I have known M all her live-long life but not until recently did we spend a whole day together beginning with ice-cream for breakfast, followed by a few hours at the beach where we leave messages on hand-painted rocks such as “Enjoy the birds!” and “The beach is beautiful!”. We collect a far too heavy bag of unpainted ones and pick up some litter and slosh about skipping stones and looking for beach glass, of which we find a surprising amount—mostly green.
Later, en route to the art gallery (where we plagiarize some of our favourite pieces with crayons and sketch pads) we meet a man with a lizard named Igor. There’s a lovely woman named Jenny in a chip truck who gives us waaaay too many chips, but not too many to eat. Later we buy a cotton candy flavoured milkshake, which is not finished and which I’m not sure we would recommend.
There is lunch on a patio overlooking a lake and much chatter in the car on the drive to a small town where we traipse up and down both sides of the main street, searching for just the right thing and once we decide what that is and go back to the store to get it, the store is closed and there we are, hands and dropped-jawed faces pressed up against the glass, neither of us able to speak because the ‘just the right thing’ is SO VERY RIGHT and can not be found in any of the other shops in town.
Because, believe me, we looked…
And then, in the distant dark of the store, we see the woman who’d been there earlier behind the counter… and we wave through the window and jump up and down and instead of getting her purse and going home, the woman marches through the store, straight to the door, and she opens it.
And this is so thrilling our insides are all a-tremble.
We explain about the JUST THE RIGHT THING and the woman says, “Of course, come in.” And so we do. And M runs to the shelf where the Right Thing is and shouts its name and hugs it until it says moo in relief and joy of adoption, for the JUST THE RIGHT THING is a soft and huggable cow named Cowy.
And all the way home in the car the chatter centres around the dreadful, barely thinkable What If ???— What if people weren’t as wonderful as they are and the door had not been opened and Cowy had to spend a long, long night alone (with the other ‘not so quite right’ things) in the store?? Our minds boggle at the very idea. And our insides tremble for some time to come.
—Things about M: she likes apples and everything about school and her favourite colour is not pink.
How long could you go without talking? Three minutes
Do you prefer silence or noise? I like sound in the background, but sometimes I like quiet.
How many pairs of shoes do you own? More than ten.
If you won $25 million? I’d get one or two things that my family want and five things for me.
One law you’d make? No littering.
Unusual talent? I swam the whole length of my grandma’s pool underwater without breathing.
What do you like to cook? Sundaes. Vanilla with Oreos and caramel and strawberries cut like hearts… and that’s with NO recipe. I can also do it with chocolate sauce.
Have you or would you ever bungee jump? No.
What’s the most dare-devilish thing you’ve done? Stepping into a lake with fish.
Do you like surprise parties, practical jokes? I like surprise parties and I kind of like practical jokes.
Favourite time of day? Afternoon. It’s more sunny.
What tree would you be? An apple tree. That way I could give people food.
Best present ever received? The watch that my grandma gave me that was my grandpa’s.
What do you like on your toast? Nutella.
The last thing you drew a picture of? The picture I did at the art gallery called ‘Creative’.
Last thing written in ink. A list of paintings and things in the gallery.
Favourite childhood meal? Spaghetti.
What [past] age did you like best? Two.
Would you go back to that age if you could? Yes.
Best invention? Well it’s definitely not Twitter.
Describe your childhood bedroom. I share a bunk-bed with my sister, posters on the closet, Justin Bieber on the door, two dressers, karaoke machine, purple walls, two piggy banks and bookshelves up to the ceiling.
Afraid of spiders? Yes.
Phobias? Locked doors, dark.
Least favourite teacher and why? Don’t have one. I like them all.
Favourite children’s story? Smelly Socks and Sometimes I Like to Curl up in a Ball
Ideal picnic ingredients? Monkey blanket, apples, Nutella, books, sandwiches, pencil crayons, colouring book, journal, bananas.
Is Barbie a negative role model? No.
Best thing about Canada? There’s no poisonous snakes.
Best thing about people in general? They’re polite and respectful and some of them are thoughtful.
What flavour would you be? Banana sherbet.
What colour? Orange.
What would you come back as? A unicorn.
Favourite saying: “Don’t litter.”