Wednesday, May 09, 2012

Conversations: my best friend

Out the front door, flip flops fly, smacking the sidewalk. Left, left, right, zooooooom the front door is open.

Moving Boxes


Brown boxes in a maze fill the living room. Quilts and blankets make a roof, and we have the greatest fort we've ever seen. But I don't realize what this means until they are removed the next week, and the house is bare. It will be a long summer.

Michelle hides in the farthest corner of our fort, two dolls with her. We feed them lunch in the kitchen, then move to the other side of the fort to lay them down for their naps.

I am 6, and I jealous of my best friend. Her mother set her hair in rollers the day before, and now she has curls covering her head. Despite the long carroty plait down my back- which Michelle loves to un-braid and re-braid whenever we are together- I covet her spirals, knowing my straight hair will never look like hers.

We play dolls and house until her brother comes in and starts destroying our fort. Our whines and cries bring Mrs. Parker into the room, and she sends us all to play outside. Bubbles, sidewalk chalk, and the hose. A messy combination.

We sneak back inside to wash our hands, then decide to take turns using the bathroom. I go second, and run out of toilet paper. I peer into the cabinet under the sink and find a dirty magazine- the first one I have ever seen. I shove it back in, embarrassed, and vow to never tell anyone.

Our fort has been dismantled, and the blanket packed away into yet another box. We bring the chalk inside, out of the blaring sun, and color pictures on the brown canvases that tower over our heads.

It occurs to me that Michelle's skin matches the brown cardboard box. I tell her this, and we giggle, then try to color a box to match me. It ends up yellow with a long orange streak down the side. "Grace" we label it. On the box next to it, we color black ringlets and pink lips. This is labeled "Michelle', and she is my brown best friend.


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