I didn’t expect to live there long. We never stayed in one place. Maybe a year at the most, and so I remained unsettled. Not in a bad way so much, more like a hummingbird moves from petal to petal, finding nectar in each color, yet keeping in flight, ready to dispatch itself any minute.
Each year, a new school; sometimes two or three, and so on. Neighbors to meet, musty basements in which to watch Bozo’s Circus with another girl my age, or eating sandwiches at the same yellow and chipped linoleum table, made unexpected in a different kitchen. Although the same.
It was there at the table I wrote my first story, The Ball I called it, a cheap rip-off of Cinderella, but I remember using “anxiously” in a sentence and my mom proudly showing the lined paper bound by a purple construction paper cover to Sister Laura, my newest first grade teacher. I still have that book. And each time I drag it out of the closet under the stairs I am back on an Elk Grove Village sidewalk, winding my favorite Lemon Twist toy around my ankle, daydreaming or maybe worrying about what other street we’d both be on next year.