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August 23, 2013

They used to go fishing on their bedspread. The cartoon starfish jumped from the comforter onto the fishing rods in the dark in their imagination.

She’d sneak out from the bunk bed and crawl to the landing at the top of the stairs, peering out over the living room to the late-night, R-rated movie time below. If the coast was clear she’d tiptoe to the second bedroom, wearing the great, big, yellow galoshes she’d once seen in an old photo of her grandfather, or maybe they were in the basement, or both. With a fishing pole strapped to her back she’d squeeze through the crack in the door and climb onto her brother’s bed and together they’d wait for a big bite.


Once, their favorite singer stayed at their house. He slept in her bunk bed and she got to have a sleepover in the little room. He sang about funny animal noises and she showed him how to do a pull-up between the top and bottom bunks. It was so cool to have a real famous person stay at their house. He told them he lived in a house in New York City and that’s when she knew he was rich, too, because there weren’t hardly any houses in New York City. But then he told her that there were lots of houses in Brooklyn and her brain exploded a little bit at the thought.


She got mad at her mom one day and went to live in the bathroom. There were lots of apples on the counter from a farm upstate that didn’t fit in the kitchen and there was a toilet and a sink and a window to the backyard in case she needed to escape in the middle of the night. The backyard was full of secret passageways and magical flowers like the whole bunch of forget-me-nots that were hers. There were even the rubbery plants that grew in the middle of the big circle garden. And if you really took your time, you could collect enough rocks to build your own Agro-Crag, even though Mo always told you not to do this at home….And if you cut through a few neighbors’ yards you could ride the lions around the corner, but it was better not to go that far by yourself, because the house across the street was haunted. She knew because she went there once and never wanted to go back again.


There was a tire swing that you could fit two people on if you asked for help, and if you hit the wiffle ball onto the roof it was a home run, and you could draw lines in the dirt to remember where you had to shoot from if you were playing horse. You could go around the corner if you wanted to go swimming, and you could ride your bike to the luncheonette if you wanted a Frozefruit pop, and you could have Berry Berry Kix if you went over to Rachel’s house, but you had to be really careful not to spill.


Sometimes, even now, she wants to crawl across the carpet and go late-night cartoon fishing.

One Comment leave one →
  1. August 23, 2013 8:22 AM

    Right, right, right. You can even get mad at a perfect mother. She encouraged your imagination. Perhaps she should have grounded you more- pun intended. Love, Mom.
    P.S. There is no perfect mother. Hope she
    was good enough.

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