Bumper Cars

It wasn’t the “Summer of ’69.” It was 1972. She didn’t know I existed, I thought, until she rammed me with her bumper car on a school outing. I mean, I was of course hopelessly in love with her and had been since tenth grade. I would have said “she wouldn’t give me the time of day” except I didn’t know that phrase and I wouldn’t have known what it meant if I did.

Then she hit me with a yellow bumper car. And laughed about it and about my incompetent efforts to turn so I could do the same to her.

I’d forgotten all about that. It was, what?, almost fifty years ago. Still, when she laughs, she displays the impish grin she first sent in my direction that afternoon.

I reminded her of it when we saw the news and the picture of the remnants of Playland, which was about to be razed.

“Of course I remember it. You’re an old fool now, but you were a young fool then.” She kissed my forehead. “It was the only way I could get your attention.”