“What would we be if we weren’t?” One of them asked the other as if it wasn’t a thing that they had already decided to try not to think about.
Round and round in the swivel rocker until their mother would start yelling at them to “quit trying to ruin it!” They had to spin to try to forget what they were trying not to think about.
“Come rock with me,” one of the two little girls would say to the other. They both just could fit together in it. They worried about when they might not be able to — they seemed to worry a lot — one a little more than the other.
They asked the what if question almost as if they wanted to be scared because then that would give them a reason to spin — round and round in the rocking chair until the mother would be forced to yell again, “Girls!!! Stop!!” Their mother had worked very hard to have that chair and once her work was finished for the day, every other person must clear out of it and she wanted it to be there and not nothing in its place.
Their little minds would team up with panic at their collective thoughts previously agreed upon not to think about until they would have to run in to ask their mother for help, “Can we have a cookie?” A cookie could cure just about anything.
The mother was very good at sitting and explaining, but for the most part, her advice for this was “Just don’t think about it. Go outside and play” — her ultimate best good words. As impossible as it was by then to think about how to not think about nothing — what they would be if they weren’t, up to the school they’d go so they could roller skate or swing. Swinging helped a lot and having each other even more.
Thinking about death was hard enough but thinking about never having been was even harder. At least, after being here one could think of going another place but not back to nowhere — where was that, it just couldn’t be?
“Let’s try not to be bad and make thing hard on Mummy.”
The more worrying one was feeling grateful for the wisdom and all the hard work of her mother and wanted some way to thank her for it. “Let’s not fight anymore.” It would likely go the way of not thinking about nothing but they agreed to try.