At the right angle the grass grabs the light. Portholes open and close to different worlds. A shirtless guy with a gut and the same shorts as me catches a rugby ball, and he has no idea how to throw it back.

Tremors of laughter float over the park like birthday balloons that got away. They’ll pop at 10,000 feet and suffocate a turtle in some river nine states over.

Other inevitabilities bounce across the grass – a soccer ball coming close to a cleated foot, begging to get blasted over the hills with no regard for a target. The ball with its swollen bladder, an ant navigating my arm hair like a navy operative, two boys troubleshooting a Frisbee frozen in midair just out of reach.

A kite high overhead could confuse anyone into thinking that to dance is to be easily influenced. When the wind hits it at the right angle it lets out a long low drone. We are all vibrating now, and the kite is either in tune with the way the rest of us are always shaking around our individual points, or out of it entirely – on the cusp of obliteration.

With the bubble that this park is, there has to be some kind of needle primed to tear it open.

Smoke from rival barbecue pits signals war– there are no drums yet but there is already rhythm.

Throngs gather under the big oak trees to swallow smoldering meats, cold pilsners growing lukewarm in their palms.

I’m now at the edge of the clearing, more in the woods than out, and I’ve found the man controlling the kite. His apparatus is disconcerting– he is in fact just holding a very long thin string. A string you can’t even see.

I want to tell him to hold tight, but he loosens his grip, and the kite demands as much twine from him as it can before he pinches it back. Then he starts winding it in around his dark calloused hands. He has to be bleeding, but by the amount that he has already let out he will be there for months; letting some go, winding it back, letting some go.

photo credit: makeshift fence via photopin (license)

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