[This entry is a creative experiment in writing about memories, as an extension of last week’s post.]
I’m holding a squeaky giraffe. It’s small to my mother and brother watching, but big to me. Two round ears and a little round pink nose sticks out of a round smiling face. The face sits atop a long slender tan neck. That’s most of the toy, the neck. My little fingers first grasp the long part then slid down to its flat end where the squeak comes out. I squeeze. *SQUEAK SQUEAK*
I’m sure I have other noisy toys but this one is my favorite. It makes the right sort of squeak so that Mom doesn’t get annoyed and make me stop. Right now, Mom and Cappy encourage me to pose for the camera. He stands over me, dressed in his ROTC uniform with the shiny buttons and yellow braid. He’s holding a big camera; the round part points at me. I’m distracted, still squeaking Giraffe. *SQUEAK SQUEAK*
It’s daytime but dark enough in the living room for Mom to turn on a lamp. It still seems dark, though. She reclines at the end of the long, green, curved sofa, and waves the camera away when it points at her. She doesn’t want Cappy to take her picture. I bounce around a bit and find myself off the carpet and in a corner by the television; it’s taller than me and its edge sticks out above me. My little red shoes make noise on the wooden floor. *tap tap* *SQUEAK SQUEAK*
“Look up Judi, look at the camera,” Cappy says. I adore my big brother and smile up at him. I try to focus on the round part but it’s fuzzy. Mom smiles which makes me smile harder. She’s happy. They all are happy suddenly, looking at me, murmuring encouragement to me. My arm swings Giraffe and some how its flat end now rests on top of my head. I’m delighted it still makes noise if I use my head. *bop bop* *SQUEAK SQUEAK*
The camera whirls and clicks. Mom and Cappy talk. I can’t hear everything, but I understand that the camera is new and he’s playing with it. We are going outside to play some more. I’m dressed in a light blue coat over my pants and top and taken into the backyard. Cappy tells me to stand over there. I run deeper into the yard. He’s saying other things I can’t hear now. He’s very fuzzy but I know he has the camera. I try to pose but the sun is in my eyes and I’m not sure what to do. I don’t have Giraffe. Cappy says a few more things and then it’s over. He turns away; he’s done. I stand there, not knowing what to do next.
I am four.