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This post is part of my 2022 Word Project. You can read what that’s about here.

Thursday, March 23, 2023

My brother Kevin and I have a routine. Since he has been staying with us for about three months now, and his baking skills are going to end up with me back at 200 pounds, we try to get out to walk on nice days. But we’re not motivated enough to go anywhere to do it, so we just put on our shoes and walk one way around my apartment complex, then the other way, for just over a mile total.

Since we’ve done it about 9,000 times, we call it The Loop.

Put a pin in that. It will come back around later.

In the midst of yesterday’s cocktail infused evening, right before he fell over onto the chair and then said ZHH! ZHH! ZHH! to mean, “Pour me some iced tea,” Kevin waxed philosophical about how profoundly meaningful it was to see a dandelion.

Being a bit gin-soaked myself, I had no idea what he was talking about.

But it had something to do with… has anyone ever seen this dandelion before? This one single dandelion in the whole universe, am I the only one who has ever seen it?

Which is a good question, I guess, if you’re drunk and waxing philosophical.

You should know that there was no actual dandelion, only the one he conjured as he contemplated, both of us staring intently into his cupped palms at the imaginary vision of a single, glorious dandelion.

I was not drunk enough to fail to feel bad that I wasn’t getting his point, but these are the things we do. Drink cocktails and talk about our hair in high school, and whether or not we are the only people to have seen a specific dandelion.

Today when we were walking around The Loop (remember that?), I saw an actual dandelion.

Before we passed it by, I stopped, took Kevin’s arm, and said, “Are we the only ones to ever see this dandelion?”

And thus we gazed at said dandelion, though in marginally less profound contemplation than is typically brought on by a few cocktails.

The universe continued to turn.

I would have picked it except then I would have felt bad for killing it. So we just admired it and walked on.

You can take things like seashells home, but you should leave flowers where they are.

Maybe we were quite literally the only ones to ever see that dandelion. I’m sure it was mowed down by one of the omnipresent landscapers in this godforsaken grass country.

And if anyone else happened to be walking The Loop, I suspect they were too busy with their faces in their phones to pay much attention.

So I saw a dandelion today. Just me and nobody else. Or, just me and just Kevin and nobody else. And in that moment it was just us and a dandelion in the whole big universe.

And then we finished walking The Loop.

Photo: a dandelion that I saw somewhere around The Loop, which has now been seen by you, too.