On Orange Slices

It’s a cold morning. The kind where the cold nibbles, and the sun suggests it will burn off. Our star gently illuminates a new day. I sit. My yoga mat separates me from the floor pavement of a garage rooftop. I bare the cold.

I seek to synchronize my breath with the wind. On my mat are items I deemed important when packing my yellow backpack: hot cherry tea in a mug (Jerry gave me a box of teabags), watercolor paint (given to me by Carina sometime last year), a jar – that once contained marinara sauce – of water to dip the brush in, and half a sliced orange.

I hold my pen in a bare hand and protect my notebook from flying away with a gloved hand (to protect from germs that live on door handles and elevator buttons). My hair shines in the sun and graces my view with the wind. I feel myself bare the cold. Breathe.

My back faces Downtown Minneapolis. I see few buildings. Compared to Miami (my hometown), this is much smaller. (I think, even this is too big.) Still, I prefer open space and the northern sky. I look up and feel confident in our planet. How it protects us – northern sky, a massive dome – and it says, possibility.

I want an orange slice. A page from an older notebook rustles the inside cover of my current journal, and a doodle with bubble letters that spell “Don’t Worry Baby,” colored in aqua blue gel pen flies away. I get up quickly. I worry the doodle will depart with the moment. No, the wind has subsided to breeze.

I sit. The notebook opens to a page with a wristband from Apple Day in Excelsior. I return to where I am and write, and reach for an orange slice. Today, I cut it in a way where the tougher whitish fiber creates boundaries in the slice, squiggly, travelling upward. The juice of the fruit doesn’t look cased or waiting to burst. Instead, contained in itself. It welcomes a bite.

My pen is in my bare hand and the orange in the gloved one that touched door handles and elevator buttons. Pen in bare hand, I need it to eat the orange. I put the contaminated slice down. I need my bare hand.

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