Playing with Cookie
My dear friend Mark Eleveld (partner in the arts) has encouraged me to start this blog as a way to get my ass moving on creating a memoir, something I’m not sure I want to do. So, now that I know how this thing works I’ll try to keep the focus on that, little memoirs of me: Marc Smith (So What!)
Playing with Cookie
Our brief play time together took place one grade school summer. I can’t remember what began it. Cookie was a victim of cerebral palsy. It affected her speech. It affected her walk. She attended a special school. Her mother was protective. No father that I remember. She and her mother lived in a big frame house with a big front yard that had a green chain link fence surrounding it. Later in life I found out that Cookie was very smart. She wrote letters to the Tribune, had them published, and maybe formed some kind of a career as a writer as I have.
During those off-from-school, mid-summer vacations days, when finding something to do with all our free became a challenge, we developed a ritual game, something with sticks and having an obstacle to overcome. Some sort of battle against an imagined force during which she was my ally and I hers. Mid-summer friends. It never went deeper than that. It never went beyond the game. I never dared look deeper into her life. I didn’t know how. I was crippled in my own way.
It makes me very sad to think about missing the opportunity of exploring a more lasting friendship with Cookie. Those few days over that one summers were so positive. I had for a small amount of time someone who really stood by me, was on my side, in my corner, and as we fought our imagined battles together we were both heroes united in our heroic fantasies. But there’s no fooling myself now, little Marc would have never been able to overcome the peer pressure of “not being cool” to hang around with her.
Where is Cookie now? Would she remember those days of play? As I write this I’ve started tearing up thinking about them. She was such a true friend to me for that very brief span of time and some kind of love existed between us. We were both victims. She was locked in a crippled body and I was locked in a crippled heart.