That was my phone number in the first house I lived in. Or rather, the first house I remember living in. A blue apartment building with a bedroom window ground level so I could watch my mom planting on Saturdays, flats of pansies.

You didn’t need an area code because the world was much smaller then.

At that tender age of five, my parents quizzed me endlessly on my address, my phone number, their names, just in case I was kidnapped, I suppose. A phone number would be my saving grace from a life of tea parties with strangers-turned-family.

Living with my grandparents felt a lot like living in a hotel. Continental breakfasts, limo service, maid service and an outdoor pool to sun yourself- complimentary towels. The deal also included a rent-a-mom who frequently made cupcakes for class bake sales, went to girl scout meetings and ceremoniously rolled eyes when I streaked my hair with highlighters.

My sister and I shared a room, and a bunk bed. The sheets were made by the time I came home from school, and all the imprints of thoughts the night before were smoothed, erased and pulled taut.

Back to the basics. Know what happens if you get carbon, nitrogen, hydrogen and oxygen in the right combination? It explodes.

Here I am, ever transient, with only a wireless signal, clinging to a home with a disposable phone. In some ways, it’s so I’m ever connected, always available, always ‘on-call.’

But I believe if this were really true, then I wouldn’t long for the fuzzy echos of a tin can on a string, because at least then, you know you’re within running distance.

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