I was working a new job, and on my coffee break I got to talking to this woman I worked with about different routes we took to get to the office in the morning. I hissed and made a face when she mentioned the way that she went, because I knew that it involved driving down a very steep incline along a narrow set of metal pipes and there was a sharp turn at an elbow pipe junction just at the bottom of this incline. I told her about the way I took, which was a little less tricky, although you had to go all the way around a complete vertical loop and you could fall at the top if you didn’t have enough momentum.
As we were having this conversation, I was picturing all these different ways and routes in my head. I could see it clearly, but then in my mind’s eye I pulled back from the scene and I could see that it was all just a lonely little playground with scattered patches of thawed snow among the wet leaves. The pipes and rusted bars that made up our routes were part of the swing set and the merry-go-round and the rest of the playground equipment. The cars that we had driven to work were just die-cast toys in the hands of little kids in woolen winter hats, their noses running as they made revving noises with their lips and pushed the cars along.