I’m flirting with a great love affair with this city.
There’s a fountain at 50th and State Line that, at night, feels like something out of fairy tales, or maybe memory. There’s a soft sound of remembrance in the water hitting itself, and a soft romance in the brightness of the yellow tulips against the icy blues of a full moon-lit evening. It’s about to rain. The ground already looks wet, and the sky is that pale lavender that’s too light for midnight. Lightening occasionally flashes in silence, almost like it’s trying to sneak up behind you. There’s such a deliciousness about the breeze that you want it to throw your hair into tangles and give you goosebumps.
Everything is something out of memory tonight. I have a memory of sitting on the front porch of the house that I grew up in, the murmur of the attic fan in the background. The air is cool, and bench is uncomfortable. I’m antsy and a little scared, but my daddy is next to me. Sometimes he has his guitar. The air is still for a minute. And then the breeze gets cooler, quicker. Thunder clears its throat in the distance. Rain begins a steady march over us. Then quicker, louder. I get bored too soon and go inside, dragging my hands against the uneven surface of the walls, textured by fifty years of paint. The moisture makes my feet stick the hardwood floor. I patter into my room with the pink walls. The pink walls that used to be blue, long before we moved in. I know this by the large chunks of paint that I’ve peeled off beneath the window sill. Even now I can see their exact spot in my mind. I remember the feelings of delight and guilt as I chipped away at small spots making them larger. All of the windows are open and the humidity and fresh air is stirring up the smells of old wood and paint, and marrying them with ones of spring and rain. I crawl between the cool softness of my sheets as it gets brisker and the rain gets louder; my pulse quickens and I consider running to my parents but decide to brave. Instead, I lay in quiet vanity focusing on my courage while the colors, smells, and gentle sounds of music and rain blur into the sleep of a seven-year-old.