Toy shop

Today, we drove down the road to my old school and it reminded me of a game our teacher made us play in the first grade.

We were meant to name the things we crossed on our ride to school, and our answers swam the full range: from bus-stop to Methodist Church.

But all I could think of was the big, blue toy shop with squeaky clean glass displays and a broken neon sign.

The lights spelled out something different each day, but it’s broken positivity gave me unexpected comfort in my first few weeks as the new kid.

There isn’t a lot that feels familiar in a brand new playground with alien pigtails and broken teeth.

So I’d plaster my nose to the car window and look out for my sign each day, a morning ritual that stuck.

Now everywhere I go, I look for broken neon signs in the tinkling bells of a coffee shop, the tap dancers in crowded streets, a lone hat seller who loves to chatter and the raindrops that collect on the eaves of my porch, like Christmas lights in July.

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