Singing beer-drinking songs in French from her sorority, Oscar’s mother lay in the driveway changing the oil in their car while Oscar packed a peanut butter and jelly sandwich and a small bunch of grapes for a personal picnic. He was going to climb the hill in the park where he could look out over the rose city, the emerald river and the purple mountains napping majestically. The sky was a flat, far away, perfectly smooth, cool, clean blue and, at his departure, cloudless.
He walked and walked and eventually arrived, glowingly moist and panting happily, at the park straddling the city’s west hills. He found a clear, sunny spot with an unobstructed view of everything.
Breathing in and breathing out was all the fun he wanted to have for a while.
Finally, after a mute parade of four identical clouds shuffled by, Oscar decided it was time to eat. Removing the grapes and sandwich from the brown paper bag, he discovered that inside of the clear plastic baggie that had held his precious peanut butter and jelly (actually, blackberry jam with seeds – his favorite!) sandwich, there was now in its place a small bunch of honeysuckle. He opened the baggie, closed his eyes, inhaled the sweet perfume. After gently removing the flowers from the baggie, he sucked the honey from the tight, pinched end of the blossom. He felt his mind explode, his heart expand and his stomach shrink. A scary thing was happening: where were all these emotions and memories coming from? He now felt too full to eat any of the grapes.
Looking up, he suddenly felt like he had stumbled upon a most personal, singularly suggestive, sideways moment: in the distance a cloud hung by its tail on the tip of the tallest mountain, draping post-seductively in the breeze like one of his mother’s white silk slips that – with a short throaty laugh – had just been dropped to the floor but had gotten interrupted mid-flutter on the arrogant nose of an overly eager, hyperventilating lustily, powdered comically, wine-drinking cowboy.