366 Days of Gratitude and Good Things: Day 92

This is How Memory Works

Are you ticklish?
High-school girl to
High-school boy
I’ve seen them talking
standing with, sitting beside
each othersince September

Today, sitting beside, and
he treats his (empty) styro coffee cup
as if it’s a trick-performing
pet
doing backflips on his notebook
then he holds it and she tries
to pet it on the lid

More flips, and it escapes, or nearly
a wild leap between them toward the
floor
He catches it, and I think he must
nudge her knee by accident (or not?)
because she chuckles just a little
and the topic of ticklish is born

And she asks him, touches his back
his shoulder, his arm
pokes his ribs, his laughter her reward
I watch, stifle my own laugh:
in case a grown-up laughing along is
just too weird
for words

But the Guy Who Calls Me Red is watching
too, and says, Ah, youth!
and we both lose it, and so do they, and Guy
says, Oh, to be young again! and as we all laugh
suddenly
memory
takes hold

A summer Wednesday, hot, on the coast road
pavement shimmering
simmering
like the inside of the car
Steve driving to not our usual beach
Let’s go north today, he says
Not south, we do that all the time

Okay, I say, which leads to the coast road
which is crowded, because
summer
because beach, popular beach, and
we sit in the simmering car
on the simmering pavement
not moving, because everyone

EVERYONE wants to make a
left turn into the parking lot
across two lanes of traffic and
no
signals
anywhere
for miles

Forty-five minutes, I grumble,
forty-five, and who knows how much
longer?
Steve laughs
(I love his laugh) (that is, I loved it
when it was still here) and says, but you’re only
young once

I say, I was
young
once
before we got into this
damned left-turn lane

I was 20

I was
young once

This is how memory works

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1 Comment

Filed under 366 Days, gratitude, memories

One response to “366 Days of Gratitude and Good Things: Day 92

  1. ….just lovely and sort of sad.

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