I read an article recently about how we learn. Apparently, we are sponges absorbing from the beings around us. We are hard-wired to share. The sound advice given in the article is to surround yourself with smart people. Please refrain from any remarks about you two spending your waking days and some sleeping nights with me, please.
It’s not just people who will affect you. It is things. It is your environment. You’ll see when you’re older all the little pieces that make up the rhythm of your day. Maybe you’ll notice in junior high when you’re changing classes, how in between bells you begin to pass the same people around the same time in the halls…there’s so and so in the C-wing, heart…
It’s more noticeable in the City where there is more background noise to color your world. You’ll board the downtown 1 train and hear the mariachi band blaring think, ah, there they are, I must be on time.
I’m a reader, as in I read everything, from random newspapers lying around to backs of toothpaste. In this way, as a captive audience on the subway, I was an advertiser’s dream come true–as well as a mentally-unstable-brainwashed-doomsday-predicting-preacher handing out fliers about the end of the world tomorrow, but still.
I remember an ongoing subway campaign for Barnes and Noble featuring excerpts or poems. I would sit everyday, twice a day, and look up at these things…
…Last night we had dinner at Friendly’s. I brought home a Reese’s Peanut Butter Cup Sundae for your dad.
But by the time we got home and I put you to bed, it had been sitting out on the counter for some time, you see. It had melted, and I love do love me some melted vanilla ice-cream.
The peanut butter and chocolate had melted into it, too, and it was so messy, so beautiful…
Bad angel on my shoulder said eat it.
Good angel said no, save it for your husband.
Then, the poem came to mind, the sight of one of those Barnes and Noble ads resurfacing in my memory like a buoy at just the right time:
This is Just to Say
By William Carlos Williams
I have eaten
that were in
you were probably
they were delicious
and so cold
I ate the well-intended sundae. I ate the whole thing. I ate the Reese’s Peanut Butter Cup that came with it. When I was done, I licked the spoon.