Rasma Says

Musings, deliberations, flashes of unaccounted for brilliance…

Little squeaky children voices

They are running clockwise around the yard across the road, paired up with their legs bound together. It is Maria’s birthday. Maria of the white house below ours that is an unavoidable feature of all my panorama shots of the fjord and mountain range. 

For years, perhaps until just this year, the seasons were marked by the appearance, disappearance and reappearance of Maria’s trampoline. Each spring her father lugged out the giant black disk, blue canvas and iron poles to assemble the thing and when frost threatened took it all down again. The first year Maria herself was involved in hammering together the set of wooden steps that would enable her to climb onto it. I wonder if this year Maria told her dad she is too big for the trampoline. Too busy playing football. Too often away at someone else’s house. She is maybe eleven now. I just glanced out the window and the kids huddled beneath the trees look like their own parents. They are broad shouldered, their jackets size X-large. Maria has always been big for her age, physically and otherwise. When we first got Hector she would come over and hang out to watch him in the yard. One day she said something to Veronica about “the woof woof”. Woof woof? what kind of a word is that, Veronica asked. Without a pause Maria put her hand on Veronica’s shoulder and in a confiding if not apologetic tone said, “You know how it is: small children, small words…” She was probably 7 then. Maybe she is about 11 now? 

I remember my 11th birthday. I had strong notions about what I absolutely had to have as a present. It must have been a fairly prosperous moment for my father as I was allowed to make a request. I ended up making two because I just couldn’t choose between my obsessions. One was a matchbox car set (figure 8 track with a wire spring running through it; little plastic pins taped onto the bottom of the cars stuck into the spring and it pulled the cars around the track). This was pre Hotwheels, which my brothers got a year or so later. I disdained Hotwheels for their flashy fake orange track and wannabe race cars that were so compact you couldn’t see inside the door. Matchbox cars were elegant, classy, full-detailed miniatures. They came in all sorts of intricate models, everything from a firetruck to a Jaguar. My other obsession, which I also received along with the Matchbox car set that year, was a Dick Tracy BB-gun. Flat, black, square… yes, exactly like the one Dick Tracy held in the cartoon strip. Oh, it was a beautiful thing. Came in a red cardboard box. The heft of the BBs, which in my mind’s eye were brass. Could they have been? 

Age 11 was a good birthday. I coveted and I received. And nobody told me a girl couldn’t have race cars and BB guns. And nobody told me I couldn’t have both, if I wanted both. Yes, it was a good June that one. Now the screeching yelping excited voices of children fill the neighborhood. It is a sound I recognize. Only yesterday my own children had just such squeaky little voices. And the day before it was me playing at Ponderosa with Cathy Christmas, galloping around on a pony named Bullet, my Dick Tracy gun brandished high to ward off (or was it to attract?) the imagined threat of feral dogs and rabid possums. Which was about all we worried about that day. 


This entry was posted on 14/09/2011 by in Uncategorized and tagged .


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