everything and nothing

"Wanna go to the park?" Becca asks. "Sure!" I scurry to my room to put on my shoes. I'm barefoot. Well, Alece-barefoot: I've got only my socks on, which is barefoot enough for me. We head outside and walk a few blocks. The sky is gorgeous. It's after 7:00 but it's still sunny. Now I remember what I love about American summers.

The park is small, but quaint. It's right by the Milwaukee River. We walk straight to the swingset; I swing so high it actually scares me. I challenge Becca to jump off her swing, but really hope she doesn't do it. She slows to a mediocre speed and leaps off dramatically. I giggle.

We end up on the merry-go-round. I wish the playground version wasn't called the same thing as the large, ride-a-horse-up-and-down-while-listening-to-creepy- carnival-music version. But it is.

I lay down on my back and look up at the sky; Becca gives us a good shove and hops on. The swirly sky makes my stomach do a somersault; I shut my eyes tightly and let out a lighthearted groan. Becca laughs at me. With my eyes shut, my tummy settles down.

We talk about everything and nothing, both of us laying on the merry-go-round, Becca peering at the clouds and sunset palette, me peering at the insides of my eyelids. Round and round we go, literally and figuratively, until the go-round comes to a stop; we debate over the actual timing of its stoppage. Becca gives us another push; we spin and talk and laugh some more.

It stops again, but we barely notice this time. Contentedly, we lie there. Our conversation is peppered with silence. Not the awkward kind, but the good kind that's indicative of only the best of friendships.

The mosquitoes are out in full force. Now I remember what I hate about American summers. I've swatted, squashed, and shooed about a dozen already. I smack one on Becca's arm. There was a skeeter, I promise! We decide we should head home.

We pick some dandelions as we walk. (I think there should be a different name for the soft, picturesque, gone-with-the-wind ones, so that you automatically know I'm not talking about the bright yellow jobs that older brothers do goofy things with.) We blow them and watch as they split into dozens of delicate pieces and float through the air like little parachuting men. Somehow this turns ugly, and we're blowing dandelions into each other's faces.

Suddenly we're hurling each other around in an all-out wrestling match of sorts. We're out of breath with laughter. That is the best out-of-breath-ness there is.

As the moon comes up, we head back inside.

I love everything-and-nothing friends.