The park

We’re showing off our roley-poleys, spinning on the handle bars which old people like to use to stretch their legs. We’re gymnasts! Then we’re blowing bubbles from plastic goo to make transparent balls that reflect the rainbow. Who can make the biggest bubble? And we run around the playground, sliding sideways down the slides, greeting each other through what’s supposed to be a channel for our voices. Two purple metal poles with slits for our mouths to whisper into and for our ears to press up against.
We can’t resist the curry fish balls because it’s a local delicacy. Always five on a stick in a leaky paper bag.

– – – – –

The next minute, we’re illegally lighting candles on trays and staring up at the white face of the full moon. Neon lights hang from the trees and glow sticks adorn our heads, necks, and wrists. You can never wear enough of the glowing rings. My cousins scamper around me, each with their own noisy, bulbous lanterns. We aim to waste the batteries and set everything on fire! Alight! You must milk nights like these for all the magic they’re worth.

– – – – –

The green of the skating rink is olive in the shade. We’re on our backs, head on our folded arms- our makeshift pillows. It’s late and we breathe like we’re sleeping but we’re watching the clouds. We’re friends, though I’m thinking that if I loved a boy, I’d like this a lot.
Look at the stars. Did I know that they are already dead? But didn’t they once shine brilliantly.
And thinking back, didn’t we once?

– – – – –

We shouldn’t have been let out of the house in our attire, but we don’t care, and this is evident as we’re eating out of a variety of chip packets. Slumped on the bench, we perfectly juxtapose the glistening joggers, puffing to finish yet another round, and we quickly become familiar with this one guy who seems to appreciate the humor in what we’re doing. He waves and smiles as he passes and we wave back, as if to say we’re here most days of the week. It’s not strictly true, but this is our park.

– – – – –

I’m growing increasingly disgusted by him. The way he holds my hand and insists on a hand on my waist. The way he brushes hair behind my ear, away from my neck. It’s not romantic. And here comes the talk; it’s pretty much over. It starts to rain and it’s the best part of today. I love the feeling of rain on my skin, the feeling of reckless abandon. I’m a child again, with hair clinging to my cheeks and grass on my legs. It cools the intensity of my confusion. At the very least, he’s romantic enough to twirl me. Then he’s ready to leave before the rain hits harder.

– – – – –

We’re pacing back and forth, in our hoodies, carrying bottles of green tea. I have two phones in my pocket, because the buzz of a text makes her anxious. We talk about the possible futures and most probable ends of whatever we have with these guys. Would I like to kick back with a couple of beers and watch the sunset? Maybe. Would she like to see him again because he makes her feel different? But they’re meant to dip in only for a short while. We’ve only just turned seventeen.

– – – – –

I come here to clear my mind. I have with me a cup of tea, a notebook and a pen. I’ll sketch the trees, the curve of the skating rink. There’s a certain music here, where everything seems to fit together, sing to each other, like counter parts. The sky breaks over green, the wind brings me air, the ants scurry away from my foot. I am taking a break from the people I love, the pain of loving. I am content in being alone.

– – – – –

All the memories I have there are special in some way.


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