When the song comes up, I remember. It's not really a song- not all of it. I convinced iTunes that it was, and I put it on my iPod.
When it comes up, I remember. I'm on shuffle... The White Stripes are explaining to me how much Holly and Jack love each other.
Then I see it. And I hear it.
I hear myself, my two-year-old self, sing about lions. I hear myself talk about a family of zoos. I hear myself tell a story about giants eating my dad. I hear my sister tell a story about Amanda (who's actually Little Red Riding Hood). I hear myself talk about Santa: The Little Girl. I hear myself say apples, bananas, peaches over and over again, trying to convince everyone that it is a story.
And I hear ho ho. Over and over, I hear this word, repeated twice at a time. Ho ho, which meant nothing to anyone else, but probably meant something to me. I hear my little-girl voice, saying things to me. Talking to me, even though I don't remember what they mean.
This girl talks so lightly of fear (they were so frightened that they ran away). I wonder why I can't do that now. Not now. Why? What's changed?
But for a few minutes, I'm two again, maybe three. I laugh at all of it. I laugh at the innocence, and I laugh at the memories. I laugh when my sister laughs. I laugh when my father laughs. I laugh when that little girl laughs, whoever she is.
And then it's gone, music replacing it, actual music.
I'm startled that it doesn't play more of my life, more of the memories. I'm startled, when, instead, someone that I'll never meet starts to sing.
I stop laughing.
And I start to forget again.