I’ve wanted to be a writer since I was a very little girl, writing horrible poems in Mr.Sketch scented markers. I wanted my writing to be profound and deep, and wrote about roses and the moon. I could have written about the things of my life : the bedroom I shared with my brother in our Bronx apartment, caterpillars and acorns I scooped up on paper plates and snuck inside, the inchworms on their glittering threads I saw dangling from the trees on walks to nursery school. From our living room window we could see Van Cortlandt Park, and would watch the Big Apple Circus set up each year. Falling asleep, I didn’t hear wind rustling the branches or wolves howling, like the little girls in the books I devoured. I heard traffic down on Broadway, an occasional siren, and the fast-food workers’ voices drifting up from below the window : Hi welcome to Burger King, can I take your order?
I still don’t always know how to write about the truth of my life. It often seems like anything else would be more poetic. As I type this out on my phone, my toddler is playing with an empty seltzer bottle and a yellow slotted plastic spoon on my mom’s deck. Mom must have had that spoon my whole life. I can remember it being used as a salad server many times, the two plastic yellow spoons poking out of the white bowl with the blue and yellow stripes. In the garage, our old butcher block table is in separate pieces — we scrubbed it clean on Tuesday, after years of basement dust, and we’re going to take it to our apartment upstate. Don’t know where we’ll settle down — or when, or if. At least wherever it is we’ll have a solid block of that sweet old 1930s-era Bronx apartment. What I’d give to walk through that old home again. The new owners did a huge renovation — it was featured in the Times. Beautiful place, but not our sweet old apartment with the brown carpeting and red tile kitchen floors. I guess we just have to take what we can with us — maybe by writing about truths instead of roses.