Kiddo Dreams

Last night, I had one of those dreams again. One of those dreams where I’m falling. We are in the library. One of those big libraries in Rome that’s shaped like the planet and there are three floors and those rolling library ladders that stretch all the way up to the Michelangelo fresco that’s always there, even in the smaller libraries and churches my mind has explored. The room itself echos which is both humbling and liberating.

Michelangelo |?mik?l’anj?lo; ?mik?l-; ?meke’länjelo| made the David sculpture, which confused me because I always thought David was the small one and Goliath was the one who was supposed to be colossal. I can never figure out how a slingshot works. I always hit my thumb. I sucked my thumb until I was seven or eight. Self-soothing I heard. Regression but I don’t know how a second grader could regress. My therapist looked like a cross between Freud and Mark Twain. I cheated at Pick-Up Sticks. I still pout and sulk when I lose games. Michelangelo died in 1564. I was born 430 years after that. A year is an eternity, a lifetime by itself and I couldn’t fathom that many all together. No one lived to be that old.

In second grade we put our cat down. She was very sick and we thought she was going blind so I stuck a 20 dollar bill in her face and she didn’t look at it or try to smell it and money was invaluable to me so I knew she must have been blind. She wasn’t. But in her age she did develop diabetes and couldn’t help it but to sit on the green towel we laid for her in the dining room and to be unresponsive. I didn’t know that she was “allergic to sugar” and blamed myself because one time I gave her a small spoonful of my ice cream. She loved it and it was the first time she showed any affection towards me. That was at least a year before she died and it was only the once and I just knew I was responsible for my cat’s death and I cried sometimes. My sister told me I was a freak. My dad has only spanked me once.

I think I reached for a particularly interesting, in my mind now, red –– though perhaps it was blue or green or a faded gray –– book, one of those wonderfully leather-bound beauties that smelled really good and sweet like dust and hay and glue and the moment you opened it you couldn’t help but to catch a whiff it pulled you in closer until your nose lay in the inner crease the fold of the spine

Open your legs

Breath against the glue of the inseam fogs up glasses.

You gave a drum-a-drum-drum against my shoulder to tell me smelling books was inappropriate in public. It was then that the glasses cleared up as I lifted my head out to peer at you like I was peering into something I wasn’t supposed to see because my world was inside the book and yours was outside in the now.

I remember there being a trampoline and those library hushes whose silent responses only last seconds until laughter or soft whispers raise themselves up to improper levels again. Crescendo, I think. |kr?’ sh endo| noun ( pl. -dos or -di |-de|. Two different narratives in my brain. Left brain right brain. Logic puzzles and language acquisition. Within, without. I could see myself from the perspective of anyone else in the room and that’s why I liked to be on the stage and perform showtunes for my parents and that’s why I don’t like being in a full elevator under florescent lights next to acquaintances. Two action potentials firing.

You were unsympathetic when I fell off the treeswing out front. I told you I got pushed but neither of us knew who did it because I was alone. I cut up both my knees and my sister laughed because she was sixteen and I couldn’t stop tomato-faced crying for hours until you drove me for ice cream and venison sticks. Next time I tried to fly I wore kneepads, shinguards, ski goggles from daddy’s closet, and a rosary.

Rose Miles
Age 17, Grade 11
Saint Ann’s School
Silver Key

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