The thing you're not supposed to do is meet someone's eyes. The man sits on a stoop. He's gorgeous. I look right into his large brown eyes.
"The white man's time is over," he says, conversationally. "We will kill you all.
"White devil," he adds as I pass.
It's 8:30 in the morning, and a guy is pissing behind the courthouse in my alley. He's pissing, yelling something at me, but I can't hear what he says, not about to pull out my earphones to listen.
He's coming toward me, too late to avoid his eyes.
"...the FUCK away from me!" This much is clear through the music. He shakes his pink penis at me, drops scattering in a sunlit arc. I step out into the street to give the man plenty of room.
First day of my mini-vacation, and it's raining. Can't find my hat, nothing but a scarf to shield me. I huddle in the bank, where it's warm. Hang out at J's office, delaying the trip home in hopes the weather will break.
The weather doesn't break, and I finally venture out. I head for the bus stop, but the rain is hammering down, I'm already wet. I'm already wet, why not keep walking? I walk and relax into the rain, listening to leaves opening up, soaking it in.
These two strangers knocked me off course this week. I don't know why I care. Random people in the street. But it matters.
I'm at the top of the hill now, back at the labyrinth. Nobody else is here today, not in this weather. There's another one inside the cathedral, but I've made friends with the rain.
I walk, and the rain soaks in, softening, opening me up. Today on the bus a woman smiled, genuinely, for no apparent reason except in recognition of another human. I wanted to hug her.
There's a crowd outside the courthouse. People are holding small U.S. flags and signs that say Marriage Equality. A woman is crowned with laurel leaves. Two men carry stark black and white signs about God's Law. A woman in pink smiles at these men. Her little sign says Marriage is Love. The crowd is subdued, respectful.
The whole world is here, in my neighborhood. It all matters.