1975

Green is the color of the curtains wrapped around my little body. I am the princess trapped in my tower. 27 floors above the Bronx sky. I feel a bump, Jonathan, my older brother has invaded again. I settle on the green grass carpet to watch the latest Mister Rogers and my brother pours out the wooden colors, an architect and builder. Later I’ll take the elevator by myself, pushing the shiny metal buttons, down to the ground. On the greenway, the grass is tall in a forgotten patch. I walk through, a country girl, up to her knees in wheat. Down the path come my Bubbe and Zaide, a Sabbath meal waiting at the end. I feel a pinch on my cheeks. Cutie pie, says my Dad’s Dad. Bubbe’s cheeks are smooth as silk. My stomach tells me it is time to ascend the 27 flights again. I am too late. The elevator door opens, not another accident! My mom is furious. She doesn’t intend to be mean to a little girl lost in her imagination. But she has to clean the yellow sticky mess, as the little girl forgets to hold the silver open door. Later we will descend again, and take the bus to Orchard Beach. I stare out at the forever sky, the waves lapping up to my knees. Our chinese waiter that night shows me earth, fire, air, water. Mom has her Hebrew alphabet in hand, practicing the “Shin” for Shabbat, “Bet” for Bayit, “Tav” for Torah, drawn to a heritage her 2nd generation American parents skipped over. We have a new sign over our doorpost: “This is a Kosher Kitchen”. But tonight, in someone else’s kitchen, we delight in Szechuan Shrimp and Moo Shu Pork.