My childhood bedroom is, in the way that all childhood bedrooms are, uniquely unspectacular. There’s the perpetually unmade bed, surrounded by pictures and ticket stubs finely coated in dusty nostalgia. There’s the framed poster of the only NBA Big Three I’ll ever acknowledge, and the watercolor painting of Captain America wearing nothing but a helmet and a strategically-placed mighty shield (which still might be the best thirty bucks I’ve ever spent in my life). There are game cartridges, action figures, and books; gods above, there are the books.
And then there are the trophies.
I grew up by a rocky beach. I was more attuned to cutting my feet on shells and jagged edges than digging them into sand. The Massachusetts water was always frigid; come August, it became just bearable. There was a jetty made from large rocks marking the end of the beach, and we’d walk it because it gave us purpose and I liked jumping from one face to another. …
I wish I could be one of those ladies who drinks gin from a jam jar in the afternoon. Neat, two shots.
You know her — she wears caftans and coral and it works, she has a deep voice and when she moves she sweeps. She is a regal ship of a woman.
She worked in international publishing for decades and when she’s pensive she sits on her bloom-choked slate patio with her jam jar and fingers the smooth black stone she brought from Ibiza all those years ago.
Her name is Annick or Clothilde…
Gravity must have a stronger pull on childhood. It was all board games and sleepovers and action figure scenes and Legos and naptime and butterfly stretching and duck duck goose and crisscross applesauce.
Adult life, not so much. It’s all barstools and car seats and office chairs and Ikea whatever. Especially in New York and its shoebox-sized studios and walk-in closets converted to four-bedroom railroad sublets with their impersonal, Swiffer-neglected pre-war hardwood so small it barely accommodates your feet.
My roommate refuses to sit on our sofa. During Family Feud, I recline on the cushions with adolescent nonchalance…
My dad drives with both feet. He uses his right for the gas and his left for the brake. I’ve seen him do it for years, and he’s the best driver I know. But you can’t pass the road test using two feet, so he didn’t teach me to drive like that. He didn’t teach me much of anything when it comes to cars. I never really wanted to learn.
I’ve picked up a few things about batteries and tire pressure along the way, and I get my oil changed every five-thousand miles. …