I know that I knew the host of the party, some such friend of a friend scenario, but those details are fuzzy. I remember both Jerry and I being handed plastic cups for the keg of beer, a persistent friend insisting that my brother chug beers with him (which I instead chugged and handed him back the empty cup) and Matt being by my side (helping chug the occasional beer too) for the majority of the night whispering Portuguese in my ear. As much as someone can whisper in a crowded, drunken, college house party anyway and he has still never told me what he was saying that night.
That night I learned that Matt was an adventurer and spent his Junior year of high school as an exchange student in São Paulo, Brazil. It was over the subsequent years that I discovered how much junk/memories he was hanging on to from that time too. I have badgered him down to one box of mementos, now stored in our basement.
Except for this fish.
I liked it, so it stayed out and it now resides in Gracie’s bathroom. So now that carved wooden fish is deeply engrained in our nighttime rituals. We start the bath, sit on the potty, play in the bath, brush teeth, towel off and then stop and give the fish a big hug and kiss goodnight.
It is an adorable ritual. Watching herself in the mirror, she hugs it sideways then flips it to face her and greets with a big kiss right on its fishy lips.
Isn’t it funny how memories from 20 years ago can be reborn into something even more beautiful today?