That’s what I’m telling myself right now because the page is empty and the cursor is expecting me to do something but I’m not sure what to do. It’s just blinking and I don’t know whether to turn right or turn left. Should I tell the story about the swing in my uncle’s back yard that was like something out of a Fragonard painting? Or should I tell you about wanting to reference, in the story about my uncle’s swing, a specific painting of a woman on a swing that I remember being really popular with some of my friends who also happened to smoke a lot of pot back in the seventies and how I couldn’t remember the artist’s name, couldn’t find the image, but did find the Fragonard paintings, which are also very idyllic, much like the swing in my uncle’s back yard. Should I venture into the past? Or pull from the present? Does it matter?
And the cursor just kept blinking. No answers there. I suppose I could talk about my doctor’s appointment this morning and how all through the weekend I anticipated the doctor saying, “Good for you, you’ve lost weight since we last saw you!” But she didn’t say that. She asked me if I wanted a flu shot. One should not look to one’s doctor for validation, I realized.
This was going to be tougher than I anticipated.
That’s when I realized that the cursor wasn’t blinking at me. The cursor was winking at me, trusting that I, ruler of my small kingdom of chicken stories, would choose the right one for today.
My aunt and uncle had a swing in back of their house. It’s probably still there. The thick, twisted ropes hung from a branch that must have been 30 feet up in the air and the seat was made of a piece of old wood a couple inches thick. You could stand on the seat while someone pushed it from behind and go so high it felt like you were flying and also a little dangerous. In fact, it was a little dangerous. It was mostly shady back there but some sun would filter down through the leaves and shine in your eyes, prompting you to shut them tight and lean back, letting your arms go straight and sticking out your legs, just enjoying the the ride and the sensation of moving through the air, sightless, except for the changes in the light playing across your eyelids. The last time I was out back by the swing was after my uncle’s funeral. There were a group of us…another uncle, his stepson, my cousin, some second cousins, I think. The kids were swinging and the grown ups were catching up with each other. Everyone changes while some things, like that old swing, seem to stay unchanged, or maybe that’s just in my memory, too, in the same place where my uncle sits grinning at us, about to say something snarky and guaranteed to get us laughing.
What memory popped up for you today from the past?