In the past, when I’ve driven by Ala Moana Beach Park, those
inflatable bouncing mansions teased me. I know you’ve seen them.
They seemed to shout, “You’re not a kid anymore, and I am just
for kids. You are confined to cell phone bills and thoughts
of the future.” The happy Moon Bounces have always made me sad.
I knew they would be fun, but I thought I’d never be able to
Usually these thoughts were fleeting, gone as fast as my Buick
carted me past the beach, and the sea of families. But nothing
really goes away though; it slices from the moment like a shard
of colored glass, a piece for the kaleidoscope, making other
perspectives more beautiful.
The idea that people, big people, can’t partake in the joy
of the Moon Bounce, is as much a fallacy as the idea that we
can’t fulfill the idea of perfect.
At the birthday party, when it was time to cut the cake, the
hostess asked, “Would you like a piece?” I hesitated, then said,
“Just a small one, please,” my fingers pinched together signifying
small. She slowly inserted the knife through white creamy frosting
into moist pastry. Her incisions were those of a skilled surgeon.
She’d done this before.
Placing it daintily on a white dessert plate, she handed it
to me. I smiled at her and said, “Perfect.” She had fulfilled
my need for a small piece with grace that can only be called
The Moon Bounces were next, and now that I’ve experienced them,
I know that they can withstand all 130 pounds of me (okay, 135).
They are much different then trampolines. On the lovely Bounce,
I could jump as high as I wanted, then contort my body, in mid-air,
so that I landed on my back, prepared to make a snowless angel.
Trampolines are stiff. Moon Bounces are as soft as moonlit
snow. Maybe it’s true that with trampolines you can see the
stars, but with a Moon Bounce you can imagine meteors and purple
Two perfect moments in one afternoon. Three would be blessed,
and I was. We were given party favors that were supposed to
be for kids. Standing on the hot sidewalk, I removed my magic
wand from its orange sheath, inscribed with the words “Miracle
I stood upwind. Cars passed me, mostly men in vans with surf
boards on their racks, noticing that I wasn’t noticing them.
Holding the wand to my lips, I blew, blessing the beached people
with the gift of bubbles.
I don’t think everyone appreciated them. A woman on a low chair
in the sand, reading The New York Times, sensed the bubbles
surrounding her and batted them away with her hands, as though
bubbles were blown in her direction everyday.
For her the bubbles were fleeting, as once were my Moon Bounces.
But they are in her kaleidoscope now. And my perfect moments
at Ala Moana Beach Park have been promoted to telescopes.