You’re smiling because you just came from the library, you made it in and out before they closed, and at first you don’t see all the people outside who got kicked out as well. The wind is the first thing you hear or smell, that swooning sound from the sky, and suddenly your entire face is alive, you see all these people and you’re dripping and gasping and smiling to every face you can distinguish. You just came from a twenty minute jog that was twenty minutes too long and resulted in your lateness to the library; you were looking for a book that wasn’t there, not at least in the smaller paperback copy that’s easy to take to school, and instead brought home two books just the same; a book you felt you should be reading, now contemplating the word college in its actuality, and another book of prose by Woody Allen, who you’ve heard a lot of and pretend to recognize, but really you’ve never seen any of his movies so you can’t think of a reason why not. There are parents and near-adults, kids with loaves in their hands, nervous geniuses toting books you should be reading yourself, and a mother and her mother and the child with flowers in her lips and her hair. You keep on walking because there’s the wind, the ground is just a downhill blur, and the song that came through your earbuds sprinkles powder into your blood like pixie dust. If there weren’t people all around, people in sandals and wraps, you would be singing silently with the chorus, singing because you know every word to Coldplay, singing though you cannot sing and everything comes out in a dry rasp. Your feet move faster than the rest of your body, so you continue at a diagonal slant to the rest of the planet, and watch as the shadows of the library peel away, that there is a trolley, a grand old trolley on the street, which you like very much and would like to take a picture of but probably couldn’t capture in its entirety, so you don’t bother now. You were taking a few pictures on the way here, which is always awkward when you’re still half-committed to running, and when taking pictures is spontaneous like that you usually have to choose between one or the other. So what you decided to do about that is to jog in place and find it, find your picture, then suddenly go still and clench your abs and take it praying on your smartphone the picture will not be blurred. You’re still looking, and see the trolley has windows, most of its walls punched through in perfect shapes, and through it you see the dandelion fountain on the other side sprinkling all sorts of jewels; the dandelion fountain, that now looks like a dream, or a movie inside a dream, and once you’ve crossed the street and seen and smelled the bundles of food aboard the trolley, seen mostly since you’re still sick and slightly stuffy in the nose, then do you see that there is a wedding taking place under the bridge, a wedding beside the fountain, with pilgrims in white and plumes in black, and everybody lining up together. You think that’s very nice but weddings happen almost every day in downtown, and your mother works in bridal so it’s practically to be expected that bridal couture would daily manifest in your life as well. And it’s so nice, and other people are saying-so too, the ones walking in downtown, the ones who are visiting, the ones who have only come out of their houses now the debatably best day of weather has arrived. You walk on by and smile at their huge fluffy dogs, which are like golden safaris with wagging tails, and you’ve always wanted a dog yourself but the best you ever got was a fish, a small one five years ago that had a lifespan of four days. Now you’ve told yourself every day of your life that when you graduate college you’ll get one, so there’s no use being bummed about it now. You can see little kids everywhere, hollering things and yelling things in the background of this new song, this one with the slapping guitar and familiar voices, the sweet nectar of a holiday carol. You realize you haven’t been sweating enough to be an achievement, but summer is leaving, summer is fading from the frame and taking its sweet time in doing so, and the weather is just cooling down. Your shirt was way too cotton for running and it’s just soaked through, a deep crazy blue that you like above other blues, and even though you don’t like blue too much now that it’s such an overused color. Sweating was always an achievement for you, because it was so easy to get red in the face, and it was something else altogether to be able to strut into the library with earbuds in, just having run a twenty minute jog, and be sweating and panting like that and still be able to smile at anyone who wondered.
It felt like I was walking into the sun. The sun, which was high and great in the sky, burned out the rest of the picture. But I suppose that meant it was working, and with my two books, I walked the rest of the way home.