Monday, August 26, 2013

early adolescence ouch


Ah yes, I went to grammar school at Good Shepherd with a boy I will call JG. I so long to use his real name. Real names are so much better than anything I could make up. But I do not want to invade his privacy. I usually change the names to protect the guilty but poor sweet JG never did anything wrong that I knew of. 
The only two things I remember about him were that in 4th grade he threw a snowball at me. The combination of hard packed icy snow and his strong throwing arm gave me a black eye. The snowball was on purpose but the eye was an accident. He got in big trouble over it from a teacher and cried and had to write an apology note to me.  I remember the note was written in pencil in his bad handwriting.
The only other thing I remember about him was that in 5th grade he was going to ask me out. He seemed to have told everyone because all the boys were talking about it and laughing and running around making a big deal about it that clear Spring afternoon. Maybe they were just being 5th grade boys, excited that someone was going to do something involving those crazy new feelings we were all feeling in out bodies, the feelings between two people. I have no idea why there was so much commotion. All I know was that it scared me. 
I got defensive. I felt like he was calling me out, challenging me to a fight. “Go out with you? Them there are fighting words, baby.” I felt exposed, vulnerable, laughed at, and a bunch of other weird things my 5th grade self experienced. I cannot explain my reactions anymore than I can explain theirs other than the hell of adolescence and what that does to one’s young brain.
Everyone was freaking the fuck out, “JG is going to ask out Holly! JG is going to ask out Holly!” I could not take it anymore so I called him over. ‘Holly wants to talk to JG! Holly wants to talk to JG!” the grape vine worked both ways and he got my message and approached me. My stomach hurt and i was trembling. I had on a jean jacket over my catholic school plaid jumper, white knee socks and brown leather wooden-soled platform shoes with a buckle. I really liked those shoes and actually had a note from my mother allowing me to wear them even though the school dress code was blue or black shoes. 
JG bravely walked up to me with his disheveled mass of dark curls, his coat hanging off of him in an odd manner, and a big fat smile on the red lips of his decent looking 5th grade Irish face.  He was standing in the gutter and I was a bit higher than him, standing on the curb.
“Hey James.” I said with my thick New York accent and fake tough attitude. Before he could answer I kicked him in the shin as hard as I could with my wooden platform. THUNK! He bent over in the pain and the whole crowd that was gathered around us burst into laughter. Still trembling, I flung back my long hair and walked through the crowd, pretending I was fine. I went home and cried.
Sorry JG! God bless you. Hope you are happy as can be.

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