The first Neopet you ever made was a yellow Kau named Kauliflower.
And you thought that was so clever, you giggled while pressing the name button.
And for a long time,
Kauliflower was almost just like a sort of real pet.
You would feed her and clean her. And dress her up in little boots and hats.
And make money and spend money, almost like a sort of real adult.
But then you discovered the Ice Cream Machine.
And instead of taking care of Kauliflower,
Your world zoomed in
in in in in in in
to tiny scoops of ice cream:
pink scoops, and green scoops, and white with hot fudge, and white with chocolate chips, and mint with chocolate chips, and white with caramel sauce, and yellow with a cherry on, and blue scoops, and red and purple swirl, and the special scoops to make you smaller or faster or the machine slower
You began to dream in ice cream scoops.
They came at you
Slowly at first and then faster
And all the time you were dodging, dipping, diving, ducking, dodging, you found yourself
I’ve forgotten something.
Maybe...the Walkman is still spinning circles on my nightstand
Running down the juice on those double double AA batteries
Or the button on the Hit Clip is pressed against a Lisa Frank folder in my Jansport
Tinnily blaring out the same sixteen bars of
Bye Bye Bye by NSYNC
Dancing Queen by A*Teens
Who Let the Dogs Out by Baha Men
Aaron’s Party by Aaron Carter
Lucky by Britney Spears
Or my cat chews on the carefully braided hair of my Barbie Doll, half-dressed and forgotten between the dresser
Feet pressed into the permanent shape of high-heel shoes
One time I tried to brush my hair with a Barbie hairbrush
The one you got with each doll
And the prongs came off in my curls and the back of the brush ripped off and I cried
in my lonely heartbreaking
If there’s nothing missing in my life
Then why -
Do I feel like I’m missing something?
As I dodge ice cream scoops: dressed in a blue snowsuit, blue pompom-ed hat, and purple gloves.
By the time I remember that Neopets is about NeoPETS, Kau is long dead.
She has a halo, so you can assume that she went to Neopet heaven.
This is not the same as dog heaven. Or people heaven,
You gather up all your Beanie babies, and Cabbage Patch dolls
And have a funeral.
During the eulogy, Kau’s ghost hovers close above your head
And all the Tamogatchis you ever killed sing quietly in an angelic chorus:
Now life is one big party when you’re still young
And who’s gonna have your back when it’s all done
It’s all good when you’re little you have pure fun
Can’t be a fool, son, what about the long run?
It’s okay. They’ll be waiting for you.