Bumblebees. Honeycomb. Cobweb. Corncob. Rowboat. Recidivism. Jolly. Introvert. Joust. Interim.
These words coming out as fast as I can type them. What do they mean that they are on the tip of my fingers?
Horsefly. Palmetto. Wort. I am writing them down as I come to me. On a mental river, or maybe a lazy spirit stream. What words come to you?
In a lollipop? In a cesspool? In a trackball? I think maybe it is partially the syllables. The way they come out is part of a musical striving, a leaning toward a sound more than a meaning. We don’t get to do that often, unless we are poets.
I don’t know about tacos. I am tactile. I think that there are textiles in the trapdoor. I think of tornados, and Toto and there is a farm and a whirling cloud and then Technicolor and why or why can’t I?
Because I want to be there in that farm on the bed with an auntie Em but I also want to be flying and seeing the unusual and I want more than anything to travel away so that I can better know what home really is. How else to understand anything? Ice cubes melting? Frozen slushies in so many flavors. We went across the street and that started everything.
I thought last night about the spice soup my sister and I made in the bathtub that time the babysitter fell asleep on the couch. It was like I could actually see a yellow painted wall or an archway the kitchen adjoining the bathroom, but was that another house? Mixing. More, more, more! Its getting darker outside. We could reach the cupboard with the shelf that turned around and around. Flour that made a sticky paste. Singing as we stirred. Laughing we couldn’t hear the TV soap anymore. Those people always crying and yelling. The bathtub was so smooth and so cold. Slippery and pale blue.
We got in so much trouble. Mom said that mixing chemicals could kill you. It was just pepper. I think. Was it a wood floor in that house? It seemed like the ocean that bathroom. The 750 square feet we all shared. I can’t really remember our room, except that we slept close enough to touch if either of us got scared in the night. We had fun until it became scary. But no one got hurt that time, so it wasn’t really scary.
We never made spice soup again – though we talked about how we would make it better- not that way, an improved recipe perhaps. I wonder if I was supposed to be responsible for my sister that day. How old was I?
Not as old as that time we were left alone as my parents voices fought a wall away. That was another building. A place with airplane models on the mantel. It was a house, but it was also an office. It was the law office on a busy side street with difficult parking that Dad hated driving to.
The time keeps passing. Parsnip. Pumpernickel. I hope you dream of the narwhal. He lives so deep below. I remember that dream. You told me about it and then I dreamed it, too. Your dream in my sleep. I always believed somehow, we could meet in our dreams. I still hope we can.
This piece is part of the #52essays2017 challenge where I will share one essay a week in 2017. To learn more about this challenge or to participate, check out writer Vanessa Martir’s website and post about it.