I am standing in shoes that are too small for my feet, pondering where to get those socks my dad is supposed to wear for his bad circulation and if I should start wearing them myself. I stare into the mirror, not blankly yet because it’s the beginning of fitting season and I am not yet taxed by it yet and my feet feel similarly perky. It’s hour two of the impending fifty-one that will commence. I am still happy. These are moments that I relish in because I reaquaint myself with being a positive person; the positive person that will eventually bow out to a more negative, frustrated, drowning one towards the end of October.
Janet Jackson comes on the stereo. It’s from the 80s and it’s the album before the sepia covered self-titled Janet album. That one was mine. That album was the summer of ’94, when we moved into the Summit apartment complex while our house got remodeled. I remember black feet and plumbing and lots of swimming pools. I remember chocolate Jello and my brother digging through boxes of trash and taking books about war. My second grade boyfriend, Joey, moved there with his family at the same time. He walked on the tippy toes of his sneakers and had a downy blonde unintentional mullet. He’s married now and is a successful banker. But back then we used to run around behind the tennis courts on giant tufts of grass, picking up stray neon balls and getting stung by bumble bees.
The carpet was the cheap apartment kind that my mother hates: gradients of flecked gray nubs. The drywall was cheap and thin and you could hear the plumbing running through the walls when someone used the shower. And this was an expensive place. FEMA was paying for it. We moved out of the Summit within the year once our real house was finished. This is the same house my dad would move out of in 1996 when my parents divorced and that the rest of us would move out of permanently in 1999 when my mom married Tom. When they divorced a year later we wished we had kept that house and all of its memories, all of its stained glass and crown moulding my mom painted by hand while listening to the OJ Simpson trials on a shitty radio. But a couple had moved in there when we sold it to them and then they had kids and then it was their house and not our house.