Thursday, July 1, 2010

lemonade and leo

I was scampering across the East Village on Sunday, late for brunch, when I was struck by a table set up on the sidewalk on E. 11th St., the kind of table that was just asking for a plate of stale cookies and some neon pamphlets. There were two small children, no older than 8 or 9, sitting on chairs at the table, and it took me a few seconds to realize that this was a lemonade stand. Having lived in city after city after city since I was born, lemonade stands are in the same bucket in my mind as typewriters and pay phones.

Even though I was running late and never really spend money on the street (?), I decided I would buy some lemonade. "It's really hot," I announced. (I always forget that my methods for ingratiating myself to strangers aren't necessary when talking to young children and are instead just kind of creepy.) "Yeah," the girl said. I asked for one lemonade. As she filled a plastic cup from the pitcher, the boy bounced around like a horse in the gate before a race. "You wanna see something?" he asked me. "Sure," I said.

He pointed at the ground. "That's my name," he said. "I carved that five years ago." Leo flashed a toothy smile and the girl rolled her eyes (so over it). "That's amazing," I said, making a show of overdoing my enthusiasm. I gave them a dollar and lingered for a second before walking away. As I turned the corner, I felt kind of inspired by the fact that Leo was still proud of something he had created five years earlier (I had seen Toy Story 3 a few days earlier is my excuse), but then I felt... deflated, imagining Teenage Leo feeling embarrassed by the carving, Adult Leo living somewhere else and forgetting it was there, and then Old Leo remembering the days when he used to run a lemonade stand with his sister and she would scold him for playing with the bills instead of putting them in the lunchbox.

1 comment:

*~Dani~* said...

This is a beautiful post! Very thought provoking. Love it.