Monday, June 1, 2009

Day 148: Clementine, Chapter 7

It was going to be a hot summer. It was only mid-June, and the air already prickled with the heavy scent of hot asphalt. The leaves on the trees, which still hadn't lost their spring green, looked a bit wilted by the afternoon.

There was only one place to be in heat like this: Cherry Hill Community Pool. So packed with people paying $2.00 a person that it's more filled with people than water. The perfect place to sit and watch the world go by. I yanked on last year's blue swimsuit, which my mother said was a fortunate Goodwill find, and covered it with a green anorak. The anorak was ridiculous, but I wasn't about to walk to the pool without a cover-up.

For two hours, I sat and dangled my feet in the water, then slid in once to get wet all over. I spent ten cents for a Jolly Rancher, and then started home, water sloshing around my bare feet inside my tennis shoes.

I had just entered our trailer park and was finishing up the very last shards of my Jolly Rancher when, up ahead, I saw a little figure crouched down on her haunches in the gutter--looking at something.

Blackberries.

I approached her quietly, like a wild animal. She was barefoot, wearing cut off sweats and another too big t-shirt. There were leaves in her hair. Her hand held a stick, and she was using it to turn over leaves and garbage. Next to her foot was an old baby food jar, which looked like it was being used as a makeshift rolly-polly bug habitat.

"Hey." I said, hands on my hips.
She didn't look up, but replied with a soft, gravelly "Hello."

4 comments:

Erin said...

glad you are writing again!

Christina said...

oooh... blackberry girl speaks!

More, please!!

Fiauna said...

Wilting leaves and pungent asphalt. I love it. I felt like I was there.

Steph @ Diapers and Divinity said...

I just want to say that even though I've been a horrible reader/commenter lately, I still love you. :)