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  • We were waiting along with everyone else at Apple’s Genius Bar for our appointment. Mine for my relic iphone that’s having a senior moment with every keystroke. I’m not sure why Wilson was there. We never spoke about our respective Apple devices.

    We were sitting next to each other on a bench, pretty tightly packed. There was no conversation for the first five minutes, while I was emailing. Wilson moved closer (after seeking & receiving my permission) when Picard indicated he wanted to test drive Wilson’s lap.

    That’s when the conversation started. That’s when he told me his name was Wilson. Wilson’s English isn’t very good yet, but he’s working on it. I know this because when he got closer, I could see his homework. A page of fill-in-the-missing-word sentences. And the sentences on this page were lyrics from “Over The Rainbow.” It was the Israel Kamakawiwo’ole version of the song, which is how I suppose younger people are first introduced to the classic made famous by Judy Garland in The Wizard Of Oz. I was obsessed, obsessed with that movie and its soundtrack and the life of Judy Garland as a little girl. I read every biography about her. When I was 11, I avoided the sun one summer (not easy in Las Vegas!) to be as pale as possible, and put a reddish rinse in my hair in an attempt to capture her 1930′s -’40′s look. But I digress.

    I looked at sweet Wilson there, playing with Picard, and saw a young man working to better himself by learning English. And it hit me that I used to work hard at bettering myself. I didn’t look at it that way at the time, but that’s what going to school is: it’s giving you tools and power to get the most out of this life. Education equips you to achieve your goals and dreams. And I felt sad and a little ashamed that I haven’t done so in a long time. I’ve gotten into the habit of sticking to what I’m already good at. Like writing. But when was the last time I applied myself to something that might better my quality of life, perhaps even put me on an entirely different path, or offer sever new paths from which to choose? And let’s be honest, I ain’t getting any younger here.

    And the fact that it was the lyrics to that song is what made this realization all the more heartbreaking. That song takes me back to being a very young girl, who thought the world was a safe place filled with nothing but love and laughter and opportunity and good things. It’s called innocence. I miss that kid. I miss her a lot. But that’s where Picard comes in. He’s pure innocence. It’s nice to have that back, even by proxy.

    I didn’t take a picture of Wilson & Picard because at the time I didn’t realize that the moment would affect me so long and as deeply as it did. But I don’t need a picture of Wilson, it’s what he represents that matters. Hopefully Wilson will stay innocent for a very long time, and the dreams that he dares to dream really do come true.

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