Tuesday, July 1, 2014

Once, In The Desert

I drove the girls to swimming lessons at the Racquet Club, which took me back to the days when I first met Noah and we were visiting his family in Palm Desert. La Quinta, to be specific, if you're in the know. Down the way from Palm Springs. Next to Indio. Noah's parents had a desert home with a casita that I slept in and a pool in the backyard. They belonged to a country club--all of this went away swiftly about a year later, it all drastically changed. But when I first met them, we could go to the country club and sit by the pool for hours, ordering smoothies and hamburgers and fries. We weren't quite old enough to order alcohol, can you believe that? But the endless smoothies and burgers and fries were pleasures enough. Noah's youngest sister was seven, his youngest brother nine, and they shrieked when he threw them around in the pool. I missed that desert, that extreme dry heat, those rows of palms and million-dollar houses, for a moment or two today, when we were at the Racquet Club, in the humidity. It's easy to hold up the past like a palace on a hill, a place where everything is glowing and twinkling. Laughter, champagne bubbles, fairy lights in the dusk. But that's not the reality of it, that vision lacks the truth. Nothing was more perfect then than it is now. That seven-year-old, nut-brown sister Noah threw around in the pool is getting married this August. At the end of the summer we've planned a family trip to the beach. I'll put on my bathing suit and get in the ocean, free from all the self-consciousness and shame that wrapped my body like a shroud when I was 20, though I am heavier now, and looser in every possible way. That girl sat in the shade in a cover up and didn't get in the pool one time. She loved the word Indio, and as she drank strawberry smoothies she rolled it around in her head, a smooth stone that would travel to the belly five years later and make a girl named Indy, who would connect everything like a thread. Who would carry in her the past, and the future,  and who would sparkle up the every present. And it goes on.


  1. Yes! I love finding the threads and looking at them, teasing them out and beholding each one in its glory.
    What a beautiful post.

  2. Oh, I loved this -- how it was truly a thread, unwinding, a string of story, and I had no idea where it was going but that it was good --

  3. Breathless. So beautiful and so true.


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