Monday, May 30, 2016

Bits and Pieces


I woke this morning thinking of some old snippets from conversations-- an odd assortment of one- liners that went back and back to childhood. I often can't interrogate dreams, especially those that inhabit that region between sleep and wakefulness.

Nina, a friend who lived across the street from our apartment building, loved to color. We often ,on hot summer days when breezes got caught between brick apartment buildings and concrete sidewalks, sat wherever we found a shaded spot and colored. She believed in outlining everything in black before coloring the person or object. I thought that looked nice, but was unwilling to lose the point of my black crayon.

One day, after finishing our pieces, we asked each other, "How do you like my picture?" and then the other person said, " If you like mine I'll like yours." This simple interchange pleased us both. But the day we both colored a monarch butterfly on a leaf the world tilted. I said, " If you like mine I'll like yours." Then I added, "I like yours."

Nina said, "You colored out of the lines on the butterfly." I was too young to explain about creativity and the need to break rules and conventions so I said, "Well I don't like yours either."

Other bits and pieces of conversations popped into my mind. Did I really say to Zipporah Mildred, "You stink." She did have terrible body odor which permiated  the entire locker room and I had selected the short straw. "Find a way, " the girls in my row of lockers said, " to suggest she use underarm deodorant. "

I practiced in front of the bathroom mirror and then lost all my words when confronting Zipporah.

" Could we speak, " I said.
And when she stood in front of me with a head of red think hair and a gym suit that she stuffed in her locker week after week, I forgot  my well rehearsed, polite, sanitized speech and just blurted out, " you stink".

Once you open up this subject the lines tumble out .


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