by Donna Ekart
She had this thing, a crazy, pre-safety warnings toy that melted crayons. Basically, a bunch of wired up metal tubes; put crayon in, plug in the toy, tubes get hot, crayon melts. We used the melted wax to paint washes of color on her black and white headshots while sitting on the living room floor. Mixing little chunks of crayon to make new melted colors, experimenting with how she'd look with blue eyes, or red hair, twisting pieces of pipecleaner and string for jewelry. It was the lightest, happiest thing I'd done in years, and looking at it now, it scares me to think that I'd become so weighed down so young. Time with her was so much like kindergarten - playful, exploratory, simple, ungraded - that it's hard to remember, sometimes, that we were friends as adults.
Donna Ekart is a librarian who really likes the sensation of words falling out of her head. She lives in Kansas, which isn't as flat or dull as you might think.