Sunday, April 01, 2007
Tink me once, Tink me twice.....
Tink. The art of touching someone, drenching them actually, by thinking of them. O.K., I made up the word, but I checked. Webster hasn’t gotten there yet. Tink.
Angels do it all the time. Lovers do it often. Twins invented it. I believe in it.
A cigar smell that creeps into the hallway without explanation and suddenly you’re 7 years old and riding in a Thunderbird, pushing the Bobby Vinton tape into the 8 track. Dad-O reaches over and says” You wanna drive , don’t you?” And you leap off of the garnet plethora seat and into his lap to guide the steering wheel toward the Pak-n-Sac. No seat belts, no rules. Just the dotted lined highway and the cigar simmering in the ashtray.
40 years later. Tink. You’re Daddy’s thinking’ about you…..
The sound of the magnolia leaves rustling. Wet. Night rain dripping off their fat paper-plate shaped selves. I heard them Saturday and knew. I was 10 and had just climbed up the seven 2 x 4 wooden levers to the heart of the tree. We were monkeys. You had to stretch your arms, and lank your legs to make it in seven steps. Adults would’ve needed 23 resting spots. My bare feet cradled the soggy soul of the old tree. Dark leaves lined her heart like a bird’s nest, drenched in May rain. My skinny little arms jiggled out into the open air, standing on tip toes, waiting for the swing to fly high enough to catch. Brad swung it once, I reached and teetered, its wooden seat and hemp rope teasing me. He swung it hard this time. The rope swooped and then danced in front of me, I curled and lunged, almost fell, but couldn’t’ catch it, soft wet bark scraping my shins. The third time, I snatched it, and Brad backed away. “She’s flying now” ……
I’ve never parachuted or sky-dived, but God, I’ve jumped from that tree. You plummet to the dirty earth, FAST! The silly frayed rope saving you at the last minute, a make-shift bungy cord, and you bounce for just a second. And then you swing. So high your underpants show. And all you can feel and all you can see is the magnolia leaves rustling. In Nana’s backyard.
43 years later…It’s spring now. And I’m explaining love bugs on a sun-peeled deck, in the middle of an “It’s so HOT” day, in the middle of an “I’ve loved you forever” conversation and I hear that sound. The magnolia leaves rustling. Nana. Tink. She’s nudging me.
I grab the rope and jump.
To be continued…..