This place was my first fancy meal, in a trailer-turned-Taj-Mahal where we ate steamed whole artichokes dipped in melted butter and T-bone steak. This place was Peggy and me, sixty years apart in age, sitting Indian-style across from one another, in a mobile three blocks from McDonalds hands clasped in front of us in prayer gently singing we are siamese if you please, we are siamese if you don’t please. At that time my voice was so soft it was barely there. And while my vibrant, open, excited child’s-mind could capture these memories I have just shared with you, the reality is that I could not even mutter a thank you. Often one-on-one with Peggy I would freeze. The intimacy of the energy that was with us being too much. Tapping a place I knew little about—the relationship between woman and woman.
Throughout every moment with Peggy, or with Tina, my great Aunt, I felt pampered, like a princess-child. Like I could take on the world. Like I was somewhere else completely. Like I was someone else completely. My higher self. I could rest. I could wake and see magical things. I was in a magical world. Like a girl in a Disney movie. Like a girl on TV, in a normal home, with a normal family. Where things looked good and smelled good and felt good on your skin. Where you were rewarded for your hard work—an orange and crème popsicle for doing the dishes. Where nothing was out to get you.
After two nights or so my dad would pull up out front in the pickup-of-the-week. It would be seven p.m. on Sunday, getting dark, a school night and Peggy would say something about that and arms would raise and for the first time in two days my little white arms would get cold from standing in the sea air watching my dad defend himself, sawdust and oil on his pants and hands, him talking about a late start and needing to finish bucking the alder and I haven’t even sold it yet and I’ve got to go meet the guy tonight, actually and me noticing the blue tarp over the heap of wood in the back of the truck. Peggy would give me a dry kiss on the cheek and though there was a certain carefree comfort I felt with my dad, my eyes might sting with a tear or two as I watched that mobile-home-castle get smaller in the mirror reading objects in mirror are closer than they appear and thinking I sure hope so.