birthday parties I remember– “fishing” down the laundry chute. somebody down in the basement attaching toys and prizes to the end of the line– sister or a brother, surely, but to me it seemed magical– as if the architecture of everyday had grown transformed by MY BIRTHDAY. kept that sense for many years– listening to the beatles’ “birthday” in 9th grade boarding school dorm room, thinking my birthday– my very birthday. same way the name sarah used to feel– my very own, distinctly mine (long before the legions of the current day). something inherently mine inside a day, a name.
and the other good games– the spider web made out of eight different rolls of string for eight little girls, each line with a treasure at the end; easter egg hunt at the country club, clutches of dark chocolate foil-wrapped eggs and jellybeans in the folds of curtains in the bar room– the last time anything felt like something for nothing; capture the flag in the woods up in michigan in the summer after-dinner twilight or flashlight tag in the grosse pointe pitch-black– and the ecstatic thrill of daring to rescue prisoners from jail; spite & malice and dominoes with gran; the game of lucy that first time new year’s eve in the old henry ford cabin with the two storey living room ceiling and the windup plastic bird that actually flew in circles in the vast space overhead; masterpiece; mastermind; clue; poker the christmas the high school boyfriend came home to michigan for a visit with the parents; sardines; kings in the corners; backgammon; kick the can; boston; killer; murder.