Only Child

I’m beginning to see the value in having been an only child for the first five years of my life. I learned how to entertain myself.

I’m no longer an only child, but as an adult, although I live by myself, I’m never lonely. If I’m bored, or have extra time on my hands, I pull out my box of collage materials (discreetly ripped from magazines at the laundromat, or waiting rooms, or used calendars, or old greeting cards—there’s no end, really, to the sources of art).

I’d just finished trimming into a neat rectangle a piece of Victoriana from a magazine, all in shades of pink and peach, with roses, antique teapot and cups, lace—you know, real girly stuff.

I remembered a friend who used to refer to herself as a “bull in a china shop,” due to her ample size and questionable coordination.

A grin spread across my face as I dug deeper into the box and extracted just the right clipping—a little brown mouse in a crash helmet—and glued it to the background of delicate breakables. That was good for several minutes of chuckles. Actually, it still makes me smile, and it’s days later.