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  • Writer's pictureErin Clark

We shouldn't be, but we are gleaming.

There is a rock at the top of a grassy crest, in the courtyard outside my building, with a plaque on it that says: “Walter’s rock.”

I don't know who Walter is, or why he has a rock in his honour, but today it glowed like a treasure in the slanting sun. I don’t make a habit of rolling up grassy hills for no reason, but ‘what a perfect spot for on-the-run selfies’ is my perpetual reason for most things, so here I am, learning that Walter is the reason for the stone in the apartment yard.

Walter gave me something to brace against so I could perch at a weird angle in the middle of a pile of un-raked leaves, facing directly into the golden sun, and in full-view of anyone with a front facing apartment should they be looking out the window. Icon.

I had to be quick, the light was good, the wind romantic, the leaves so crispy. But I was on my way to meet the birthday girl.

It’s @lindsaymkirk birthday month, during a tropical Ontario November, she smells like coconut and beaches. I am wearing the dress I meant to wear on my own birthday.

I wore it once, (for those who have read my memoir, you will understand when I say, the dress came from Paris). I fell in love with its draping, eager to flow in a breeze softly around the frame of my chair. But it was April, early pandemic, and I couldn’t take it outside, so I hugged the frame of my window instead to entice any ray of sun to glint off its golden threads, though none of us were glinting then.

Today we are, we shouldn’t be, but we are gleaming. Seizing the available joy with a thirst I imagine for camels, anticipating the desert. I happen to have a hump. My own crest, between my shoulder blades. A place to store this sun, the dress, Lindsay and me.

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