Hurricane, home.

Hurricane, Cayden, not tornado. You’re creating a lemon-lime hurricane. And, also—don’t do that. You’re in a restaurant.”
I use the flattest achievable tone to make my point while Cayden furiously stirs his plastic tumbler of soda. Why I’m insisting on his ill manners being meteorologically correct, I don’t know. I just know it’s Wednesday, in which case we have an hour in between lunch and Speech, then another hour before soccer practice. Ramen has become our thing, Underbelly being the neighborhood retreat.
The patio is al fresco, with long stone-slab tables set up family-style. Trenches of lava-rock channel the length of the tables like igneous table-runners, and tea-lights fashion the scene. When the sun goes down, the lights are lit, also the crook-necked lamps lining 30th Avenue.
30th is the North Park’s equator, literally and figuratively, with its resident and well-trafficked cross-streets having their own reputations by virtue of their either north or south latitude. We reside in the land of good-repute, Craftsmen and xenoscaped Mission bungalows lining streets with waists so thin they starve out the generally ill-considered apartment complexes—zones remain something of a thing.
There are lawns, albeit dying now and addresses you may or may not want; but if you’re hazarding to the right while an oncoming car passes on the left, you’re probably in what’s considered a good neighborhood.
Wasn’t always this way. Jokes were about the helicopters circling the area adjunct to the NP adult bookstore, back in the days of lesser-cautioned but wider-open thighs, when junk shots were sanguinal, and the shoddy bungalows were exactly their worth in square footage. There was a bath-house close to next-door.
For scale: it would take seven of my houses to create a square mile. Can’t buy a house for a fourth of that now, or any house within ten square miles of me.
Cayden threatens to create a tornado in his tumbler while I still correct him about tornadoes being vortices of wind, and hurricanes being vortices of water. He stirs his Lemon-Lime and I forget if typhoons or monsoons or all those circular things have to spin clockwise or counter to have proper effect. I forget these things; Cayde meanwhile says his drink is gone.
Finn was sleeping, but is awake now. I order the trio tartare, tell them to replace the salmon with a second helping of spicy tuna and I chopstick portions to Finn in his stroller. Rice and red-tinged albacore, which he agrees to. Because those lower teeth haven’t grown in, he still stuffs food as matter of fact, pushing everything to the back of his mouth. Spice doesn’t concern him.
The hamachi is whitish-gray, and I splash it with sesame, but it still tastes like clean sea-water despite the dressing, amber-jack fishy to a point, but clean, and I consider that seawater runs through fish, through their fern-ish and feathery gills, that sea-water is iodized, negatively charged, positively energized, and that there are creatures that exist in complete erasure of mood by manner of swimming.
“I want to ride my bike this way.”
“Can we go to that parking lot?”
“Yeah, sure.”
Cayde wants me to take pictures, thinking he’ll be a dynamic blur. He pedals fast thinking he’ll best the camera shutter-speed.
“I can do tricks here.”
We’re in an abandoned parking space of a dismissed and bankrupt Laundromat, and Cayde tosses his limbs in his own version of abandon, doing tricks and ignoring the pedals.
There is a spent mattress with pornographically-displayed coils, extinguished cigarettes wind-swept against parking curbs. Every picture I take has perfect resolution, and Cayde isn’t the blur he wants to be. I take photos of him riding back and forth in front of a mural. He rides a green bike, and the mural is a ten-foot depiction of Amy Winehouse, the Cleopatra eyeliner collecting age and with no snakes afoot.
“Hey—let’s keep moving. There’s that alleyway.”
That alleyway, and Cayde pedals fast, zoom, fast away; Finn sleeps in the stroller.
When Cayden was a baby, and when I carried him on my chest, I pointed out all the plants, not knowing how to otherwise speak to him. I knew all the Latin words.
Tecoma capensis.
Pandorea jasminoides
All these plants peeking through the fences.
Nyctaginacae, which was the bougainvillea, and when parking the bike, is the simple and lone sepal stuck on a stray spider-tangle.
“Take off your helmet, Dude. We’re home.”


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