“The rules took a while to sort out. Lena and Carmen wanted to focus on friendship-type rules, stuff about keeping in touch with one another over the summer, and making sure the Pants kept moving from one girl to the next. Tibby preferred to focus on random things you could and couldn’t do in the Pants — like picking your nose.”
Bri ties a blue GET WELL balloon
to my IV pole, dumps
from her shopping bag
a box of pink Peeps bunnies,
a puzzle book,
a whiskery stuffed mouse.
“It’s amazing what you can find
at the ninety-nine-cent store.
Care for a four-month-old Peep?
Your mom said you can’t have
any food, but everyone knows
Peeps don’t qualify.”
The butterflies started showing up the night before I left for Geek Camp. The first one came as a surprise: an otherworldly blue messenger, lifting and settling its wings on the windshield of the wheezy Chrysler LeBaron I had inherited from my grandmother just months before. Carol was riding shotgun, and when I whacked her knee and pointed, she just slid her sunglasses down her nose, peered at the butterfly like it might be contagious, and said, “They’re everywhere, Glo. A plague of them.” After that, just like when you learn a new word and suddenly it’s all over the place, I started seeing the blue butterflies everywhere I looked.
“There’s just something terrifying about admitting you like someone. In a way, it’s actually easier when there’s no chance of anything happening. But there’s this threshold where things suddenly become possible. And then your cards are on the table. And there you are, wanting, right out in the open.”