My daughter was born last week. Her name is April. It wasn't in our minds when we chose her name, but I rediscovered this short piece which I wrote a long time ago. The main character is a girl named April, though April also refers to Autumn in New Zealand
Falling leaves and a carpet, of yesterday's offerings from the trees, underfoot. Picture a scene of a long suburban street with trees lining the side of the road and a small grass strip between gutters and the footpath. Black iron fences on the other side of each footpath from the road.
April came and went. Nobody really cared because they didn't like her that much. This was sad. They didn't know her. April was a person inside a person. Outwardly she was quiet, antisocial, and reclusive. Inside this shell April observed the world she passed by in great detail. While the kids in her classes stood on the street corner and watched her pass with little interest and a lot of disdain, April was noticing things.
She saw a crisp red-brown leaf from a maple tree. Within that leaf was a network of white veins that had carried the life of a tree to the extremities of the leaf-tips. Between those veins were smaller veins that created borders between hills and valleys and flakes of dead skin. The intricate crackle as she stepped on that leaf and killed it again. The sound of white noise and harsh material rubbing. The sensation of a fragile, thin surface being harshly folded by a thick plastic heel, and muted by that same thick sole. The thought of the tree that this disowned and destroyed leaf used to belong to. Does the tree feel the parting of the sibling? Does the independent leaf have sensation of falling, drying out gradually, and being crushed?
And then it was gone, along with the unnoticed misunderstanding of the cool kids from school who lived in a skin deep world.
11th November 2003
|April and Doughnut - Oh so cute!|