A side ponytail. Dangling red earrings. Pink stilettos. A floral wrap dress. Inhale the sweet intoxication of cinnamon raisin oatmeal and rose perfume. Close your eyes and hear a melody deeply enriched in sunshine and dreams and prayers and pain. Listen very closely and you can even hear a slight giggle. Remember being able to see eye to eye with the doorknob and remember how huge you thought this sweet woman was who kissed you too much and held you too close and hugged you for too long and who stared at you while you slept and remember uttering the words, mama. These are some of my first memories of her.
Mama, i say over and over again, she turns and just smiles and simply says, "Hey puddin!" She turns back around and I wobble to her, I fall and look up to her immediately, she doesn't react, so I keep going. I catch her and I hold on to dear life. At her leg I feel safe and supported. I feel the smoothness of her skin, I inhale and remember the beauty of cocoa butter, and I feel my spit fall out my mouth and run down her leg and she says, "What are you doing, puddin?" I think at this moment, nothing is better than this. Before I know it I'm soaring through the air, and I laugh, oh I laugh so hard and she laughs and I laugh. Her face flies towards mine and mine towards hers and again and again until I'm nestled in her warm place between her arms. And she holds me there and we both take time to catch our breaths. I've gotten tired and a close my eyes and I rest. A fast thump beats in my ear and as it slows a hum fills the little holes on the side of my head. My little thump matches my mamas and I am fast asleep. I rest well because I know that when I wake up, she'll be right there to greet me. Smiling. Humming. Waiting. I like this lady. I can't wait to play with her again. As I fall deeper in sleep, angels float in front of my eyes and I giggle with them. The Big Man talks again and I laugh at his roar and before you know it, it's morning. The smile greets me again and i giggle, stretch and I blink.