Of tethers and lampshades

I have an idea. In this idea, I am a hot air balloon and my daughter is the ground beneath me. All the various ways and reasons that I love her–her still-forming habits and her slow abandoning of baby words and the freckle in her right eye and her breath in her sleep–they are like stakes in the grass and ropes tethering me to her, but always I am able to hover in place, still buoyant but just lightly restrained to a safe distance from the ground, and this is suitable and right because it is better than what I would do alone, float away into obscurity until I deflated and dropped completely unremarked into some remote and deep part of the ocean without ever being anything but another piece of garbage a couple humans came up with when they were bored.

This love, this restraint, this being forced to participate close to the ground, I know that it improves me. It was not that way with my marriage, with the way that thing, that love functioned. It was not my husband himself but it was the life I struggled to pantomime my way through with him that rather than gentle tethers was more like a dump truck backed up and dropped a load of bags of sand into my basket. “Meep-meep-meep, THA-KLUNK,” and even though I saw it coming I was staked in place by this more perfect and elegant love, and I thought it would make me and the grass both safer and so I plummeted down and could not have begun to rise, and we were both just compressing under the tremendous crushing weight of all these bags of sand, and what kind of way is that to come closer together?

Did I seriously just write “bags of sand?”

Sandbags, I guess they are more accurately called, quite reasonably I think. Good call on that name, dude who named sandbags; I thank you for the descriptive common sense. Sandbags explicitly states what the object is: eliminates all the unnecessary confusion that could have come from calling them something else, like “lampshades.” That would have been very confusing, indeedy.

That’s right, I thanked a “dude” for naming them. I know it was a man who came up with the word “sandbags,” because if it was a woman, she would have called them “lampshades.”

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