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Light- The energy producing brightness that makes seeing possible
-Encarta World English Dictionary

Lucy is spinning. She’s spinning until her world is just a blur of colors. The sun slips between the window blinds in horizontal stripes and through the green, pink, and blue tulle of her tutu. Little arms strive to maintain their position above her white, white hair, which is unruly in the back and almost covers her electric blue eyes in the front. Her eyebrows and eyelashes are almost translucent.

Her teeth are slightly rotting, but in an endearing way- they form strange shapes and points that flash by in her intermittent grins as she twirls and twirls. If you asked her about them, she would tell you- with no shame- that her teeth are pointy so she can pretend to be a shark. Lucy knows nothing of fluoride and gingivitis and decay.

Pudgy bare toes grip unfinished wooden floor, and her belly pokes out a little bit, and her tutu is rising. She looks down on her skirt- still spinning- and realizes that her sister made it. Lucy doesn’t really know what a sister is or if sisters make everything that’s good and pretty and nice. And she doesn’t quite miss her sister, so much as lightly acknowledge a tug deep inside herself. She’s never understood where people go when they go, what college and divorce, separation and loss are. And so Lucy’s idea of sisters are really good friends whom you love very much. Who live with you sometimes. And she thinks her sister is also her mom. Or that sisters and moms are the same thing. And then she remembers that she wants to be a mommy. Or at least a mommy-rock-star-ballerina-princess. And maybe Bill Nye the Science Guy, because he has a neat job- driving around, looking for mammals and the food web and waves.

She twirls until she collapses on the cool wooden floor and when she gazes at the spinning ceiling, Lucy still doesn’t know that time is so cruel, that her blue eyes will darken, that her heroes are flawed. She tries to keep up with the room’s movement- eyes shooting in random directions, mouth hanging lithely open, limp hands uncurling, palms opening as if asking something from the heavens- and that’s when something shifts inside of her, when she can see everything and everything becomes too dizzying, when she finally and completely gives up.

Eyelids reluctantly agree to embrace each other, the wrinkled space between her eyebrows softens, and her fingers and toes each fully splay and relax. She imagines herself slowly dissolving into all the tiny cracks of the woodwork, leaving only her tutu, understanding precisely that the light inside her, the light that is her, will in fact fade.




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