I’ve decided five might be a cool age. So me and Laura Foote are shedding the second number in our age and going back in order to go forward because 52 as is is not working for me.
Not at all.
First of all, I’m done combing my hair. Me and Laura Foote are so busy out in the backyard digging holes, filling them with water, and jumping in that I have no time for niceties like looking like a pretty girl.
Who gives a fuck what I look like anyway? I’m 52. I mean 5. What I look like is none of your business, and suddenly, from the mud puddle in my backyard, none of mine.
Plus our hair is on fire from all the ideas we have. There is so much to do when your feet are bare and your hair is uncombed. The entire planet lies before us, unexplored. What’s in that dark place, anyway? Let’s hold hands and go find out.
When you are five and fearless the dark is a question: it’s opportunity, not a warning.
Second of all, I’m done changing my clothes every day. I may sleep in what I spent the day in and walk around the next day with the same jeans and t-shirt. Why? Because I’m too busy thinking about what I’m going to do next to worry about niceties like clean clothes.
Am I disgusting? Is it your business? It is, I suppose, if I come over to your house and sit on your white sofa, but I’m wild, not stupid. Your sofa is safe.
Third of all, I may eat ice cream for breakfast and never ever ever step on a scale. Why? Because five year olds don’t give a shit how much they weigh. They know it’s not about the size of their skinny little thighs. It’s about how fast they can get to that third branch of the tree by the school.
Yes, I will work and earn money and cook dinner and wash the kitchen floor. Why? Because five year olds also like to know that home is a safe place.
I may even go to church. Why? Just because I like the stories. But I will also sit by the window because me and Laura Foote laugh our asses off, and I want to be able to roll right out of that window if some man with a collar starts telling me that I should love my neighbor like myself but to never get an abortion or to marry someone of the same sex. Freedom of the roll, I call it.
I will definitely walk around town late at night. Why? Uh, hello? Have you explored your town at night? Have you heard the sound of snow when there is no traffic and the streetlights slow the flakes and make them talk? It’s like the world’s whispering all that is good to you, but you have to listen.
I read the other day scientists have recorded the sound of mice singing. It turns out that those little guys sing to each other as the scurry about the walls of our houses. What else is singing that I do not hear? I am hoping that my five-year-old ears will hear more, will hear the songs, will know that this whole time, my whole life, the world has been singing to me, my house has been singing to me, to me and to Laura Foote and to you, and I just didn’t hear it.
illustration by Laura Foote. Duh.