I have a key in my pocket.
I walk city streets on a holiday. Grown men in cardboard boxes make a train. “Wu Wu!” They greet a friend, making us all laugh. Underground are subway cars. Confusion. A maze of tracks. Commuters hurry just to stand in line and smell the closeness of popcorn and urine and French cologne and me wondering if I’m headed in the right direction and why I’m there at all. But up here on the skin of concrete, street lights change from tangerine to green as I walk, sniffing winter meeting spring. My face lifts towards each stranger as we share unspoken hopes and jokes.
It was the old women in the bar at the dog track at the end of the line gave me this key, so I better not lose it. Said, “Let it jiggle just a little in your pocket when you walk. Bring it back when you’re done, hon.” Then they placed their bets and had another beer.
Meanwhile, in another part of the city, a sparrow sings, a pigeon dies from high cholesterol, girls play hopscotch in the park, a window washer orders out a tuna sub, and a street musician signs with Columbia.
But here, in an epileptic fit, my muscles tighten in harmony and lift me off the ground. “Wu Wu!” I watch the fellow in front of me rise up too. “Wu Wu!” we cry together and then touch back down the bottom of our man made soles. Walk a few more steps, but the joke gets bigger, too big for gales of laughter and helpless tears, so we do it all again. Conspiring neurotransmitters thrust rocket bodies five feet off the ground, and all we do is cry, “Wu Wu!”