Filed under: my friend
The new neighbors we were about to meet completed a summer of surprises. My mother added yet another sibling to our tribe, an event that brought comments from the families on our street about how we were clearly Catholic, something I took to mean they saw all seven of us leave for church each Sunday. My sister, a bowl-headed tomboy always clad in hand-me-downs from my brother above her, had her first sleepover with a little boy up the street, shocking the mother at bath time by disrobing to reveal that the “boy” she called “Jimmy” was actually a girl named Jenny. The sidewalks where I caught crickets beneath streetlamps to feed to my painted turtle, Caesar, were turning cooler, and the cicadas were quieting.
That morning the moving van dominated our narrow street and the older boys immediately began skateboarding across the ramp behind it, their wheels rumbling across the corrugated metal. Before long, on bikes, 4-wheeled skates, or bare feet, every child on the block circled the semi, inspecting the floral furniture and waiting for clues to the family. When the movers brought out the twin brass bed, the neighborhood girls threw up their hands in triumph. (more…)