I don’t remember which floor my apartment was on, or whether the kitchen was tile, or why I still slept with stuffed animals, or whether we’d owned a couch or sofa.
I don’t remember my neighbors in Los Angeles.
I don’t remember if I was allowed to wear a two-piece swimsuit in the pool downstairs.
I don’t remember if we’d bought a television before or after we moved or how long it took to drive to kindergarten or what convinced my mom that hot dogs were poisonous or what convinced my dad that gymnastics were the only path to a healthy future.
I don’t remember why I thought self-imposed bangs were attractive.
I don’t remember the slide I apparently loved or the friends I apparently made or the blonde girl I punched and had to apologize to.
I don’t remember the doll I dragged around everywhere, or the pink stroller I shoved her into, or the clothes I transfered from my body onto hers.
I don’t remember why I started riding, what drew me to the sport, or who put me on a horse in the first place.
I don’t remember that I determined friends based on how clean their teeth were, or that I brought home pet ants in a cup, or that I hated dresses.
I don’t remember the name of my bearded dragon or the first lie I told or the first joke, or the first time I cried or laughed or was angry.
I don’t remember whether my first love was the boy who carried my backpack--or Big Bird.
I remember that my apartment had a warm tingly feeling attached to it, of love and happiness and softness and childhood.
I remember that my neighbors were nice.
I remember the pool looked massive and its chill tickled me and there were bubbles that I always tried to swallow and the chlorine burned my nose and rimmed my eyes with red, and I loved jumping in and shattering the stillness of the water.
I remember that there was a graffiti skull on the way to kindergarten that I named and said good morning to every day and claimed as my own and considered it my friend.
I remember the sound of scissors shearing hair and the look on my mom’s face when I marched out.
I remember the blonde girl bothered me and the forced apology bothered me even more.
I remember the protectiveness with which I enveloped my doll.
I remember the sound of hooves clip clopping against road and whiskers grazing my palm and a big pink tongue licking sticky molasses off my fingers.
I remember screaming when my grandma chucked my pet ants out the window.
I remember that lies make me sad and jokes make me happy and anger spurs me into either absurdity or passion.
I remember that I dreamt Big Bird would hug me and I would be surrounded by a world of yellow feathers.