Preparing like an Olympic diver in New Hampshire dusk, really just squaring my toes to an invisible line in the grass. The grass is anything but lush, clunky sandy anthills spanning the distance between brittle stalks of formerly-green blades - it’s even sharper at the bottom. I fill my lungs, feeling foolish and amused as Russell stands all-too-close, recording with one of our phones. Observations before I depart, despite and in accordance with my attempts to be present: my mom standing in a golden-lit window, unaware and accepting of my strange backyard actions while washing dishes from the hissing faucet before dinner, the familiar pace of my dad’s dense footsteps before the creak of the basement door hinges. All of it is familiar; being ridiculous in the backyard with my now-husband, the noises created by my parents, an infrequent bark in the distance, the slope of the hill.
Lowering my body towards the ground, letting body weight take over, forcefully rolling down what used to look like a mountain. I’m aware of the edges of my body, the outsides of my arms striking the dirt over and over again, just like the small tidal wave my sister created when she burst our small pool in the mid-90s. Rolling out of my tumble at the bottom of the hill, parts of my body still pounding from the inside out, I walk out of the performance, smooth dust from my dress, and join everyone for dinner.
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