We came home one night to this:
Sitting on the stairs.
It’s a brick, in case you can’t tell that from the picture. A brick with a purple construction paper curlicue, ostensibly representing hair, and a really goddamn big smile.
#5 made it. I do not know where the brick came from, or what possessed #5 to name it Brickie and give it the sentience equal to his most favored stuffed animals. All of #5′s stuffed animals at this time were named what they were, with an “ie” on the end (believe it or not, this is an east coast man thing).
Some nights he slept with Brickie.
Several times Brickie joined us for breakfast.
Brickie took part in many games and outings and blended right in with all the stuffed animals as if he were one of them.
But eventually, as always happens with talismans of childhood, Brickie was set on a shelf and not taken down again. Which is understandable, being that he’s heavy. And a brick. (Also at some point his name changed from Brickie to Bob the Brick. I have no proof, but that stinks of #4, because she names all of her stuffed animals Bob.) Brickie, a.k.a. Bob, was practically forgotten.
Then we moved.
#5 packed Brickie, a.k.a. Bob, carefully away in his pillowcase, then in a box. He pulled him out of the box first thing at the new house and slept with him every night. That bears clarifying: #5 was sleeping with a brick for his pillow. It took some top-notch maneuvers from a favorite babysitter, but Brickie, a.k.a. Bob, was eventually freed. Liberated, if you will. He joined some other bricks in a pile at the edge of an outside wall at our new house. I would see him out there sometimes when I was taking the puppies out, or pretending to garden.
He certainly looked happy.
He spent an enjoyable twenty-one months in the fresh air, surrounded by his own kind.
Until this week, when suddenly and without explanation, he was buried.
I don’t pretend to understand anything anymore. I just take pictures.