After I drop the girls off at daycamp, I ride my bike to the store to pick up some bread. Organic raspberries are on sale, two for five bucks. I've got time, so I ride on to the hardware store and pick out a wooden drying rack to use for towels and swimsuits instead of the clothes dryer. The rack folds up and fits in the used Burly two-kid carrier bouncing behind me that I bought on Ebay last year. (The Ebay description neglected to mention its sour milk smell and faded canopy.)
On the way home, I pass a man driving a powder blue convertible with an 8-foot tall package wrapped in black plastic sitting upright in the passenger seat.
"Does this street go through to Green Bay Road?" he calls out.
I circle the bike around in an easy curve and stop. Silk flowers and vines are peeking out of the bottom of the wrapped package.
"Yes, but the neighborhood doesn't like people using this as a through street."
"I need to find Kenilworth Avenue by side streets. I can't drive over 10 miles an hour."
"What's that? A dead body?"
"I wish. It's for my daughter's wedding."
Ah, a chupa. I tell the man to turn here and go to 16th, then turn left when he sees Green Bay. You don't have conversations like this when you're driving.
"Congratulations on your daughter's wedding!"
"Well, not yet. We'll see. And I've got another one, too!"
And he drives off, up 16th. I watch him creep along, the chupa bobbing. He turns left at the wrong street, the one that doesn't go to Kenilworth Ave. Good luck, Dad.