Part 7 in a series of 7
It’s been two years since the letter went ’round and I’ve been two years waiting for the break in the day. Not the daybreak, for like any new mother/father I’ve seen plenty of those, what Sylvia Plath called Nicholas’ “bald cry” which took “its place among the elements.” You’ve had it times two with your twin girls, and what a flickering whirlwind of a carousel ride it is, it is. Baby girls all around.
I hope our girls get together someday and levitate. I did it too, just like cin. You were only supposed to lift with two fingers, but somebody always cheated. Did you know that before the levitation happened, there was a séance? One girl would sit with the floatee’s head in her lap. She’d rub the floatee’s temples and tell everyone gathered around the story of how she died. “One night, Marguerite was walking along the road beside the graveyard. Dot dot dot.” Closing your eyes and listening to the story of your death felt holy and silly; you were spooked and yet delighted to still be alive! The final verse was light as a feather stiff as a board, let’s raise Marguerite up to the Lord.
When my cousins came over we played “Mary Widoworth.” Holding a candle, we faced the bathroom mirror in the dark, chanting, “I believe in Mary Widoworth, I believe in Mary Widoworth. Mary Widoworth, if you’re there, give us a sign!” Then one of my older siblings would pound on the wall (the other bathroom lined up behind it), and we’d all go screaming into the hall. Mary Widoworth was much hokier than levitation, but standing in the dark looking into a mirror with a flickering candle and then screaming your head off and bursting into the light was so magnificent, we easily suspended our disbelief.
I wonder if you believe in psychics, Chris. I have no psychic abilities, myself, but I’m convinced that others do. Would you think that silly?
And there it is, the ring of the phone, then the waking cry of Lulu, which drags me away from this epistle. Her cry is no longer a bald fright, but a whiny demand. She loves words, as we all do; she’ll repeat whatever you say—not always clearly, and not always correctly, but she rejoices in language and that makes me glad.
In honor of all sleepovers and cousins, I sign this with the grade school salutation:
sorry so short stupid and sloppy
For process notes on the series, see the first letter.