The House on Lindy Way

Small Screens, Big Sensations

I usually remember my childhood in small amounts, manageable amounts. Small flashes of colors, small snippets of sounds, and small sensations. But, sometimes, I remember in big colors, long moments, and vivid memories. I can remember the soft sofa, the surrounding warmth, the bright TV lights, the dark room, and the loud voices. I can remember the funny faces and witty lines on the screen, making all of us laugh until our stomachs hurt. I can remember the sad music played by invisible people off-screen and the sad lines uttered by the voices, pulling at my heart and making me cry. Most of all, I remember how inviting the world seemed, how much fun the people on the screen would have and how freely they moved around the pretty places, meeting other people and pulling them into their fun. 

Maybe Tomorrow

Sometimes, I wished I could be one of the voices. Desperately wished I could be one of the loud voices and big faces on the screen, making people laugh and cry. But the wish dwindled over time, getting smaller and smaller the more I learned about the world outside of the moving people on the screen. Sometimes I still wish for it and hope for the chance to be a part of the world on the screen to fall into my lap. But that’s all I do. I hope and pray and wait. Wait for a chance to arrive at my doorstep, neatly packaged with an inviting stamp. But, maybe my chance is waiting for me to arrive at its doorstep. Is waiting for a change, is waiting for me to chase after it and show myself. Not today, but maybe tomorrow. That’s what I tell myself…

Dolls & Smiles

Don’t sit like that, it’s not lady-like, you’ll stick out, the little girl’s mother whispered angrily before smiling widely. Only with her teeth, her eyes unmoving. The little girl recognized this smile, it was her public smile. It was the smile her mother used to shield everyone’s eyes away. Don’t put your hands in your pockets, you look like a boy, the little girl’s mother gritted out, her plastic smile still in place. The little girl stared at her mother, her plastic smile, and her rigid posture. She looked at the other women around, all different faces and heights and making different sounds, but with identical smiles. The same plastic smile that never reached their doll-like eyes. Their permanent smile, their doll-like eyes, their rigid posture and their gently crossed legs—hands resting on top of their unblemished knees. The little girl wondered. Wondered if they ever moved from their pretty poses. Wondered if their eyes ever moved with their smiles, but she stopped herself and smiled. Smiled like her mother told her to. Smiled like everyone wanted her to.

Eyes & Mouth

My sister rarely ever talked about her childhood growing up, and when she did, she always moved on quickly. She plastered on a bright smile before she moved on to talk about the clouds, or the books she had read, or her day. But, something always lingered on her face, almost completely covered up by her bright smile. I didn’t know what it was, but I wanted to know. So I looked past her smile, and deep into her eyes. Her eyes, her eyes that quietly tried to tell everyone who would listen when her mouth wouldn’t. Her eyes, where a long-worn weariness had nestled itself into them. A weariness that betrayed her young face and delicate frame, a weariness that seemed older than her. But she never said anything and never burdened others, so the weariness stayed with her. Stayed, stayed, stayed. Until someone would listen to its voice, until someone understood what her eyes told, when her mouth closed.

His Smile, His Eyes, and His Shaking Shoulders

My older brother rarely ever reminisced on his childhood, much like my older sister. Everytime he did, I saw a look in his eyes. A look that always came before his wide, reassuring smile. Sometimes it would linger, and other times, often times, it would disappear to make space for his special smile.

I remember the first time I saw his reassuuring smile. My brother and I watched the TV often when we were younger and discovered a recording of little people running around and swinging bats and catching balls. We loved all the little people and wanted to have fun like them so we found a ball of our own in our home and began to mimic the small people we watched on the TV. With each throw, I tossed it harder and harder, hoping I could catch my brother off-guard and throw a ball he wouldn’t be able to catch. But, instead, I lost control of the ball and threw it straight through our square window. 

Our parents didn’t say anything to me after it happened, but said a lot to my brother. I don’t remember what they said but I know they said words in loud voices, pointed angry fingers and stared hard at my brother. I asked my brother what they said after they were done and had left for bed. And then, my brother smiled his first reassuring smile. It was nothing, he said, with the same smile, but it didn’t reach his dark eyes. Go to bed now, and don’t worry, he said, and gently pushed me towards our house. I walked towards the house but I didn’t see my brother following. He just looked real hard at the sky with his dark eyes and his broad shoulders shaking slightly. And then I left for the house, for my bed. We never talked about it again.

But whenever I think of baseball now, I think of my brother, his reassuring smile, his clouded eyes, and his shaking shoulders.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s