What I Know

I know that my front door is open. I like my front door open.

I know that all the windows in the house used to shudder when the bus made its stop in front. I memorized that sound.

I know the windows don’t shudder anymore. They are new and the bus stop went away.

This missing sound is the first thing I notice missing when I move back into my childhood home.

I know I still anticipate the shuddering when cars drive by. I brace myself for the racket that doesn’t come.

I know I’m suprised when the house doesn’t shake. When the windows don’t sound. Even though the rattling jarred me. I miss it. It’s been 3 months since I moved back in.

I’m not used to the missing sounds yet.

I know it takes 3 large child-lunge-steps to get to the top of my closet. The one that used to be my father’s.

I know if you put your long hair in a tight bun on the top of your head. Open the right drawer to your father’s dresser. Pull out his rimless glasses, and use his 1970’s driver license for a library card, you can transform yourself into a librarian — right in his room.

Point people in the direction of their favorite fiction, the children’s area, books on tape, law, self-improvement, the reference section, art, autobiographies, flowers and gardening, teen novels, poetry, magazines.

I know my father’s rimless glasses made me feel much, much older. Like how old I am now.

I know the bun on my head made me feel like I had figured it out. I was smart. And sophisticated. I had answers. You had questions.

I wonder. As an adult. If my father’s dresser was still here in my room. And his rimless glasses in the top drawer. Next to his expired 70’s license. If I could put my hair in a tight bun.

And transform myself into a librarian — who is in the business of knowing.

Would I forget that I am getting a divorce? Could I unknow my married life? Who would I know if I didn’t know him?

Could I stay there. Till I forgive myself. For knowing everything. So well. That I didn’t have play anymore.

I know. On the back porch. There are three round posts that hold up the porch roof. If you swing around the post, build momentum, you can swing off one and onto the next. You can do this without pausing your circles around each post.

There is the flinging and the catch.

I know if you time this precisely. You can swing in circles for hours. Even in the dark. From one post, to the next, to the next. And back again.

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