I remember when we used to think in beautiful. When we still believed in fairies, at the beginning of this lifetime, or the beginning of another time.
I remember days of yellow sunshine and fields of buttercups that came up to my barely budding breasts. Pick one, hold it up under someone’s chin. If the shine of yellow isn’t there, they don’t like butter. If they don’t like butter, they must not know how to live, how to love. If they do love butter they will get fat and round.
What is this earliest oracle? What nonsense are we trying to predict? She loves me, she loves me not. Step on a crack, break your mother’s back.
How do we learn to read the signs, how do we learn to listen to the earth when we are only taught nonsense poems as oracles? Or is that the great joke? That we make our own meaning.? There. You have it.
Do you like butter? And if you don’t, what do you like? Margarine? Jam? And the game is exempt for men with beards, and dogs, and cats, and birds, and deer. What about brown children? What does the shine of a buttercup petal look like reflected on the skin of of a child whose chin is the color of the earth? I never got to find out, myself.
So we move on from flower petals to folded paper toys, predicting who we will marry, and what kind of car we will drive to one of eight career choices. At least one of them has to be humiliating; lunch lady or garbage collector. Back home to our house in the woods, or high-rise apartment in New York City, or a shack in the desert, or a trailer on the coast.
Today I think I’d take the trailer on the coast.
Give me a trailer on the coast, the job of a wood carver, married to no one or myself, with my real-life husband as a sweetheart who visits on the weekends. I’ll drive a half broken down pick-up truck and live with my childhood dog, Jessie. Can you predict that to me in the puff of a dandelion? Can you make it come true?
Or maybe I’ll stay here with my sweet, forgetful, super-smart husband, my old and dirty but paid for Subaru, in my cute little house, not quite in the suburbs, not quite in the city with my old cat and dog, and my career of, well, whatever this is that I’m making happen here.