Spelunking

Carlsbad

Sometimes I think it’s too bad I got bigger.

My new desk has a small shelf under the table, which I realize would make a very nice cave addition if I were to crawl under there and perhaps set my drink and book on that shelf, within reach of where I leaned on a pillow against the drawer’s wall with my legs stretched, foot crossed over my knee.

And then, as if in a fast-forward blur, I catch up to my current dimensions by way of my imagined cave repose now squashed against furniture paneling and my neck bent down, till my imagined self crawls out from under the desk like a leggy Sasquatch, clumsy and shaking out her mane in wonderment at not only 35 years of body changes, but that for some reason, momentarily, they were forgotten.

I mean, just now I saw through my small self’s eyes and remembered my physical tidiness and how conducive it was to creating special forts out of the tiniest hollows. When I was small, there were countless available places to claim squatter’s rights—under dining tables covered in tablecloths, and trees with low branches, in empty cabinets, the space between the dress hems and the floor in my mom’s closet, the large wicker hamper, and, my five-year-old self identified, the space with a shelf under my new desk. Now that she’s shown me what it could be, I doubt I’ll look at that cave under my desk the same.

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