Children

When three of them emerged from beneath my bed I knew that today would not be typical. Out I ran through the living room, toppling furniture and blocking crannies as they arrived to have cabinet panels slammed upon their tiny fingers and squeaky shoes to be outgrown someday, not today, but “Not me!” I explained while asking myself who cared, leaping down my porch while pushing aside those who would hop down alongside me, mistakenly assuming that I was there to play. There’s two on my bicycle waiting to be ridden somewhere fun, oblivious to scats like so many others already tripping over mowers as they tumbled into my garage, but this pair dared to giggle as I tossed them onto the lawn with liberal strength, furthest from my driveway since I was running late. And as I pedaled to work some taller urchins pedaled beside, laughing and waving at my distaste just then signaling my medulla to secrete the adrenaline to pump my legs faster, science from a school where these ones should be, or so I nagged to myself until pulling away just enough to turn my head, wag my finger, and ask why they weren’t in class. My regret, when turning back to a merry-go-round of arms locked in friendship and carefree skipping looming, was accented with cruelty as I found myself forced to swerve into adjacent meadows before the howl of shooting pains in both my ankles; and as more of them emerged in clumps from the surrounding crab grass, themselves howling howls of imaginary animals, I complained, loudly, about how they behaved like fools whenever they prowled in what could be concentric circles if they were better organized, but of course they were not. “Not me!” I purposefully recalled as I limped, best I could, towards the first pages of a forest grove where rocks and sticks pelted down from makeshift forts between every branch, wide eyes and pink tongues lolling out from behind everything, cluttering up everywhere as they yearned for discovery only to repeat that incessant pattern for yet another countdown; and as cliques of trees grew denser so did they, until every step was rudely met with bumps from one running from, without fear, or towards, without anger, something inconsequential. While squeezing through I debated whether to shake my fist or to frown disapprovingly, gradually settling upon both with a presidential authority, only to feel slaps on my knees accompanied with hollerings of “tag!” in such insufferable, intolerable ways. And while I did hope for them to flee if I pretended to give chase, sadly they did not, preferring instead to prance about just out of reach, prompting me in my darkening mood a mild daydream of wringing a tender neck, for just a tender bit, for fogging up my personal space so thoroughly. When at last the copse of trees opened towards a lake it was filled like a kiddy pool with those of them dressed of floral donuts and floaties, each screaming louder than the rest. My eyes brimmed as I gazed at this misfit sea with the revelation that I wouldn’t be attending work, not this day, finally sinking me; so as I submerged myself into the torrid, pee-infested water I heard a crescendo of cannonballs splashing down around me. One alighted upon me, immediately throwing my back out before using it as a pad from which to launch back to the surface; and so with that additional momentum I dove even further beneath the surface, kicking out with my remaining strength, towards where even the oldest of them could never hope to reach.
There, I hoped to spend the rest of my day.

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