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  • I was seven years old and my T-Ball team was holding its end of season dinner at Round Table Pizza. I had never been there before. I imagined King Arthur's round table and the scene from The Cable Guy when Jim Carey puts lunch meat on his face like a mask. As a kid I did this - created a slideshow of references to fill in the blanks of all I didn't know.

    The sun was high in the sky - sharp, clear, focused white brightness against the unblemished blue. I sat on the porch, the door closed behind me. My mom hated it when I left the door open in the summer and flies would come in, hovering at the window, buzzing steadily until they bumped their plump bodies against the pane of glass and collected in a little black heap on the windowsill. And so I had closed the door on my way out and I sat on my front steps, waiting for my dad to pick me up in his red convertible and take me to the pizza trophy party.

    I imagined what the trophy would look like - a little gold figure, me, frozen in mid-swing. And then the black plaque with my full name in gold capital letters - TAYLOR GILES TOWER. The name that no one ever called me in real life, the name that hinted at who I would become, that held such authority. Would I be able to hold the trophy over my head as my teammates cheered through their full mouths of pizza? What would my dad's face look like? Would he whistle with his fingers? That mysterious, so satisfyingly loud whistle that I couldn't figure out how to do - my little fingers getting slobbery in my mouth, soundless. Or would he just sit quietly, stoic and proud?

    I waited and the big ball of the summer sun lowered and lit the tops of the trees on fire with its warm light, getting pink now. I waited and I looked at the empty space in front of my house, trying to will my dad's red convertible into existence. Then I heard the click of the door opening and my mother said: "you better come in now, sweetheart."

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