It wasn’t hers. She was too young to skate. But she managed to get her sister’s key.
She grappled with it in her tiny hands, trying to do what you did with a skate key. She jammed it into the bottom of a skate with her clumsy hands. In a whoosh! it was gone. More skillful hands came and took it. Her first memory!
She didn’t witness the invention of fire, but, by god, she got her grubby hands on her sister’s skate key. Later, she would get her grubby hands on many other things.
I had known him for three months. If I wanted to see him on weekends, I’d have to learn to ski. My sister had size 12 ski boots she would loan to me. His high school classmate wanted to sell her old skis for $5. I emptied my piggy bank, went to the ski shop on Holly Street and bought a pair of ski pants. I had my cotton jacket that looked okay with the pants. I had my red plaid wool scarf and a pair of mittens. I was ready to go to the mountains with my boyfriend.
Adam took his name seriously. He knew he was the first among men. His hairline was eroding faster than the Galveston coastline in his home state of Texas, but he was a sharp dresser and a smooth talker. Ladies loved his drawl.
At a Two-for-Tuesday happy hour, he sent a Cosmopolitan to a stunner in the corner. She stopped by to thank him.
“Can I tell you a secret?,” he asked. She nodded.
“You remind me of a young Scarlett Johansson.”
“Want to hear my secret?” she whispered. He cocked his head.
Is this PolySci 204? Are you Professor Adams? Can I sit anywhere? Is the textbook online? What’s the WiFi password? Where can I plug in my mini Himalayan salt lamp? Do you grade on a curve? Do you want to pet my Emotional Support Animal? Are you allergic? Can I eat in class? Can I vape? Is texting my term paper okay? Can I save seats for my sorority sisters? When are your office hours? Can my mom audit this class? Why is the syllabus three pages long? Can I leave early? When is the last day to drop?
“Technically it’s a cobra—a comfort cobra,” said the intense gentleman. “Have you not seen the latest data?” In exasperation, he shoved an official-looking scientific document into the steward’s face.
“He’ll stay in his pouch on my lap.” The steward peered around nervously, reread in his mind the revised guidelines based on recent controversial incidents, then quickly ushered the man to the back of the plane in an empty row.
This might work, thought the steward. Until he heard some ruckus up front. Then he noticed the woman with the mongoose.
When the fog rolled in, she shrieked. The road in front was narrow and surreptitious. The jungle was thick on both sides. The air was heavy and gray. She waited in the car for an hour, listened to banal tunes that should have inspired but just rolled on. When the first rock smashed onto the chassis, she cursed herself and the innocent black bird that had sought refuge on the thin bough to the right. Then she ran up to the mountainside, crawled into a narrow crevice.
It was in that darkness that the lost box of golden dust sparkled.
When Alex saw his mother’s face in a cloud formation three days after her funeral, he assumed his eyes were playing tricks. “No way,” he whispered. But then the breeze transformed her lips into the half-smile that always meant she had a wonderful secret she just could not keep to herself.
What is it? he wondered. He followed her celestial gaze to a cloud that looked exactly like a leaping dog. It was Dexter, his childhood companion.
Message received, Mom. Alex took a long hard look at his life. Time to grow up, make changes, secure his future. Because…heaven.
Dropping my kids off this new school year meant getting used to a new routine, commitments and time management. I had tears, joy, and one hour before work. A quiet realization: Bring on the bra shopping….. alone. I tried on everything. Sometimes twice. My trash can full of old bras were slowly killing me. My two smarties started a new journey, so did I. Mine was comfort and curves. I indulged in numerous perfect over-the-shoulder boulder holders. Pure decadence. I picked up my babies a happier mama, happier wife, happier woman!
Neighbors protested the opening of this place with its non vertical wood gentrification fence. Doctor’s orders.: he needed coffee before he became unstable. He stumbled there in sweat pants, which he knew to be his pajamas. The place had been a toy store for 30 years, now it had minimalist fascist light fixtures and white on white décor. He ordered $7 coffee with a Groupon. He sat outside to drink it and steady himself, observing the shabby, rich hipsters. He admired and envied them, that they could have this most days, and then realized that they were all homeless people.
“Fifty yards,” he utters. The street is narrow and smooth, like a watery ribbon. “We are almost there.”
She stares ahead, and then to the right, the signpost not yet visible. Then she listens to the sound of crickets and blackbirds imposed upon the backdrop of the silently departed thunderstorm. She thinks of a warm bed, and of a hot bath. He reflects inward for a closure to a long tumultuous journey tied with her with outer-world’s inclemency.
The pebble had rolled in quietly. The fall then lasted for a minute. Silently, they held their hands together to the end.