Scraps / by Christina Rosalie

It is somehow already Thursday. I am like salt in a shaker, scattered haphazardly over the things of my days. Small scraps that I want to remember. ***

Coming back to the classroom I put a jar full of tulips by my desk, and smiled when it was the boys who noticed. A little girl came in with a Tupperware of salamanders for our terrarium. A boy who constantly pushes my buttons looked like he was up to no good, so I swung by his table and discovered he was writing: You are the best teacher in the world on a heart he’d drawn in marker.

Also: we’re studying matter, and we’ve been having the best conversations.

Me: What do you think matter is? Kid: Maybe whatever it is, the person who invented it is named Matt?

Me: Matter is anything you can touch or feel. Kid: If it’s anything we can touch or feel, do we eat matter? Kid: Do we breath matter? We can feel air, so we must! Kid: Matter is ANYTHING. Kid: If matter is EVERYTHING, is there anything that ISN’T MATTER? Kid: If matter is everything, then is God matter?

*** Yesterday we went to a two-bit circus with Bean. It’s a tiny family circus that seems to tour the country—360 shows per year. What a life. All the clowns and acrobats and jugglers were either too young or too old to make a crack at it anywhere else, and the ponies napped between rides when everyone was taking a break to buy popcorn and bright bobbing star-specked balloons and sparkling wands. But it still had magic. There were moments when I gasped. And Bean, big eyed from his daddy’s lap, his face sticky with cotton candy, could not take his eyes off everything that was going on.

I always remember loving the circus. As in: I wanted to run away and join.

Now I’m bitten with the peculiar desire to follow a troupe around and write their story. I often wonder if anyone else is curious about this? How these people live, all year, in trailers, going from place to place, performing, practicing, always on the road. How does the 12 year old Peruvian juggling marvel (who dropped his props) go to school? Or his sister, the contortionist who could twirl her entire body bent over backwards by holding onto a swivel with her mouth. But I can’t imagine they’d want me there, poking into the private corners of their lives, after fake eyelashes have been removed and the ponies are bedded down for the night.

*** Today I came home from work nearly staggering. Tired. I buried my head under pillows. I’ve always loved my bed, wherever it’s been. It’s the thing I think of when I think of home. Soft sheets, the window open just a sliver, light falling golden through the big-leafed tree in the blue bowl by the bed. Without intending to, I was asleep. Not slumber, but black out sleep, that when I awakened I could not recall. The kind of sleep where you’re not sure if you were asleep at all, yet the shadows are longer.

Bean and DH let me sleep until dinner time, at which point I emerged like a baby raccoon. Clumsily and disoriented, at the very least.