Monday, December 6, 2010
I am six. In the corner of the big playground a big bolder casts a patch of shade at recess. It's my favorite spot. Hidden from teeter-tottering friends, I crouch in white sandals, close my eyes, and smell the coolness of the rock above me. My fingers write secret messages in the sand and build walls out of thin rocks. With Mrs. Johnson's magnifying glass I watch an ant carry a grain of sand around the rock blockade.
I am nine. The cool girls are skating backward down the street. I sit beside my mailbox, my feet heavy with roller skates. I part the smooth gravel and bury my thin fingers into the cool, damp soil there. I grin as the roly-polies recoil.
I am 17. From above I watch myself walking shoulder-to-shoulder with jocks, gangsters, preps, geeks. I'm in but not of, clutching my thin notebook--my words--to my empty chest.
I am 39. So quiet in this empty house that I can hear the pilot light burning. In the thin light of winter, I write secret messages in pixels, while the cool girls click and clack under fluorescent lights a million miles away. My chest is full.
I am most