Heels and Stones May Break My Bones…

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I am jumping off the carpeted stairs, my wide skirt ballooning behind me, heels clicking together as I land on the colored beanbag. And again I clamber to my feet, hoist myself up the steps, gather my cumbersome dress around my hips and soar through the sky for just a moment before crashing to the ground. Again and again, eyes squinted and teeth wide in a smile. I sit princess-style on the ground, and my eyes focus on a figure dismounting the stairs. It is my brother, and his blonde hair is gathered in a ponytail at the base of his neck, a large dress billowing around his body, an enormous pair of dagger-sharp heels adorning his feet.
He claps his hands, smiling blissfully at me, and then—he jumps. He jumps into the air and falls onto the ground, the heel of his shoe digging against my foot and digging and digging and suddenly I feel something “snap!” inside my foot and now I am crying and screaming and pushing my brother off of me.
And then I am sitting in the hospital’s room, sitting on one of the tissue-papered ledges, my swollen foot dangling beneath me. I am clutching a blonde doll to my chest, and the doctor is asking me to pick my favorite color. “Hot pink,” I tell him, and then all of the sudden he is pressing against my foot, and it hurts-hurts-hurts but I try to be brave and hug the doll deeper to my chest.
A month later I have started my second year of preschool in a new town, and all the other kids are hopping on one foot. I say, “I can do that, too!” and lift my bright-pink cast into the air, but it is heavy-heavy and I cannot jump with it. And later we are taking a walk, but my foot is too heavy and cumbersome and I cannot keep up with the other children. A teacher’s assistant hoists me on her shoulders, and says, “Now isn’t this better? You can see everything from up here,” And now, looking at this incident from the future, I realize that I can view everything in minute detail.





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