Fighting for rest through a smog-haze of irritation led me to search for the sweetest waste of time. “I will go find some strawberries and bake a beautiful cake!” *** The dishes won’t disappear and the recycling will linger unsorted and mundane days will do their best to calcify hope. *** The car was new and the day possessed a certain slant of simple joy, that nostalgia which I ache for and abhor. I got lost. I moved on, forcing my teeth to unclench and my jaw to slacken at Ohio’s verdancy and unsung grace. “There was a time I wanted something much different.” *** The swamp is enveloped in lily pads and secret roads. *** I tiptoed through the first option, aware at once that the market lacked that palpitation of red. Peppers and baked goods, peaches, blueberries, nut none of the lushness I imagined, demanded. “Where the heck are the strawberries?” *** What is the point at which expectations quaintly twirl into different, tame, dreams? *** Second option: a bit further but I saw them from miles back. They yawned at me like baby birds, expectant, I think. How very grown up to say, “I’ll take this carton.” How very youthful to choose based on one oddly shaped lump of plump flesh, ugly crown. “Are you staying cool in the heat?” *** The cake wasn’t perfect and a few were mushy but I found the strawberries, and made something good.