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every other man

The light outside the main entrance to our building has gone out again. The heavy metal door swings wide as I pull a hat down over my ears. In the darkness there are maybe twenty teenagers standing still. My boot scrapes across the ground, slowing down. Their hands in pockets, shoulders hunched, I look for a space to pass between them. A voice appears, saying hello in English, with an obvious accent. I am all instinct, sayingpivyet as I pass, not looking back, wondering who said this. There was a boy that was an extra in Blackbetty that lives in our building, but he is too young, too short for it to have been him.

I look back, navigating the puddles in the street. It does not make any sense.

N is with V, making their way home. I meet them, pulling V into my arms as she chatters about her day, about dry leaves and princesses, about her grandmother's apartment and what she ate there. We are going back home, and I try to explain the odd collection that stands outside. As we pass th…

The First Night

She went from room to room, peering in, clicking all of the light switches on the walls. She opened drawers, and flushed the toilet. She made a quiet, funny face to me.

"Pop, I found some sponges." She said, opening a lower closet door and pointing at them.

We left our bags in a pile in the middle of the the floor and went out for sushi. She sat next to me, propping one elbow on my arm. We toasted, speaking in low voices as we watched the glittering holiday lights reflected in the giant windows.

"Can I see the mermaid horse when we go outside?" She asked me.

We bought chocolates and water and toilet paper and went upstairs. I turned on The Chordettes, and we danced to Lollipop and A Girl's Work is Never Done. We danced like we were airplanes, running from room to room. I threw her into her air, watching our reflections in a tall set of mirrors. We danced for hours. We made a necklace from purple thread, with yellow beads shaped like stars. She squeezed out a bottle of glitter glue across them, and on a leftover piece of furniture we had made into a low desk.

I made her a bed from a little couch that had been in the kitchen for some reason. Spreading out the fresh set of cartoon sheets, she jumped on them. "This is MY bed." She said, and I nodded a big yes. A set of shelves decorated the walls, with sliding glass fronts on them. She filled one of them with her dolls, and slid the glass closed, making a sort of museum exhibit.

She found a tiny heart-shaped pillow in one of them. It said "I love you." She gave it to me, laughing. I gave it back to her.

Comments

Stefanya said…
you are a great pop.

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