As I stood there, Cheryl gave me a quick hug, then stepped back a few steps, her eyes fixed on me. Then, without a moment’s hesitation, Cheryl straightened up and unbuttoned her pink sweater. Even though it was cold and her blouse was made from the same material as my shirt, she doffed the sweater and held it out to me.
I must have shaken my head or made another gesture of protest because Cheryl looked at me sternly and handed me the sweater.
Knowing that I didn’t speak English fluently but intuiting that I understood body language, Cheryl mimicked someone putting on a sweater. She did this once, twice, and when she saw that I was reluctant to don the sweater – I didn’t want her to get cold, either – she did the Marcel Marceau bit one more time. “It’s cold, sweetie. Please, Alex, put it on,” Cheryl said.
I wanted nothing more in the world but to please her – and see her smile again – so I nodded in assent, took the sweater from her hands, and put it on, clumsily and with some effort because I was cold and nervous. It felt soft, warm, and smelled lightly like lilacs – not exactly a manly scent, to be sure – and it was the nicest thing that had happened to me at Coral Park since the beginning of the school year.
“There are moments when I wish I could roll back the clock and take all the sadness away, but I have the feeling that if I did, the joy would be gone as well.” ― Nicholas Sparks, A Walk to Remember Fifty years ago, when I was nine (going on 10) years old, I livedContinue reading “Tempus Fugit: Fractured Memories of Halloween 1972”
“Better to have to retrace your steps and then move forward than never to move forward at all.” ― Anne Burack Sayre, The Birthday Book Club Snatching: The Melinda & Simon Series I promised, not too long ago, that I’d tell you a bit more about “Cheryl T,” the cute auburn-haired girl who sat twoContinue reading “Tempus Fugit: Remembering ‘Cheryl T.’”
Where I Was in October of ’72…. (A Tempus Fugit Gig) “Seasons change, people grow together and apart, life moves on. You will be OK, embrace it.” ― Alexandra Elle, Words from a Wanderer Author’s Note: In less than three days (as I write this, at any rate) it will be my late mother’s 94thContinue reading “Tempus Fugit: Where Were You in October of ’72?”
Time’s Relentless March “It is strange how we hold on to the pieces of the past while we wait for our futures.” ― Ally Condie, Matched As August 2022 reaches the two-thirds of the month mark and meteorological fall waits in the seasonal wings, my thoughts turn once again to the past, especially to theContinue reading “Tempus Fugit: or, Longing for All My Yesterdays in the Summer of ’22”
Tempus Fugit “I blinked my eyes and in an instant, decades had passed.” ― John Mark Green, Taste the Wild Wonder: Poems Fifty years ago this month, my mom, my older half-sister Vicky (who had recently rejoined us after a brief but disastrous attempt to live with our maternal grandaunt Gabriela and stay in Bogota),Continue reading “Tempus Fugit – August of 1972 Edition: The End of Summer Vacation is Nigh & Back-to-School Angst”
The Dog Days of Summer – which began on July 3 this year and are the hottest months of the year in the Northern Hemisphere – ended yesterday, but down here in the Tampa Bay area you would not know it. On this second Friday of August, it’s hot, humid, and uncomfortable for those ofContinue reading “Tempus Fugit – Summer of 1972 Edition, or: Sizzling Florida Weather Brings Back Memories – and Comparisons – of Summertime in South Florida”
It’s another scorching hot Sunday in the Tampa Bay area – outside, it’s mostly sunny and the temperature is 90°F/32°C, and the heat index is higher at 100°F/38°C. There is a huge clubhouse/pool complex that residents of the community have access to, but (a) I don’t like going there alone, and (b) the weather forecastContinue reading “Tempus Fugit – Dog Days of Summer 1972 Edition: Those Long, Hot Sundays of Yesteryear”
“Time doesn’t really ‘march on’. It tends to tip-toe. There’s no parade. No stomping of boots to alert you to its passing. One day, you turn around and it is gone.” ― Heather Babcock This summer – this stiflingly hot, oft sad and depressing, and quite insane Summer of ’22 – is both my 59thContinue reading “Tempus Fugit, Summer of 1972 Edition: Living in the ‘Here and Now’ in Sunny, Humid South Florida”
Half a century ago this week, in the Miami suburb of Westchester, my mother and I moved into the house we would call “home” for the next five years – a one-story, 1505 square foot, single-family house that sat on a 7,777 square foot lot: 1001 SW 102nd Avenue. Built in 1963, the house wasContinue reading “Tempus Fugit: Remembering the House at 1001 in Coral Estates Park”