||when i was in high school, i had my first and last pen pal,
an attractive italian girl (she sent a picture), also a teenager. i dimly
recall my letter to her was in typical bragging style--about my cool lifeguarding
job, my cool car, all the cool bands i liked. i exaggerated to impress her
and to convince myself i was cool. i still remember one thing she wrote:
"i love children--they are so pure." the correspondence ended there, but
that line has always stuck with me. today, my sister and her family visited
me at doe bay. margaret,
jim, sarah (10), david (8) and emma (5) appeared after 20 months of no-see.
emma's a gem--her smile, laugh, and mischievous eyes that remind me of my
mother (who clung to life just long enough to
see emma born). what happens to corrupt that easy light? school? church?
peer pressure? television? parents' hangups? billboards? malls? cars?