After school, we searched your mother’s house for stuff to do. We played boardgames, rolled dice, flipped cards, walked candy-colored pathways, guessed at what was in sealed envelopes, said I know you are but what am I a thousand times, paged through the Kama Sutra, studied drawings of bodies intertwined like spiders, slid tops off cigar boxes, spread crumbled buds out on double albums like tea leaves we then tried to read. We opened drawers of jewelry, ran our fingers over pearls, lapis, fat amber cylinders, unsnapped tiny silky square bags, held emerald earrings up to our wide faces lips pursed, rifled pockets for loose change, walked edges of suburban highways in satin jackets, marched into woods in worn-out pumas, lifted rocks from Revolutionary War walls, sifted through leaf piles, crushed seed pods with mittened hands, watched dust float up, frustrated, disappointed. More like detectives than ten-year-old girls, scanning, scouring our surroundings; we played records, moving needles thick with lint repeatedly back to the beginning. Even when the sun checked out on us, we did not give up. There might be clues hidden in these lyrics, some kind of proof of our existence, this time we’ll just try harder, listen closer; this time we’ll find the truth.

Sarah Koskoff wrote the screenplay for Hello I Must Be Going, which was the Opening Night Film of the 2012 Sundance Film Festival. She has been a thesis advisor for the Sarah Lawrence College MFA in Creative Writing and recently finished her first novel. She lives in Los Angeles.

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