I walked a mile around the fence in leaking shoes just to be with you. I don’t know what I was thinking about exactly. Everything and nothing all at once: songs, facts, making fun of a girl’s name, fighting with a friend , insulting a person of a different race, my last memory of Lemons who had a brain tumor and died, the talent show, not getting the lead role, being forced into the last nonspeaking part…
The front door was gone, the gym, stage, art room, staircase, my first grade classroom were all missing. My hands were frozen to the chain-link fence.
I watched them tear your face brick from brick. Saw them punch your eyes out. Millions of tears fell like shards of windshield glass we picked up and played with when we were young. It was everywhere, diamonds scattered in the busy road.
From my tiny upstairs room with two windows I could make out fireworks from baseball games. Our corner lot was dotted with knobby trees and a barn house that was visible a mile down Broadway St. I walked home from school alone. I walked past many white houses and a few colorful ones. Those made it easier to find home. An aquamarine one just before the Blue Jay Lounge told me I was only one road from home. Broadway had a huge curve that seemed magical when I was a kid. I crossed its yellow lines, a fairy tale creature skipping across invisible stones or pushed off the curb with my sneaker, making a mad dash for home on my horse-bike complete with jump rope reigns.
I was the second fastest girl in the fifth grade. I fell in love with a boy with an earring and a bowl cut. We took a trip to the capital. I got ready for school all by myself, waking up to my alarm, watching cartoons and eating cereal before walking or biking to and from Lincoln in almost any weather.
Everything was new, no two days seemed exactly the same but eventually my school got old and was abandoned. This was long after I left. A new school was built. I returned to the blood red building, boarded up for buyer after buyer, usually with a camera trying to capture what being six was like. I never knew my grandfather went to the same elementary school I did. Imagine how new things must have looked.