Patient Goats at the Maryland Zoo in Druid Hill Park

Patient Goats at the Maryland Zoo in Druid Hill ParkI’m writing this blog the day after this particular ride. Here’s what I remember: I got on my bike earlier than I thought I would, but N. takes L. & J. out to play early, before naptime, and she invited me to join them all at the zoo. I hopped on and pedaled quickly, enjoying that flying turn onto Remington Avenue, pedaling hard up the hill and flying back down, a left into the park where kids were pouring into the pool. I continued on to the reservoir path, going the wrong way, saying my how-you-doin’s to speedwalkers, bicyclists, and that guy with his dog. Under the trees and through the squirrels and I was back around and past the agave flower, taller and fuller than last time, poking through the conservatory roof. I locked up to the bike rack, took the shuttle to meet the gang, and then we were following two year olds who seemed more enamored by the rocks just off the path. I made it through the cave display and the bats with only one scared jump, these goats made it through another 20 minutes of “light touches,” and then there were snacks, big cats, elephants and rhinos, a reticently hungry giraffe, and a race back to the entrance where they took their leave and I applied my cost of admission to a membership for myself and one guest so I can take all my friends who can’t afford the $17.50 admission fee and I can stop by whenever to chill with the prairie dogs, that most sociable of rodents. The ride back felt like flying again, and then it was some work and then a text from N., informing me that Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie was reading at the library. Ok, fine, bully me into it. I took the bike down the hill where I spent an hour and a half listening to Adichie–brilliant, so funny, and oh, I want to read all her words now: “The man standing closest to her was eating an ice cream cone; she had always found it a little irresponsible, the eating of ice cream cones by grown-up American men in public. He turned to her and said, ‘About time,’ when the train finally creaked in, with the familiarity strangers adopt with each other after sharing in the disappointment of a public service.” It’s just so good. Today I left the bike at home and walked, down the hill to see Fruitvale Station. This movie is gutting. It is so well-paced, so good at building character and showing us complex personhood, and I barely noticed what was happening until the end, when I could not stop crying. It is choking, this film, and the walk home was a slow one. I’m glad I left my bike at home today.

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