In my corner of Asia, where Sweat has its own personality and my backyard looks like Barrie’s Neverland, holidays feel far away because there aren’t quite enough reminders. The surplus of candy corn, the spider-webbed columns of old Victorian houses, the vampire teeth in the quarter machines… we have none of that here. Especially as we are now in a period of mourning–our beloved king has passed–any holidays that might have touched our land have been dampened into solemnity.
“Hettie!” I waved until I got in her line of sight. “Your shoes!”
Gripping the soft frame of her white hair, as if to catch her balance, my friend un-Velcroed her sandals and thanked me. “I almost forgot.”
As we crossed the threshold, a woman stood from the cushioned wood daybed. She looked rather more like a small child unfurling herself from the arms of a parent than that of a mother pushing away her oldest daughter. Continue reading
The baseball moon hangs luminously over the windshield. Once, maybe months ago, you would have smiled up and whistled to that craterous face. But everything, even whistling, feels exhausting now. You join the stream of cars on Main Street and set your teeth forward, as if you could deafen the rush of a happy, autumnal world on the cobblestoned sidewalks–sweatered university students, clutching freshly-carved pumpkins, clutching each other–by clenching your jaw. As if you could deafen your thoughts.
Then you are there. Sooner than you want, not soon enough. And even as you think it, you know it is not Time being unfair but you. It’s just that there is so much unfair, it’s hard to keep it from rubbing off on you. Continue reading
Bangs frame her freckles–frame pale eyes. A teenage Pinterest queen. Her clouds hold rain worth dancing in, and the future is distant. Everyday, the timeless season before life begins, on which she will look back–when she is thirty–and wonder where “that girl” went. “That girl” who, were she to die today, would be “too young,” untouched by anything, anyone, and full of bright things that do not make it past college. Not usually. But today, looking at her, you wonder if she may be the exception. Continue reading