Centralia Fireside Guard

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Robin Writes: Thirteen

Posted on Thursday, February 20, 2020 at 6:13 am

In the world of 13, few things are hurry-worthy.

Sure. To hear a favorite song, your child may lope toward her room with a speed she hasn’t displayed since running for the last swing at the playground in elementary school. Nails take too long to dry—she’ll test them impatiently and reapply polish with a huff.

Robin Leach

If her phone beeps, Mom risks bodily injury from the freight train of bones that chug toward the sound.

But “HURRY” is not a word 13 claims to understand. The syllables elicit an incomprehensible scowl and an immediate slowing of any current movement.

I watched my daughter put on her sneakers this morning. I could feel my blood pressure pounding in my eyeballs with each passing minute. The first foot flumped onto the opposite knee with great aplomb. She reached down to unscramble the knot of the previous day, never taking her eyes from the morning news’ fifth commercial in a row.

Five minutes till bus time. Her fingers moved as if underwater, fumbling and rolling the laces like gum between sticky fingers. Eventually she found the two ends. Cute little bunny ears emerged at a snail’s pace.

One ear. Another ear. Foot down.

Three minutes to bus time. Her other foot raised hypnotically to the opposite knee. Hands dropped into position with corpse-like energy. She grabbed the tangle of laces.

And stopped.

For eternity-long seconds she seemed suspended between sleep and consciousness. Her mouth slackened. Her eyes glazed over like gooey marbles. She was lost to me: lost in a world I have forgotten and don’t have time to visit anymore.

Her hands cradled the laces loosely. The clock on the mantle ticked like a jackhammer.

For the complete column, see this week’s edition of the Centralia Fireside Guard.