we passed the daisy on the trail and i went back to take a picture. it was instant recognition of “loves me, loves me not” as i saw it. the questions we threw willy-nilly to the universe, the don’t-step-on-a-crack, knock-wood, bread-and-butter reflexes of our 60s-70s childhoods.
were it all still to be so easy.
i remember sitting in the grass making clover chains. i remember the transistor radio playing on the bazooka bubble gum beach towel. i remember playing in the woods out back with the neighbors. i remember kickball in the street and badminton and croquet in the yard. i remember hula-hoops and skateboards on my driveway. i remember the “boing” the pogo stick made. i remember koolaid and ice pops that seemed to never run out. i remember bike hikes with sue and carvel ice cream cones with chocolate sprinkles. i remember frisbee at the beach and making apple pies. i remember listening to cassettes and practicing piano. i remember the trunk of the maple tree against my back, the branches holding me as i wrote. i remember the sound the pressure-filled-from-the-sun-light-purple-hosta-flowers along our sidewalk made when popped. i remember it was time to go home when it got dark and i remember catching fireflies in jars with holes punched in the lids. i remember sunday drives and picking apples and kentucky fried chicken on picnic tables further out on the island. i remember cabins in state parks and wide-eyed flirting with older lake lifeguards upstate. i remember duck ponds and friendly’s. i remember my puppy riding in my bike basket and ponytails. i remember loves-me-loves-me-not.
it seemed an innocent time. a time of marvel. a time of safety. never did i wonder if my parents loved me. i just knew.
babycat just rolled onto his back, all four paws outstretched, his big black and white belly just begging for a pet. he doesn’t ask questions. his world is relatively small – since his kittenhood adoption, the littlehouse was the only other house he has known other than our house. yesterday we brought him and dogdog into the basement as the tornado siren went off. dogga was nervous but babycat adapted, finding a place to lay on the carpet. his only demand is for food, several times a day with clockwork precision. otherwise, he is unconditional. his presence in my life has brought me eleven years of a gift i really needed when he arrived.
babycat is laying right next to me now as i type. tucked close in, his snoring is punctuated only by his purring – it’s a two measure repeat in 4/4, each breath a half note. it is the 11th anniversary of his “gotcha day” and he’s marking the day with a celebration of naps. no worry of “loves me, loves me not” crosses his mind. he just knows.
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