Bill is a bunny

Monday, April 03, 2006

Start at the beginning. It's a very good place to start.

Walking downstairs in my parents' house is an emotional experience for me. Invariably, I flash on myself, five years old, rushing downstairs with a carefully selected group of stuffed animals wrapped in my blanket. I meet my mother in the kitchen and ask if we can play the "game" now, please.

"Yes, baby. You go set up."

I rush to the front room of our new house and spread out the blanket on the carpet by the window. The sun comes in from the front yard so brightly you have to squint your eyes. As I wait for my mother, I do just that, making the sunlight refract and shift like the the red brakelights of the cars on the highway as they fly by through the night. I wish I could make my mother see what I see then, see the sunlight through my squinted eyes. If I could do this to the light for her she would know just how amazing I really am, just as amazing as she is. We will be able to understand the secrets we've kept from each other and share them at last.

When my mother arrives she asks me what I am thinking about, looking out the window. I tell her I am not looking out the window. The first time she asked me what I was thinking I was getting a haircut. She looked up at me in the barber's chair and asked me what was wrong.
"Nothing's wrong, mom."
"You just looked so serious. What were you thinking about?"
"I wasn't thinking about anything."

But I was. I was thinking about her.

Deciding not to push her question further, my mother sits on the floor next to me and we begin divying up the animals. The stuffed rabbit, Hippity-hop, always goes to my mother. She can make his voice perfectly. Whenever she and my father go away on vacations I try to make Hippity-hop talk to me and remind me not to cry, that everything will be fine as soon as they get back. And they are coming back. I can't believe him when I know its my voice and not his voice. Not the voice my mother makes for him, gives to him.

We begin to play the "game" now. The animals move through a world on the blanket comprised of our street, the school, the foreign places my grandmother visits, space. Heaven and earth together on a square of cloth. We talk to each other through our animals, exploring this world together and inventing it at the same time. I have a similar game that I play with my grandfather when I visit him. But I always bring action figures for that game. I would never bring my grandfather a stuffed animal to give a voice.

As my mother and I play our game, I steal looks at her to gauge how much longer we have. Once breakfast comes we have to stop, she has work and I have school. But this time together feels like forever with my mother, my best friend, the only person in the world who knows something of how amazing I am. Everyone must know how incredible she is, but I am far too small to pay much attention to. But they'll see one day. And when they do my mother will say to everyone, "I knew he was amazing. I knew because he shared it with me first."

But now it's time to put away the blanket, roll up the world and everything and everyone in it. It is time for breakfast.

2 Comments:

  • At 6:10 AM, Blogger Noma said…

    Were you 16 or 17? Tee hee.

    No. Really? How old were you?

     
  • At 7:39 PM, Blogger Corbin said…

    I enjoyed that. Thanks. :)

     

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