Stella’s Rainbow

every family has its own quirks. some go to church every week and some don’t read books. some eat organic and others eat only fast food. in the end, every child in every family feels a simultaneous sense that their family is both totally normal and the weirdest family ever. this dichotomy exists everywhere, regardless of nationality, gender, age, class, or education. the only thing that changes is the parameters. for Dillon, he definitely thought his family was more weird than anyone else.

Dillon was about 7 years old. maybe he was a bit older or younger, honestly, i don’t know his age. the guy seemed liked a 7 year old though and that’s what matter. i just work at the video store that they rent movies from and watch his family in action every week. they seem like a good family. a young mom and dad who seem to laugh together a lot and share similar loves in movie selections and then the two sweet kids, Dillon and his little sister Stella, that follow in tow. as i said, Dillon is about 7 and I’d guess that Stella was about 4, maybe 5. they came in every week to rent movies on thursday night and would return the mom, Naomi, would return the movies on monday after she dropped off the kids at school. sometimes she would pick herself out a movie to watch alone, but normally she would just drop off and say hello and then come back in a few days to get new movies.

the family rented movies of varying styles but they had good taste. lots of anime, lots of miyazaki, musicals, comedies, sci fi, some thrillers and zombie shit; i never really figured out what the parents watched versus what the family watched or what the kids watched. i could guess, but i try to not judge or make assumptions. anyway, i suppose the reason i am even telling this story is because of what little Stella said to me the last time that they came in. she said, with her lisp, “have you ever thlid down a rainbow?” to which I replied, “no. i can’t say that i have.”

stella’s eyes got big and then they drooped. she looked sad. “Oh, i thought you knew” she began to mumble quietly. it was almost hard to hear her trailing off at the end. I asked her if she had ever slid down a rainbow before and she told me that she has and does it a lot.

i’ve never been good with children, so i really don’t know how to interact with a statement like that. do i laugh and humor her? does that seem patronizing? do i try and correct her? do i just ignore her? i’ve never learned these things and never thought to learn how to answer this type of questioning, so i decided to be honest. and that made her sad. which, in turn, made me sad. so i asked her if she could teach me.

Stella’s eyes lit up. “YETH!” she exclaimed. she then ran, almost tripping over her own feet as she ran, over to her brother. “dillon, dillon!” she shouted. “mither theve hathn’t thlid down a rainbow before! we need to take him!”

Dillon’s eyes quickly changed from curious to inquisitive as he looked up from his little sister to me. our eyes locked in on each other and i could sense that he wasn’t happy about something. he grabbed stella’s hand quite forcefully and said something that was both stern and quite. stella looked confused. i was definitely confused. I could hear stella shrieking a bit here and there as dillon pulled her through the store. she then got quiet, i assume when they reached the parents. a few minuted passed and then they came up and rented their movies.

“find everything you were looking for?” i asked
“very much so,” the father replied. “except,” he paused, “we might be looking for a new traveling companion. tell me, have you ever slid down a rainbow?”
i didn’t know what to say. i stood there speechless for what seemed like minutes but was probably mere seconds, then looked down at dillon and over to stella. dillon looked protective and stella looked like stella; big dimples. i looked back up at the father, “no, but i have heard good things about it” and looked down to give stella a knowing wink.

the father finished his check out of the movies and said that when i got off of work, i should walk 30 feet southeast from the back door and then close my eyes and take 3 6-second long deep breaths. after exhaling my last deep breath, i should open my eyes and jump.

so here i am. i just got off of work and am about to leave out the back door. i don’t know if this is all an elaborate joke or not, but fuck it. what have i got to lose? maybe i’ll get to slide down a rainbow, maybe i won’t. at least i will have closed my eyes and tried. if nothing else, at least i’ll have a good journal entry out of it…

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