Monday, July 13, 2009

Pull the Plug

This is a tiny essay that I wrote a few years ago. It is my memory of a late summer evening when I was a little girl and my mother had put my brother and me in the bathtub and then gone out to the garden. We went out searching for her and this is the moment stamped in my memory.

He taught me quiet stealth on a green-grass evening as we followed the brown, itchy clapboards on the back of the house towards the garden and our mother. At ages four and six, “Indians” was our favorite game. “We’re on the attack,” he told me. “Shhhh!” We crept noiselessly to the rock that would be our last cover before exposure to the road at the front of the house. I kept a sharp eye out for Fluffy our black cat who, ill-tempered and gouty, would use our legs as a substitute for her favorite scratching post. My brother pushed our expedition along soundlessly, scouting the terrain ahead. We reached the rock, squatting behind its relative safety as he scoped out the situation. It was several feet of open driveway to the fence line of the garden and, my best guess now is, it was a gap he just wasn’t ready to fill. He turned to me and without announcement pushed me into full view in the center of the driveway saying, “You’re younger; you ask Mom.” Startled I stood paralyzed waiting for a car to pass and reveal my shame. For out of the bathtub we had come to find our mother to get us a towel, and my brother hung back, naked, like the first man of the Bible he was named for—Adam.


Goose said...

That's great. Loved it.

Eric and Rozanne said...

That is a priceless essay...what an appropriate name for Adam, huh? I love that you went outside to get your mom to get you a towel. So funny. Thanks for sharing it.


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