I shift and contain varieties of awareness, in an almost subconscious moment when I try to perceive Eve the way Loni, who I haven’t seen in three years, might perceive her.
Caroline finds a single hair on her skirt as she sits in the backseat on the way to a party, and does not want to just throw it, imposingly, on the floor of Christine’s car.
Stacy could be described as a collection of rice paper boxes, feather baskets, linen envelopes sealed with thread; she locates and contains every subtle distinction—then packages and insulates with sympathetic curiosity.
When I go to lie on the sofa, six-year-old Sarah cups her hands around the portion of the pillow that is a shade darker, to protect me from lying there.
Eve says she couldn’t sleep for an entire week. So, when her eyes finally closed for more than a moment, and the construction crew outside began drilling into the concrete, Matt gently placed his hands over her ears.
As I maneuver through the crowd in the living room, on my way to the porch, my hand feels utterly un-held.
“My tears are all right here,” says little Sarah.
Caroline does not want to impose even the softest, frailest burden on the car floor.
When I return to the porch, Stacy has her hand lightly cupped over the top of my soda. “I didn’t want anything to get in there,” she says.
The act of lifting hair from fabric should be assigned a unique word. A word softer than pulling or picking—which more accurately describe extracting something firmly fixed. More vivid than getting. A word that indicates easy delay—the faint resistance of static. And then this word, because of its diaphanous sound, would be a homonym for the small moment that little Sarah altered the position of her hand, so slightly, to more accurately quarantine her tears. Both meanings would bear the implication of an unhurried tenderness.
I would enjoy this party food more, I think, had it all been arranged inside plastic eggs.
Sometime before we arrive at the party, while Elena and Lindsay are inevitably already talking about a guy named Bronson, how he always says the wrong thing, will still be talking about it long after we arrive, I watch.
Caroline, in the back seat, privately tilting her purse toward her, opening it, and putting one delicate hair inside.