by Stephanie L. Harper
June 20, 2020Dear Cameren: Today is the first day of summer & with the cumulous towers mushrooming all around this hot haze of landlocked humidity, I’m thinking about the last time we were together, how we laughed & squealed at the January wind pelting our cheeks with ice— we had no inkling of the plague on the horizon.In my dream last night, I took you to see a musical.Little did I know that the “performers” would be these life-sized puppet sort of figures, monochrome & about as dynamic as beached sea turtles inching toward the water at low tide yet without the cuteness factor, not to mention completely atonal, arrhythmic & unfunny as Bizarro World Muppets. Yet, sitting beside you in the dark theater, watchingthe dismay creep across your face, despite your heroic efforts to suppress it, was a sheer joy—inexpressibly precious. No, leaning over to you in the dream, brushing your shoulder with mine & whispering, This sucks! really wasn’t enough, but what else could I have done? Looking out my window at the eastern white pine, I just saw a cardinal land on a low, sunlit branch which, in receiving the bird’s burst of vermillion, dipped to the ground with a luxuriance that must be the word for Joy in Tree-Speak: it comes closer than any other word I know to capturing how stunning you are in my eyes… My dream of bad Muppets in slow motion— being held captive in the dark, not knowing when this colossal flop will end… This sucks, indeed! But I’ll keep counting the minutes, missing you so, until those house lights come on again.