Friday, December 02, 2005

Pennies from heaven (accent 2)

Which could have been about "8 to the 5"

Or "6 yards of jersey"

Or "my left eye"

Or "me and da beans"

Or any number of other titles of things about which I could write. The list is, as you might guess from someone my advanced age (which, as yet, is not specified here - and all y'all that know me shut.up., nearly endless.

Descriptions of the above cypticalness, as Cliff's notes version for the curious, read as follows:

"8 to the 5" = marching band. My God, there's a whole blog worth of stories right there. For those of y'all who got to take marching band as a PE credit - my hat is off to you. It should be. For me, it was an extra-curricular lifestyle only.

"6 yards of jersey" = when I discovered I had a nice figure, but wouldn't let anybody else see. Just image a 14-year-old girl in her room with a loooong stretch of silky jersey fabric, pretending she's Cleopatra. I thought I was all that and a side of fries, lemme tellya.

"my left eye" = or how I found out at 15 that I didn't have that thing all the kids call "binocular vision." Depth perception - who needs it? Doesn't everybody see 2 distinct images that they have to try like crazy to intercalate? Huh? Don't they?

"Me and da beans" = well, go back to the whole "fixing me" thing to think about how THAT might have affected my life with legumes. Really. It will never be mentioned again. Or not.

However, in the spirit of this being a blog o'memories, I suppose I should offer a story. Maybe something sweet? Spiiiiiceee? Painful? Joyous? Quirky?

I go with the last. Let's call it "grab a golden dollar."

I'm 8. Tall, awkward, prematurely mature (bra in 3rd grade? Yup, that's me) and I hate myself just a little.

Every day after school I ride the bus home for what seems an interminable amount of time. It's long enough, in winter, for all the windows on the bus to get gloggy and steamy with the exhalations of dozens of prepubescent children, long enough that when the bus doors open the smell of wet hand-knit mittens and peanut-butter breath is replaced by a scimitar of brain-penetratingly cold air that freezes your nostril hairs and hurts the space behind your eyes if you inhale too deeply. It's a long ride indeed, so much so that almost every kid on my street has done their homework on the way home because they got tired of talking to each other, long enough for us to watch the sun go down on the ride home so that when the bus driver pulls the long handle at our stop the yellow doors swing open into the black night of 4 p.m.

I ride the bus on the left-hand side, with my head on the window so that I don't have to look at anyone else. I rub the soggy glass from time to time, watching the big imaginary horse beside us leap the 10-foot snowbanks and imagining myself on top of it, dressed in a toga or suit of armor or nothing at all. I am 8, and life is a bore and an embarrassment, and I can't look around me because I might make that 6th grader mad at me again and then she'll call me names that make me sick and angry.

So, the window gets my dreams, and the world leaves me. My immense horse looks over his shoulder and smiles at me while striding over ice and snow, leaping over the plows and banks like they were inconsequential and unimportant.

In those daydreams at the bus window I believe I am magic, that I can fly, that the things I dream can come true and that it's possible to, if you really really try, grab pennies from the sky. All you have to do is raise a damp and mittened hand toward the bus roof and close your fist. Over and over and over again, until You Get It Just Right. You don't need to look at your hand, you simply need to believe that it will happen, one of these times, that some time or another you will open your wooly palm and see held therein a token of the gods' love for you and their faith in you. So, I do, over and over and over, with, ultimately, nary a token to prove my devotion and my 8-year old's world, lost amongst my dreams and desires in a bus full of impatient and slightly smelly children.......


Wanna know a secret? - I still think it's possible. Because I'm the woman who, on occasion, you'll see on the beltline at 7:30 in the morning or in the encroaching night ride home, reaching up to tap the roof of her car, hoping to grab a penny from heaven, just this once.

They're up there someplace, aren't they?


Erica said...

I still believe anything is possible. And, like your third-grade daydreamer, I was that way. And I'm still that way. I drive down the road on Earth but I'm always somewhere far, far away in my mind, talking to people who aren't real. And no, I'm not crazy. Just love my imagination and the people who populate it.

Anonymous said...

Erica - then I'm not alone in the world! That, right there, is good news