Saturday, October 29, 2011

Writing Prompt: The Word: Pepper

This week's word: Pepper

I remember things about that night. Not the things I wish I remember, or even the things I should remember. There were the Red Hot Chili Peppers blasting from scratchy speakers, and far too many sparkly leg warmers. I remember the smells of cotton candy and water on cement near the Lazy River. The squeals of first time water-sliders, the splashing, and the whistles of lifeguards. It’s funny that the trivial things stand out as clear as day, but I can barely remember the face of the boy with the blonde spikes in his hair and the Tears For Fears concert T-shirt. The boy I thought would be “the one”. I remember the feel of his hand nervously holding mine, rough from hauling hay and mending corral fences. I can still smell the British Sterling cologne he wore just enough of, but the eyes that made me fall head over heels for him? I don’t know if they were blue or hazel. And I’ve tried for days to remember his name Adam or Andy or Anthony? I’m just not sure.

I remember not being able to catch my breath while riding the Spider and being too scared to try rickety roller coaster. I remember only the boys would ride the bumper cars hoping to show off their prowess to us girls who were too busy scanning the crowd for a glimpse of something…someone better. I even remember the stale urine smell of the bathrooms…the long lines, the dirty paper towels overflowing the dented trash cans. That I can remember, but not whether or not he liked algebra better than English, or whether he wanted to be a musician, math teacher, or mechanical engineer. The important things. How did I become the kind of person to whom these things only seem to be important now with the lack of him, or I should say the loss of him? How can a human being matter so much and so little at the same moment?

He deserves to be remembered, I know he does. He deserves to be more than a headline in a two-paragraph article about a juvenile male found frozen to death in his own backyard in my own hometown.

But I still can't remember his name.
Next week's word: slip