I wasn’t sold on the hammock. My grandmother had a freestanding one in the side yard when I was a kid. The metal old and rickety like ancient bedsprings or those rusted trampolines that sit around waiting to pinch you. It always had bugs on it. And was some awful floral pattern.
“We should get a hammock today,” she said. And what better way to celebrate a holiday than idleness? A monument to leisure.
I like the idea of hammocks. Almost as much as I like the idea of writing in the notch of a tree. But the reality is often uncomfortable.
We hang the double hammock with nylon climbing rope. I’ve strung one side and I watch her now, tying knots at the other side. I have two splendid weaknesses: smart girls and handy girls. And I married both. A moment later she is rocking in the hammock. A ridiculous, delighted grin on her face like a liberated toddler.
I read from the metal chair and rock her with my foot. She’s a blue pea pod. It’s probably forty minutes before I climb into the hammock. The trees cloister us, and somewhere nearby a crow is super angry. Later two crows fly overhead with a hawk. One of them nagging nagging nagging. The light moves around behind me and settles on my legs. This book is tragic and hilarious and I should probably own a sword. Or anyway some Egyptian histories. I’m never getting out of this hammock. I’m going to cradle here forever. Ants drop from the tree and climb back up. Cyclists zip past. I’m seafaring. I’m hidden. I’m perfectly content.