The only thing Lindsey wants is a big old stick of blue cotton candy. It’s all she talks about the whole car ride. It had to be blue. If any color had a biggest fan, that color was blue and that fan was my little sister. She keeps going off about how she doesn’t like the color of blue cotton candy until you lick a piece and it gets darker, around which point I rummage through Mom’s glove box and tuck a small stack of napkins into the pocket of my cargo shorts in anticipation of the sugary webbing that will likely spread between her fingers in the very near future. I look back at her, her legs bouncing over the edge of the car seat she outgrew four months ago and tell her cotton candy is our number one objective once we get to the fair. She salutes me and turns toward the window, talking to no one about why blue is the best color in existence.
We park. She deftly unclicks her straps and hops down onto the asphalt. Mom puts this little hat on her and while doing so this shadow of the two of them forms on the ground. It would have been a real Kodak moment, posted up and it would have gotten all the likes, but little blondie can’t stand still long enough and by the time I’ve got my phone out to capture it, she’s turned away.
The cotton candy hunt is on. Lindsey doesn’t even wait for Mom after we get our tickets punched at the gate. She grabs me by the wrist and pulls me to where she thinks the sugary mass might be, which I’m guessing she remembers from last year. Less than 20 paces later, we’re in line and she’s hopping up and down on the tops of my shoes.
Once Lindsey has a grip on the white paper cone, she wastes no time before entering beast mode. She takes massive pulls from the bunch. Blue strands peel away like cobwebs as her fingers find a close enough proximity to her mouth. She licks a chunk twice the size of her hand and holds it up so I can see the dark blue that’s coagulating on account of her saliva. I ask her if she wants to know why that happens, seeing a chance to insert a science lesson to this evening at the fair, but she dismisses my question by stuffing what remains of the glob in her mouth.
We’re walking now and come up by this big dunk tank that Lindsey gets all in a fuss about because the front is clear and you can see the people fall in and laugh at how they look underwater. She’s a huge fan of looking at things when they’re underwater. It’s all she does when I take her to the pool. She’s busted the straps on two pairs of goggles this summer alone. She gets right up next to the tank just the little platform drops and plops one of the boy’s soccer coaches in the water. A wave sloshes over the top of the tank, wetting Lindsey’s hat and the cotton candy stick. She begins to shriek and I brace myself for the impending meltdown. But it doesn’t come. We both watch as what remains of her cotton candy turns into such a brilliant blue it appears to be glowing.
Lindsey runs over to me holding up the blob of blue sugar in her hands and what had clung to the stick, confessing her devout love for this exact shade of blue. The color matches that of her mouth, her nose, both her hands, under her fingernails, and this little blotch that somehow managed to stain her elbow. I reach for the stack of napkins in my pocket, but stop myself. Instead, I dig for my phone and snap the Kodak moment of the summer.