I sat on my bed, cross legged, painting my wings blue. The wings are already blue, the section lines that make them butterfly wings, like stained glass panels, are black, and they must be black for me to be the Blue Fairy.
The Blue Fairy shows up at Gepetto’s, where he is praying that the puppet he made would be a real boy.
The other good story about things becoming real is the Velveteen Rabbit.
Or maybe all stories are about things becoming real.
I sat in Hayden Planetarium, where I had once attended “Grunge Laser 3-D,” and whispered into my niece’s ear. She was in my lap, wiggling, becoming bored with an IMAX 3-D show about birds and flight. “I’m gonna take off my glasses,” she said.
From the moment I found my first niece, and hugged her up in Penn Station, my anxiety was turned way down.
I had a moment at the Natural History Museum, in the basement, when I thought I had lost my medicine, but only that one rough moment, one I was able to breathe through. Manhattan, a big museum, a basement: all things I love, and also things that sometimes amplify and inspire my panic attacks.
Constant hand-holding, lurching a kid onto my hip (they are all really too heavy to hold now), hugs, and what I realized was a near-constant touching the tops of their heads, combing back their blonde hair with my fingers. I think it was very, very good for my nerves. Though none of them are actually biologically related to me, all my nieces are as blonde as I was, not brunette like their mothers.
“Look at those! That’s amazing!” I whispered. We saw devil rays leaping out of the water, flying for just a moment, splashing down. Rays are dear to me. I only knew them to fly underwater, not out of it.
“I’m scared,” another niece said. “Don’t drink! Don’t have more than one drink!”
“It’s okay,” I said. “I’m a grown-up, and I will be very responsible.” I was very responsible.
“Sometimes I get very scared and I feel like I am drowning in a huge ocean,” another niece said.
“It’s okay. I get scared like that, too.”
My back hurts on one side. I would say it was lifting and carrying heavy kids, but actually it is probably my work bag. I won’t carry a backpack because they are not elegant.
We rode the subway. A la Louis CK, I crouched down. “If you get lost, you stay in the station, and we’ll come back for you, or you get off at the next stop, and we will get you there. It’s easy to find people you lose on the subway. The train only goes two ways.” I pointed.
The Blue Fairy has no back story. She appears, animates a puppet, gives him a stern moralistic mission: brave, truthful, unselfish. Then you will become real.
After a variety of adventures, Pinnochio dies trying to save his father’s life.
Blue Fairy returns, and resurrects Pinnochio. Instead of reviving him, he is resurrected, a real boy, with soft elbows instead of hinged joints, soft hands instead of comical, blocky white gloves, a short, snub nose, and a belly as soft as the whale’s.