“… the night dropped down until the only sounds were the crickets & the dance of our voices…” – Brian Andreas
I’m six, it’s late, and I can’t sleep.
Most nights I can’t, so this is nothing new.
Enough light from the moon shines into the room to make out the small heart-shaped flowers that adorn my wallpaper. The window is open, and I can hear the crickets singing in the night heat.
I consider going to get my mom, but I did that last night, so I wonder if my brother Kurt is up. I quietly slide out of my bed and pad down the hall toward his room. As I near his door, I see a faint yellow sliver at its base, so I push it open. He’s awake, the top of his head tenting his covers, a flashlight on underneath, no doubt a book in his hands.
“Kurt,” I whisper.
He is used to this, and he pulls back the blanket by way of a yes.
I climb up next to him, really awake now, and ask if we can play a game. Jeopardy is our old stand-by. Continue reading “I’ll Take Then and Now for $200, Alex”
“Memory… is the diary that we all carry about with us.” – Oscar Wilde
You remember, right?
You step outside your house, excited and eager to start a new year.
On your feet are new shoes, bright and unmarked, ready for those first few scuffs that you will at first try to rub off in a vain effort to keep them pristine, but will soon accept because you know the newness will not last beyond lunchtime anyway. On your back rests a backpack, waiting to be filled with books and homework and secretly-passed love notes from the cute new boy that will sit three desks behind you. You haven’t met him yet, but you’re positive that when you do, he’ll only have eyes for you.
In front of you is the bus or car that will take you to school. Or maybe you will ride your Schwinn or walk with a gaggle of your best friends. However you get there, your mom will be beside you—crying—before you take off, just like she always does on your first day.
Above you, the leaves on the trees that have watched over you year after year flicker green and gold against a cloudless, azure sky and, as they wave you away in the warm breeze with good wishes, one of them breaks off and floats toward you. You catch it and appreciate its early autumn beauty. Continue reading “Time to Begin”