June 26, 2014

A memory

It was a foggy Sunday morning and it was very cold. My pink Barbie watch read 6:43 AM. Despite the fact that I cried the night before, my eyes glistened with so much pride because I was only seven years old and this was my very first sleepover with my older cousins. They were the elites- the esoteric group of young pre-teens that I deeply admired. My older cousins multiplied bigger numbers, spelled longer words and no longer wore pajamas. It was a privilege to have a sleepover with them, and I was proud.

Mornings always made me happy despite whatever, but this kind of morning was different. We decided to ditch breakfast and we raced for the park. Above us, a haze of yellow quickly loomed over a purple sky. Below us, the sound of our slippers against the pavement became our music and it echoed around a dozing neighborhood. 

The park was empty when we arrived and we were grateful. This was our kingdom, our headquarters, our mysterious lair, our treehouse and our secret hide out. We played until we found the longest hose I'd ever seen in my entire life. My older cousins gestured me to help them hoist it inside the jungle gym and we let the water trickle down the slides.

I remember laughs, a few races, a bit of sensation and an upset policeman. "We're in mighty trouble." I said. And because one of my cousins nodded hastily in agreement, I repeated what I said about three times. 

The rest is gone. What makes it all worse is that my older cousins don't really remember. Sometimes they nod along with me when I try to tell them the story over and over again - but behind their nods is uncertainty.

Up until after I see the water racing down the slides from the hose and the smug look on my cousins' faces, I can't help but smile. You see, it keeps me thinking--contemplating, even-- that despite the fact that my cousins don't remember, they will always be there. In that memory

I know that behind the algebra equations that I stress and write about on blackboards, behind chick flicks, a heavy school bag and lots of paperwork...behind the glasses, the books and even behind the superficiality, there is STILL a girl. A very young girl with a pink Barbie watch, teddy bear pajamas and loud slipper sounds that clapped and echoed step after step. I can't wait to meet her again. Somehow, someday.