railing and stares at the deep greenish gray of surging mountain water. Some frat boys are leaping from the bridge the highway crosses, shirts discarded. We’re fully dressed. Legs shaking, we fall, crashing through the surface into thick and icy silence. I open my mouth to scream and it fills. Fighting upward, breaking surface, dragging ourselves to the side wall where we smash our knees against the rocks. Shrieking and screaming and swearing we’ll never do that again. Running back four more times before our faces are numb and our heads too dizzy to process a thing.
Losing jalapenos between Kori’s car seats. Spreading my legs across the dash and biting into a chicken terriyaki sandwich the size of my face. Summer heat sizzling on the asphalt.
Standing in Logan River with my pants rolled to my knees. Water churning and beating against me. Camera in hand, subject on bridge. Pictures being caught, sunburns being made. We walk for miles on a paved path until we realize we don’t know where we are any longer, but the trees speckle the way and it is magic.
Chimes colliding, Beatles tribute band playing “I am the Walrus,” paintings and photos and glass and pottery dazzling beneath their tents. Summerfest crowds strutting by in their Maxi dresses and sun hats. Sitting on the ground with a pulled pork sandwich and a breeze tangling my hair. Friends laughing and my heart happy that people are still out there making beautiful things when the world is so ugly.
Sunset. The color of peaches and plums. The last breath of wind unwinding. My pink lips agape. Radiant.