Flash in the Pan
A Quarterly Posting at Tiny Lights
by Christine Falcone
I know when I taste ice cream if it's good, whether or not it's made with fresh whole cream or skim milk and water; I know when I hear good jazz or taste good champagne by the bubbles both create going down. I know when I'm having a good hair day or, like today, a good diet day, requesting my peanut sauce on the side. But how do I know when I meet someone new, whether or not they are good? The kind of good I'd trust to housesit or to look after my cat while I'm away on vacation. Is it there in the tenor of the voice, the shake of a hand, a flash in the first moment of eye contact?
It would be so much easier if the degree of our goodness were apparent from the surface, something worn visibly like a T-shirt with some cool logo. Maybe then we wouldn't trust that handsome stranger or bare our souls to that "you're-like-a-sister-to-me-best-friend" only to be dropkicked in the stomach when we are most vulnerable. But then again, maybe it would take all the fun out of this game we're playing, the rules of which we learn as we go, discovering who to trust and who to guard against; what is precious and what, with no ache of the soul, we can stand to lose.
Christine Falcone lives in Novato, California. She may question our motives, but never her daughter's.
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