|CC image courtesy of edenpictures on flickr|
I watched them on the playground, my schoolmates whose legs moved effortlessly between the spinning ropes, chanted along with them as the ropes spun over their heads and slapped the blacktop with a satisfying smack-swish-smack-swish-smack-swish. A few times I even volunteered to turn the rope, just to get closer to the action. I ached to try it, but I was timid around those girls, and I never felt brave enough to step between them and try to jump.
Yolanda rode my bus, and she could dance through those ropes as well as anybody. We chatted every day on our way to her stop at Dutch Village in the afternoons, before the bus dropped me off at my house in Glendale. We braided the tails on the My Little Ponies she always carried in her purple backpack. We sang about how we never wanted to go to Mexico no more more more and about how Miss Mary Mack had silver buttons down her back back back.
We were friends in the way that little girls who ride the same bus can be friends, before the world starts telling us in subtle ways that we aren’t supposed to be. Our parents didn’t know each other, and our worlds never crossed outside of those bus rides and on the playground, where I watched her brown legs flash back and forth and wished I knew how to make my pale ones do that.
Five-Minute Friday is a chance to write for five minutes in response to a prompt, without over-editing or backtracking, just to see what comes out…the way we used to color before we worried about staying inside the lines. For more Five-Minute Friday, visit Lisa Jo Baker’s blog, Tales from a Gypsy Mama.