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Thursday, May 06, 2004

I can't organize my thoughts enough to get them on paper. I guess they call that 'writer's block'. Can I get that if I'm not really a writer? I like to write, but that doesn't qualify me as a writer, I don't think. Its been so long since I blogged that no one will probably even check to see if I have attempted to write anything. I do have one thought on my mind that I would like to write about, so I figured I will just sit and start typing away and see what happens.

We went back to Atlantic City on the 30th, but it was nothing like our first trip. It was only Earl, Steve, and myself this time.

Yup. No Desiree. Steve and Desiree broke up. Can you believe it? Well, yes. I mean, she was 23, he was 34. He has a 12 year old daughter and that freaked Desiree out. But it all came to an end when Desiree got carted off to jail for her second DWI. She's 23, and she already has 2 DWIs. She's off to a great start. She played the drama queen sob story in that she didn't want anyone worrying about her or waiting for her on the "outside", so she broke the relationship off. Obviously, she was using jail as an excuse as she simply didn't want to go out with Steve anymore. Steve was upset for a day, but within 72 hours he had already found another 'love of his life'. Her name is Jill and he had talked to her a whole two times on the phone and saw her on the web cam a few times. She lives an hour away so off he went to actually meet her in person. As he put it, they're already 'head over heels' and now they're dating. I asked what she looked like, and he said Desiree.

ANYWAY, back to Atlantic City - I have to tell you about a precious little girl, about 6 years old, named Chrissy. She was the highlite of the entire trip. If it hadn't been for her, there would be nothing to write about.

Steve, Earl and I had strolled off the boardwalk, over a 4 foot fence, and onto the sand for a glance of the mighty dirty brown ocean. It was nice to be near it, but I wouldn't want to go in it. After oooing and ahhhing the ocean waves for awhile, we headed back to the boardwalk.

That was when we meet Chrissy; a very determined toll keeper of the invisible toll booth. Where she came from, I have no idea because she wasn't there moments before when we climbed the fence. But there she stood, blocking the three of us from getting back over by spreading out her short little arms across the wood. Apparently, she had been watching and waiting for us to come back.

Being a toll keeper, she demanded a toll by stomping her foot.

Ahh, raising a child in AC, Already, she's a hussler.

So I took a guess at what would be an appropiate toll for a six year old, and gave her a quarter. But silly me, she wanted one from each of us.

One of the quarters handed to her dropped into the sand. Immediately she dove her hands into the tiny grains and started digging. She was pretty distracted so we crossed over onto the walkway. I turned to look back and she was still digging away, throwing pounds of sand between her legs with her hands. I could hear her little voice saying something about not being able to find the quarter, and that stopped me in my tracks.

I pulled another one out of my pocket and ran back to give it to her. She stopped and looked up at me with such a concerned look on her face.

I said, "That's okay. Its lost but here's another one."

I put the quarter in her tiny hand. She curled her fingers around it. With out a second thought, she started looking for the first quarter in the sand again. She had done this before, I could tell. I began to think, how many quarters does she have back at her house from all the people that she "cute-d" out of money? Probably hundreds. I gave in to her so easily. Somehow she has already got me to pay my toll twice. She just kept on digging away while I stood there thinking. I figured she was a lost cause and went back to the guys.

Suddenly, we saw an older lady that was previously sitting in front of one of the stores directly across from us, stand up from her chair and call, Chrissyyyyy, come over here".

The little girl instantly stopped her quarter search and came running. By then the woman had walked over to where we were standing, so I asked her if Chrissy belonged to her. I thought it was odd for a child to be hanging out on the boardwalk by herself. She said that it was her granddaughter, and that her parents weren't around anymore. I was curious to know why, but didn't think it was appropiate to ask such a personal question to a stranger. Instead, we told her the funny story of being charged a toll to get back on the boardwalk. Her grandmother wasn't surprised and said Chrissy is very creative and finds ways to keep herself busy.

The way her grandmother said that, it sounded like Chrissy had to keep herself busy alot, like all the time. I wondered why she had to keep herself amused; where were all her little friends?

Chrissy finally arrived at our feet, but instead of going to her grand mother, she came up to me. She looked up into my face and said,

"I have something for you."

I knelt down to see what it was. It was a shell.

She said she picked it out just for me. I was shocked. Not because she found me a shell, but because she picked me to befriend.

I don't get that kind of response with children very often. Mostly because I don't know how to act around them. I usually end up talking to them like they're either retarded or hard of hearing. But I was strangely comfortable around this little girl.

I realized at that moment that we hadn't been properly introduced, so I asked her what her name was. Of course, she said Chrissy and then I told her I was Amy. She handed me the shell and said that I was never to lose it.

The need to repay the gift was overwhelming, so I reached into my purse and pulled out a shell that Earl found earlier and gave me. I handed it to her and told her to keep it forever and think of me when she holds it. The look in her eyes was like I just gave her a pot of gold. I don't think it had anything to do with the shell, I think she was waiting a long time for someone to say something like that to her. She curled her fingers around my shell and started to search for her pocket, but her jeans were pocketless. I told her to put it in her sock, so she walked over to a bench, sat down, and stuck in her sock.

I was amazed. She actually listened to me. Kids don't normally listen to me. I thought this was so cool.

At this time the guys decided we needed to venture on. I stood up and told Chrissy I had to leave, and her face melted into the most depressed little girl face I have ever seen, like she just lost her best friend, and for all I knew, I was her best friend.

She took hold of my hand and squeezed it. In the softest little voice ever, she said,

"I don't want you to go. You have to stay and play with me. Please."

How do you react to that? I just plopped back down on my knees. The guys were watching this whole thing and I heard them both do the 'ohhh noooo' thing. Chrissy had won their hearts as well, and that scene was hard to watch.

I told her I had to go, but she has my shell and I have hers and we will always remember each other. She looked up at Earl and started walking over to him. He looked like he was going to take a step back, but she got her arms around his waist and hugged him as hard as she could. Then she did the same to Steve.

She let go of Steve, and hung her head down low. Then she turned to her grand mother, took her hand, and walked away.

We all just stood there. That is one lonely little girl, and she obviously missed her parents.

I think I was first to snap out of that moment, and we started walking away from Chrissy and her grandmother. But I couldn't help but to look back a couple times just to get one more glance of such a special little girl.

Funny, the next thought I had was what a cool blog this whole experience would make. And I had to laugh at Earl, too. It wasn't long before he did the pouty-lip thing and said,

"You gave away the shell I gave you."

I knew that we all feel in love with that little girl but it wasn't until hours later when I heard Steve telling Jill about Chrissy on his cell phone that I realized how much of an impression she had made.

Then on Monday, I was telling a friend about her. Earl walked in the room only to hear me say, "she broke my heart when I had to go". He immediately knew who I was talking about and said,

"Chrissy. Yeah, she was something."