Emily ONEMANBANDIT Smith turns heads. When she walks into a room, people can’t help but spill their drinks, shift their attention, and forget about whatever the hell they were talking about. Sure, she has tall, chiseled Ralph Lauren model looks, but it’s really her air of jovial accessibility that makes her so appealing to friends and strangers alike. I mean, she can talk to ANYONE as if they had been life long best friends, even complete strangers; and that laugh that is so big bold and undeniably infectious can make even the most socially awkward person feel tingly warm and accepted.
Still, there was something beautiful, endearing about her delicate laughter interspersed with a few short lines of an original song that only she could construct in that car, during that trip, at that time. These are the moments, the rituals that I understand will cross my tattered mind when I’m an old man…hell, they’re the memories I have now.
Once in a hidden back aisle of the school library when they were alone, she had made eye contact, nuzzled his neck delicately for just a moment; but they were interrupted by another kid looking for “The Bridge to Terabithia.” It’s the kind of love that kids felt innocuously back in the early eighties, before it got serious, before it could actually hurt.
The final dark happening of the season was by far the most dramatic of all, and even though my role was small in comparison to my sister, it still had a lasting impact on me. It is, after all, the climax of this story, a perpetually more sinister juxtaposition to the image of three boys frightened by a bag of old clothes and a pair of red shoes. When I tell the story, I pull the listener close, regardless of whether it’s an audience of one or ten; as my brow furrows, eyes widen, and normally animated hands become tight and clinched.