sweet thing.

When I was a little girl I discovered my obsession for Van Morrison. I was 6 and I had to wear a blue uniform to school. Sissy had an appointment so I was left alone while Dad took her and Mom worked. I was looking to dance- I liked to dance- and I didn't know who he was but I pressed play on the stereo anyway. I heard horns and I heard bass and I heard saxophones. And I was a flapper in the '20s at a jazz club. The dining room became a stage and my feet got caught in the rhythm of snares. The hardwood floor was my bass drum. I slid onto the carpet and my feet balanced on bass strings. I jumped onto the couch and my toes taped on snares.

I had every song memorized by the time they got home.

It was a crazy summer and that night we took to the Jack. We sat in a circle and the bay breeze had come down from the north and pulled across the peninsula. There was no precipitation in the south bay, but there was a nice breeze. We sat in the backyard around a small-lit bonfire, the backyard trees decorated with white lights. We took turns going inside to powder our nose and whoever did had assumed the role of captain of the harmony, owner of the music. There was Aaron and Maria and there was a dewey-eyed bride and there were fireworks. We were so lit by midnight I'm not sure who took the initiative to put the bottle away and go to bed. All three of us fell asleep in his room. I always got the bed, and like every good man, they assumed the floor. We woke up the next morning, our nostrils dry and our heads pounding. More beer was consumed and it wasn't yet 10am but we lied around for a bit. And then with my eyes closed, I heard it: soft guitar strums, plucks of the bass strings, and a triangle. I smiled: And I will stroll the merry way and jump the hedges first...

I laid my head on his stomach, and his friend laid at his feet. The three of us there. I took us to my childhood. The three of us in our present form time traveled to Sylmar, 1995. We watched the kids bike ride through the school, eat ice cream from the little Mexican man who pushes the cart, and play kickball in the front yard. And I opened my eyes. We didn't see them anymore but we still felt those kids.

And I will never ever, ever grow so old again.

No comments: