The Little Red Desk

Let’s take a look at certain happiness, shall we?

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I think we should just reach right out and take it. (Take two.) What do you think?

I think there’s beauty in a bacon-splattered stove. In a vat of coffee, gurgling away, to the left of the sink. In a cool breeze, slipping through the screen door.

There’s beauty here, and we’re going to find it. All of it, today.

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We’re going to get going, just as soon as we pack ourselves a lunch. I suppose we should stop extracting every M&M from the bag of trail mix, and start thinking about what we could make that would be easy and good and portable.

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Have baby bottle of balsamic vinegar, will travel.

Of course, if beauty were all we were after, we wouldn’t need to go very far.

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There is beauty to be had right where we are. Here, in this house, which suddenly feels about four times too big. But here is the last place we want to be. Do you understand? Here it is sixty degrees with an occasional blast of ice.

Let’s go somewhere warmer. Somewhere nicer.

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This place will have honeybees and tall grass and a few patches of please-don’t-be-poison-ivy. It’ll be easy to appreciate summer, there.

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When we’re out there, we’ll think about no-longer shiny nail polish and no-longer faint freckles and no-longer dark dark hair. We’ll think about stubborn tan lines, and nobody there to see them anyway.

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We’ll think about too-hot tar and most-of-the-way-dry towels, thrown over positively lethal leather seats. And sand, so much sand, everywhere. Enough to make little castles with our toes, while we wait for the car to cool off.

We’ll think about the word quaint. Almost absurdly quaint, wherever we decide to go.

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We’ll think about rainbow jimmies, sprinkled all over the ground, and not-enough napkins, not quite in the trash. We’ll think about sweet little kids who need a nap (STAT). With twin tracks of ice cream — one dribbling down their chin, the other dripping down their cone — both funneling directly into their laps. We’ll think about the last time we felt sticky and sunburned and so sadly sugared out. (Were we still so squeezable? Somehow I think not.)

We’ll think about four or five flags, whipping back and forth.

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We’ll think about a tri-colored umbrella, already on the move. We’ll think about three o’clock thunderstorms. And fizzy drinks, at five. And simple salads, at six. We’ll think about grill marks, good on one side (at least), and garlic chives, just about ready to be snip-snip-snipped.

Help me remember this summer. Help me forget the other one. The one that I spent inside, sitting sobbing at a little red desk. Staring out the window, swallowing thickly, whenever the storm would ease up.

Help me remember the beauty in wayward paths, weaving through the woods.

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Help me remember the beauty up on a bluff, away from it all. (Almost.)

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Help me remember the beauty in two percent battery and a blank black screen.

Help me remember that it’s okay to cry along with the gulls. To just rock back and forth for a little while, or until it feels like it will pass. Help me remember that it helps to sit with my knees bent, so I can reach out and hug them with my arms. Squeeze. Help me remember that this will help — even as silly as it sounds.

Help me remember that there’s beauty written in rusty cursive, scribbled not quite straight across a page.

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