Talking to a Turtle
Turtle friend, when did I get to grow so calm?
You live a double agent under your shell,
Red ears, yellow specks, no good sense,
Turtle turtle, can you remind me why we go outside?
There are bugs to eat I guess,
But Turtle turtle, that just doesn’t cut it for me.
In the Jungle Book,
Do you think Mogli ever got tired of talking to animals?
He scrambled out of the jungle when he saw that girl, at the end;
He grew up.
Like Peter Pan,
Do you think all of those great authors ever knew how greater some of the adventure games little girls played were? We had Red Rover, and Inventions, and Secret Languages, and Wax Museum, and…well, maybe we should keep the rest a secret. The cooties clause applies.
But seriously, Turtle, why do you keep your shell? Couldn’t you just invest in a really sturdy-made umbrella? The rain is coming, Turtle. Are you gonna drown in your own little cave? A dome trapped up against the ground, unless you move your feet.
Turtle, can I cordially remind you that you have to keep moving, otherwise when you try to cross a highway, you get squished. No, Turtle, that’s not what I meant. I mean that when you screw up so bad that your only alternative is to keep going, if you stay stuck, you squish. That is what I mean.
Hey Turtle, do you ever wonder where the stars came from? Like seriously. There’s all these awesome rocks out there just waiting for a rich person’s name. Dust to dust again, huh Turtle? We all die eventually, and maybe some of us hatch out of our shell. That’s not entirely fair to you, Mr. Turtle, because you already hatched out of an egg, and it appears that maybe a piece or two stuck. You still keep trucking along, though. Even if you can be a little stubborn, at least your crunchy outside keeps you kinda safe. As a side note, Turtle, I think we’re both doing it wrong. The roaches have a crazy head start on us, by keeping their squish inside. I know that neither of us chose this live, but couldn’t we just be a little harder edged, like the roaches? That way if you squish, it only becomes real obvious once you squish the whole way through. On second thought, I’d rather not. I’d like there to be more gray area than when it squishes out of you.
What about Rollie pollies, Turtle turtle? Those were the ones Lauren and I would hunt down under rocks, as toddlers. They had the squish, they had the crunch, and they HATED being picked up. More than a couple toddler handfuls of squish were had over those years. I can’t do centipedes, Turtle turtle, but the Rollie pollies were the next best thing after Lightening Bugs, before we read that one story where the Lightening bugs are actually carnivorous fairies that will kill you in cold blood. You’re welcome for that.
What about all the slugs that grew on the strawberries? You’d think they just grew out of the strawberries, but no actually, they just got to them before we did. I like how delicate true strawberries are. Like little orbs of good things and red. Why would anyone make a pie out of fake strawberries? The real ones taste like sunshine, and if I were making that up then I would sell it instead of cavalierly put it on the internet. Eat a real strawberry, Turtle. Then get back to me.
I miss the raspberry vines, when they actually bore fruit. We sucked at sharing, by which I mean I sucked at sharing. Maybe we can have a house of our own someday, Turtle, and we can put in a tire swing, and a hammock (that you treat properly with the weather), and one of those porch swings, and basically anything that isn’t quite a swing set but manages. I like the feeling of being weightless. I would be you five dollars that you like it less, but we’ll see. I like the knowing that where I’m going isn’t really written down all the way, at least not to me. We’re going where he’s going, and that is good enough. Hey Turtle, would you buy me an ice cream? I’ve got no money. I can’t afford a four dollar ice cream, and definitely not the kind that are $4 for five square inches on a 10 cent wooden stick, and announced by roving, musical vans.
We had a turtle once, Turtle turtle. His name was Roger, like the street. He went back to live among the Turtles. He couldn’t stay in his cage, because he didn’t belong there. Be free, Turtle turtle! Be free to be forgotten, into the ramble of my mind! Be free like all of the other Turtles; 5 minute Turtles, 10 minute Turtles, the world is y’alls oyster, or at least I assume so once you’re gone. One day I’ll word-weave you a basket so comfy that not even Turtles would leave. In the meantime, Turtle turtle, be free.