Fifth Grade Flashback


Standing in line at the pet store, I was behind a rather quirky, odd-looking girl with a distinctive “Marge Simpson” voice. She seemed kind and friendly.

She was returning a bunch of things, so she could buy reptile lamps and a bearded dragon. She was talking incessantly, but with cheer, and seemed intent on her transaction.

I knew that I knew her voice, but I couldn’t place her face or her name or even where we had met. As her “return” dragged on, I went to another checkout without ever uttering the words “I think I know you.”

A few minutes later, as I was getting into my car, I remembered. She was the oldest daughter of my beloved fifth grade teacher.

When they would go on vacations, I would pet sit for them. She and her daughters had moved away, to So Cal, a year later. And that was the last I knew of them.

The daughter was exactly the same in every respect, except older. It made me wonder, am I still the same? And that thought made me shudder.

Definitely in 2014, I need to change.


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