Stirring two lumps of sugar thoughtfully into rose tea, she looked beyond the blue-and-white-plastic-covered table, out the kitchen window, through the leaves of the overgrown hanging, climbing jungle of jasmine and geraniums, at morning.
It would be streaming in soon. She wondered what to do with it. There were dirty dishes in the sink. Or there was ice cream in the fridge. Vanilla. There could be pancakes, easily. There were, sublime, within minutes.
Then, more tea. Two lumps. There was the office, of course. There would be a once-white, now scratchy shirt to be ironed. Or, there could be,
Burgundy pants, mismatched socks. Pastels. Parrots on a creamy silk blouse with a stain of strawberry jam that had been exquisite. Around her neck, a pendant: a copper chain and little clock that did not have to tell time because it was shaped like an owl.
Bright, bright lipstick that smelled and tasted of macarons. Rose and pistachio. She picked up her umbrella and fishing pole and put them in a violin case as she walked out the door.
Traffic. The street was choked with cars and curses and fumes, but she had the windows down and music up and drove in the other direction. Sharp turn to the right, on a whim. The parrots on her shirt, startled, flew right off. They would be back; they knew where she was going.
She drove away from the city, till the air was quiet and clear and blue and smelled of grass and a stream. She drove over a bridge and up a hill. Green, like peacocks and fresh basil and first-day-of-the-holiday oceans. When she reached the top, she stopped the old blue car. She and her violin case got out. On that hill, she could see the sea, the sky, and the shimmering gold line where they met.
Crystalline and infinitely liminal. As it is every day. The parrots landed. She pulled out her fishing pole and a red ribbon from her pocket. She tied it to the hook. With a deft flick of her wrist, she threw the line out. The hook caught the fabric of the universe. At the point of contact, colors exploded like stars. She tugged at the fishing line until it was straight and taut. Then, she planted her pole firmly in the grass and opened the umbrella.
Balancing it with the violin case in the other hand, she climbed onto the fishing line and began walking forward. Tightroping, hopscotching, waltzing, toes barely touching the line, not looking down, or back, lightly, lightly. The further she went, the closer she got to the line where the sky and sea touched, the brighter her curly blond hair shone as it caught glittering sun. Somewhere behind her, or around her – or was it in her head, or a cat – she could hear music. She walked, danced, flew, floated to its rhythm.
She reached the spot where the hook had caught the universe, undid the red ribbon – velvet – and put it carefully back in her left pocket. She paused for a moment, only a moment, then she leaped into the horizon. The fishing line vibrated behind her.
Stars. Billions and trillions of stars. So many she felt she had jumped into a pool of crystals. The universe was alight. The music in her head had become a symphony of every note ever dreamt. And the clock around her neck that never told the time was silent. The owl was amazed and the parrots delighted, and she… She twirled and leapt and her umbrella made star ripples. She danced the morning and day, then let the current carry her down the Milky Way lazily. Dusk was setting when she arrived.
She tiptoed back across the fishing line to the green hill and old blue car. Jumping off lightly onto grass – one last split second of flight – , she shook excess stardust off her umbrella and put it, and the fishing pole, back,
Into the violin case that did not contain a violin, but that could, tomorrow, if she wanted. After the pancakes.
She then drove back down the hill, over the bridge, towards the city. The parrots were hungry, so was she. There would be ice cream, possibly.