Wednesday, May 6, 2015


She answers the door and smiles at me with her eyes.

"What happened?" she asks. Gently. Quietly.

"What do you mean?" I reply, enjoying the rare chance to indulge in her sport of answering a question with another question.

"The wagon," she says,  and her eyes trail down my arm, to my hand, and then down the length of the black, metal handle, to the wagon, itself.

"It was red," she says, closing her eyes and remembering, as if calling up a dream, "Bright red. Shiny, even. The sparkly red of an amusement park ride. The wheels were brand new; thick, black rubber. So new."

I look down at it.

Every one of the four wheels has at least one gouge. Being pulled over rocky roads will do that.
The white walls are more of a murky grey - paled by the sun, covered by a thin, cloudy layer of dirt. Inevitable. I've been kicking up the dust for a while.
The bright red finish has gone matte over time. From sun and wind. And everything.
There are scratches, too, and a few small dents.
This is all to be expected. I've pulled it behind me the entire time. Sometimes full. Sometimes empty. Sometimes so full, it overflows, and I leave a trail of pebbles in my wake.

"I wasn't sure you'd still have it." she says, placing a warm hand on my arm, "I haven't known where to get another one like it."  Something in her voice reminds me of why I'm here. As if I need reminding.

I look down at the wagon. Scratched. Dented. Faded. No rust, though. Wheels gouged, but still in tact, not a one wobbly.

"I still have it," I say to her, "It's still red."