When I first walked to the end of my street to the water, I thought I’d return regularly. I didn’t go back till last week. It’s been almost ten months. Perhaps this was like the Christmas resolution to exercise, cast aside before it finishes leaving your mouth. I had good intentions.

It was a warm sunny day. There was a woman lying on the grass reading, a small dog sniffing around nearby. A few geese walked the pier, then jumped in the water. But was mostly interested in the other shore, with the crane, silos, and downtown skyline off to the right. Before starting to paint, I had to walk back home for bulldog clips, because the wind was whipping my paper around. Then I got a bit done. I hope to return in less than ten months next time.

Next door, the neighbor has turned his tiny front yard into a used bike lot. It used to be just a koi pond, plants in various states of growth, bags of soil, and scavenged-looking bricks. Now there is a riot of clashing colors from kids’ Huffys, Schwinns, and whatnot. I don’t know all the brands anymore. Used to seem very important when I was growing up.

Masked passersby stop all day and snap photos of his stock, note the phone number written on the FOR SALE sign fastened to his fence. I don’t even know his name. We were in lockdown when I moved here, so interactions with neighbors have been minimal. I haven’t even been inside my landlord’s place upstairs. I see the guy next door out back every few days, working in his garage. We wave or say hi and leave it at that. He’s always fixing bikes.

Then, I assume, they’re brought out to the showroom out front.