Claire Buoni is a freshman from Pennsylvania. She is a Communications major, Studio Art minor, and Activity Director on Hinderlie’s RHC. She enjoys many creative pursuits, such as painting, poetry, ceramics, and collage. Claire is a cat person, and she thinks that tells you all you need to know about her.
It’s one of those hazy, heavy nights halfway between spring and summer.
I clamber into the van with my brother and sisters, knowing that it will be another twenty minutes before our parents are ready to go home. We let the car door gape so the hugging wind can ruffle our hair and soothe sticky napes. The silence is moody, so we plug in the old MP3 player and turn the car on even though it drains the battery. A song leaks through the speakers and a smile lifts my lips; it’s one of my favorites. I trip out of the car and begin to waltz, legs awkward and elbows bent in midair.
The front door opens, and you step out – lured as you always are by a good tune. The orange garage lights halo the fuzz on your mostly bald head as you walk toward me with an outstretched hand. I shyly accept and we begin to dance together. You are surprisingly graceful – the lightness of each step and twirl stems from your buoyant smile.
I notice how the lyrics of the song echo my own thoughts, “Lucky to have been where I have been”; you, with a lifetime behind you, and I, with a lifetime ahead. We are lucky to share this meeting-in-the-middle, this dance that I won’t get to experience with you at my wedding in ten years. As we spin, I know that I need to remember this moment forever, because you are fading in and out like the fireflies that blink around us.
It’s this memory that helps me to finally cry a year after your funeral.