The grass come in. The trees always have.
I have winter memories, but those only become clear later on. For now, it's still the summer I think of.
My brother is 12.
My mom and dad are 32 and 32.
The Big Swing. Aluminum frame, painted brown, a long bench-swing made of wood, also painted. I run circles around it -- I literally do this -- as Dad yells to stay away because a wasp lives there now. I hear him, but I do not listen, and as I'm pumping my knees up and swinging my elbows to each side, there is an intense bolt of light and a pain in my right ear. I'm on the ground, holding it, and someone is beside me -- it must be Dad, but I feel like his voice is far away, telling me I told you to watch out.
I'm taken inside, to the bathroom with Mom. A wasp sting in my ear. There is cotton, there is alcohol, I am swabbed and I squirm and I am held down and soothed, to very little effect, until I tire myself out and lie still.
Later, Dad walks around the swing and sprays something at the ends. The wasps die, I convalesce. For all time, I fear their honeycombed nests.
There is herd of cats and a matriarch called Peaches. Orange kittens, until
one is born that is partly gray. Peaches is very friendly and polite.
The gray one is meaner. The gray one -- her name should be seared into
my memory, too. I can see her eyes, those vertical pupils, but her name
is washy. Patches? Cleo? Spot? Who is she?