My Fresh Hell
Life in Scribbletown.

A Circle Never Ends

2006-08-14

Well, the trial* begins this week. All the grisly details about how Ruby and her family were killed will be released to the press. Which means we’ll be hiding the newspaper again for the next couple of weeks until this horror is finally put to bed, as it were. I brought my Shanghai Quartet CDs to Dusty’s preschool today and asked that the teacher play them during naptime instead of NPR until things cooled down because the absolute very last thing I want Dusty to hear is callous public radio reporters discussing how her friend died. Just as Dusty had begun to move on to other things, the trial will bring it all back and smack us in the face with it.

And if that weren’t bad enough (and it is), this month marks the one year anniversary of the closing of Beloved Preschool. Where Dusty and Ruby were tight as ticks. When Ruby wasn’t in a fiery mood, that is.

And so, to rid myself of bad thoughts I’ll try to remember the good stuff that happened this weekend. Apart from getting stung by a very bad mysterious flying thing that suddenly appeared from out of nowhere. Because Dusty and I were rock grubbing and uncovered some previously unknown underground bee/fly lair. Hurt like shit, let me tell you. But at least it attacked me and not Dusty.

Friday night, Dusty wanted me to play Barbies with her, for the “my turn” portion of her bedtime (a protracted event) routine, rather than read to her. You may remember that we recently found, at the Goodwill, a boy Barbie – the ultimate male bimbo. He truly looks like a frat boy jerk with hair in desperate need of cutting (a la Hugh Grant – who I otherwise have no beef about – in 4 Funerals and a Wedding, or whatever). Dusty has officially named him Stupid.

When I arrived in her room, her story had already begun. The girls were readying for a party and Stupid was not invited. In fact, Stupid falls backward off a cliff, naked. Then, Ballet Barbie throws a pan of mashed potatoes in his face and sets the cuff of his suit on fire. I almost felt sorry for the guy. Those girls are mean!

But then the story changed and B.B. was Snow White. Another Barbie – We’ll call her Anonymous Jane because she’s just a generic head of blonde hair – was the Evil Witch. The mermaid Barbie was the witch’s assistant. And Anon Jill (who looks very much like Anon Jane but isn’t) became the witch’s servant. The witch and Anon Jane dressed in scary clothes and rode off in the witch’s red convertible while the servant stayed home making poisonous food for the children to eat as well as non-poisonous food for the witch. Then, Snow White had to run errands for her mother so she turns on her headphones “to classical music but NOT NPR” and ends up in a restaurant because she’s old enough, and then made a stop at Targ3t. When she arrived at Targ3t, she removed her tiara and hair bow so that no one would know she was the queen’s daughter. How humble of her!

Saturday and Sunday were spent rock grubbing, mostly behind the barn where we’d discovered a cache of field stones dumped there some long time ago. Then, we moved over to the side of the shed (another old dumping ground – gotta love the country!) and as we scraped away an inch of dead leaves, something black zipped out of a hole and stung me on the arm and waist. Damn! The sting that keeps on stinging. At least I know I’m not allergic to bee stings. And, like I said, Dusty was unharmed. Needless to say, we moved back to the barn. We dug down to the red clay the county’s known for.

“Real clay?” Dusty asked, “We should dig it up and make something!” Perhaps we will sometime.

And yesterday, I felt in need of a snack, so I made a chocolate cake. That’s what I love about being a grownup. I want cake? I just make one! Dusty stood near by and assisted and then, apropos of nothing, said, “A circle never ends.”

I have no idea where that thought came from but I simply agreed with her. Then she pondered whether a square had an end and we had a weird philosophical discussion about corners and straight lines and how, while a square has potential end points, you could still keep traveling around it without end. I mean you can, if you think about it.

Later that evening, while making dinner, I heard her say to her dad, “Sometimes I have very thick thoughts.”

Very thick, indeed.

* In case you are just joining us, on Jan 1st, an entire family was murdered in their home: mother, father, two girls, aged 9 and 4. Ruby, the four-year-old, was Dusty’s BFF at their preschool which closed last August. The paper on Sunday showed their house now boarded up and dark. A house we’d been in for birthday parties. I can’t even describe how that affected me. So I won’t.

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