Saturday, January 10, 2009
Fortieth Birthday Parade
She closed her eyes, chewed on her fork, and imagined two small poodles walking on their hind legs. Each wore a pink sequined hat and a little matching bow tie. Walking on back legs made their front legs dangle like gloves on a clothesline. Would they be able to keep up if they led everything? Would it be humane? Probably not. Someone would have to whisk them away after the first few steps. What would follow after the poodles was harder to imagine, but the cast appeared -- 80’s hair bands. Duran Duran. Flock of Seagulls. The old guy who rode his aluminum foiled bike down Main Street every day to collect recycling should make an appearance, and also the one who wore a bike helmet to walk around town. No politicians, no clowns, no causes. Then her float, covered in middle-school dance tissue paper flowers, soap bubbles lifting from its cushioned surface. The parade would be over as quickly as it began, a metaphor for life’s pomp and circumstance. Perfect. She’d wear a tiara and those white patent leather shoes she always wanted as a kid. Her husband and teenage daughter would probably stay home. There would be no crowd. Any spectators would be the elderly neighbors who just happened to be sitting out on their porches that morning. It would take place in an alley, and pass by the backs of bars and their beer-stained carpets. The township wouldn’t notice, so there would be no reason to ask permission to close off a street. She’d wave and pop bubbles. She’d curl her toes in those shoes.