Tuesday, August 11, 2015
Seven a.m. on a wet morning in the land between the mountain ranges. Last night four boys, ages 10 to 21, lay on the living room floor playing Parcheesi and listening to out-of-date top-40 hits and laughing their heads off. Watching them was like being in a time machine: 35 years ago in central New Jersey, six kids lay on my aunt's living room floor, playing Operation and listening to Donna Summer 45s and laughing their heads off. I think the love that my cousins and I have for each other, wordless and archaic, is rooted in these bell-jar moments of communal silliness. As adults, we have little in common, other than our solidarity at funerals and marriages. But we do have the memory of arguing over who got to use the Spirographs, and we can all tell you about the time Peggy Sue puked in the hall after my dad smoked a cigar in the house and how Uncle Bob said he was going to whale our tails after he found out we'd been playing Hide-n-Seek in his wheat field.