August 27

6 year old Confessions

So right now, I’m thinking…but I’m not trying too hard because that will defeat the purpose of enjoying whatever memory or thought my mind can locate. Small things…old things: pen-pals, white lies, cereal boxes, license plates, and an old painting in my house that I see everyday but gave no thought to until just now. It’s strange how some days quaint little memories can piece your life together and for just a moment, everything makes sense.
Years ago, my grandmother and I would sit in her old kitchen with red linoleum floors, an itchy wool table cloth and old Dutch tiles with pictures from olden days framed along the roof line. I would sit beside her and ask her silly questions and tell her unfathomable stories that only 6-year-olds do. We would drink our tea and giggle about getting old. I would watch her precious laugh lines and fall into her twinkling blue eyes just barely hidden behind her half-moon glasses. We would write letters and Christmas cards to sailors and people far from home. One year I received a letter back from a man named Rolando. He worked on ships and traveled many places that I had never heard of. He told me stories of the men he worked with and his home in the Phillipines. He had no family. I was the closest thing to his daughter even though I was only a few scribbled and mispelled words on a sheet of paper. I would ask him funny questions such as
whether or not he had a girlfriend and he would always answer in a comedic truthfulness. He sent me a photo: a group of stern looking, overworked men; he was in the back corner with his faint smile, black eyes, and old leathered skin. Eventually he must have changed ships…the letters stopped coming and I was getting older, preoccupying myself with having a crush on the neighbor boy, Nicholas. I miss Rolando…his broken English and terrible penmanship. I think about him and where he is and I hope for his happiness.