THE MIMOSA TREE
conversation and get the ball wrecking.“Because it tastes
— “ Mommy began to scream in
direction, no doubt, “ — what aboutyour messy-behind
, Maddi — now,
! Clothes and shoes every gotdamwhere... get upstairs outa my face if you can’t drink the milk I buy!”By the age of thirteen, while experiencing my last year in private school, I was aboard-certified straphanger in the New York City subways. I knew French,Shakespeare, Impressionist art, Baroque music and underground New York like theback of my hand.“Hey, Mom! Did you realize that there are three different ways to get to ConeyIsland on the train from here? Either you could take the
to Franklin Avenue, transfer tothe shuttle upstairs and change at Prospect Park for the Brighton Line, or you could... ““Not now, Madelyn: Mr. Whitney is here... “ she said as I burst through her bedroom door, “ ...and he has to go to work in the morning.”“Sorry Mommy. I didn’t know you had company. Is it okay if I go outside for awhile?”It seemed like every night now, I was going outside. That was, until Dondi from131st Street gave me something else to do. One night, I was outside on the porch,practicing a tune on my soprano recorder (I got it from school) and Dondi stopped by. Itwas a documented fact that he was the finest guy in the neighborhood and all the girlswere after him, but I just
that he really wanted to be with me. I knew because
hekissed me in the mouth a couple of years before.
“Hi, Maddi. What’s that? I didn’t know you could play the flute.”
Besides — when I was eight years old, I wrote him a letter. He was supposed tocheck either the YES or the NO box to indicate whether he loved me or not.