Mark wasn't going to be around yesterday evening and I've been a bit burned out, so I hired a sitter for the other kids and left with the baby for a few hours. I parked on a residential street at the edge of Uptown, put the baby in a carrier and slung a bag over my shoulder, and headed off on foot.
I meant to sit at a patio table in the shade, and drink a glass of wine or a margarita, eat a nice dinner, nurse the baby and read a book. After that, I thought, I'd walk around the lake. But as I wandered around the district (a few square blocks of shops, restaurants, and bars, surrounded by residences, and near the lakes), I couldn't decide what I wanted to eat.
After a while I worked out that I was not hungry. So instead I just meandered around. I stopped into The North Face and bought a practical sun hat, because it was hot and sunny and I didn't have one. I stopped into Lunds and bought a small tube of sunblock, which I smeared on the baby's chubby arms and legs dangling from the carrier, and a bottle of cold lemonade. I stopped into John Fluevog and admired the spring styles, looking for something that might go on sale in late summer and be comfortable for walking around in Rome in late September, while not being sport sandwals. (What do you think of these? In the burgundy and black?) I stopped in Goorin Brothers and tried on sun hats of the slightly less practical, but perhaps more Roman-holiday-appropriate, packable straw sort.
I headed toward the lake but changed my mind because my bag (why did I pack Bleak House?) was weighing down my shoulder. So I waited twice at the intersection for the light to change -- the second time, next to a man portaging a canoe -- that's Minneapolis for you -- and went back to wandering, indecisively.
In the end I settled into a deep sofa in the corner of my favorite coffee shop, with a packet of hummus and pretzels for dinner. Also a large coffee drink which the barista gave me after I specified "Something cold -- abd decaffeinated -- and BIG -- with, um, calories -- but not a flavoring." I believe it was a 32-ounce iced decaf cold press with about a half cup of half-and-half in it. And also my iPad, which I surfed mindlessly a I nursed the baby, who smelled of sweat and coconut. And you know, that was a fine way to spend my time, even if it wasn't what I imagined Myself enjoying,
And what is the point of the story? Right now it feels like a metaphor for my slow blogging in this season. I only have a vague sense of wanting to write -- to have the experience of writing. Ideas occur to me here and there, but I am not hungry enough to dig into them. And I only have enough time to write a few posts, so I want my few products to be good ones, and am unwilling to waste my rare "meals" on something insubstantial. Which leaves me writing nothing, only wandering.
I need a comfy chair to fall into.