Saturday, February 16, 2008

black thursday past

Oh, there was a time a long long time ago as a child when I gave the biggest card with the huge pink heart from the assorted pack my mom bought for me to the prettiest girl in my second grade class. Weighed it down with a couple new copper pennies so she'd notice mine from the other boys. Back in a time when even us boys would have to exchange cards. At lunch I don't believe we looked up from our soup, or maybe answered in grunts. Or, we shoved each other harder on the playground that particular day so we knew where we stood.

A blush spread like a brush fire on her fresh white face when she tore open my envelope. I could see looking sideways pretending not to notice from across the room at my desk. She was at a window desk, and my desk was against the wall just below the portrait of the serious disapproving old guy with his mouth clamped shut to hide his rotted wood teeth, and next to that a signed letter by the Governor with instructions on procedures in the event of a nuclear holocaust. A cheery classroom for an 9 year old.
She hid her face in her hands in embarrassment and didn't talked to me for a long time afterwards.

Her name was Sherry Barnett and before the school semester ended she moved away. My Grandmother, Grace, told me there was a sign in their front yard. Sherry lived in easy bike riding distance and Grace would offer the love of my lifetime homemade oatmeal cookies and milk in a glass from a matching pair. My heart broke. She just upped and left. No forwarding address. I went down the street to the front window of her house, cupped my hands to block the glare, and saw a lone bulging cardboard box in the middle of the abandoned living room. I drowned my sorrow in Grandma's oatmeal cookies that crumbled like a delicate heart, watching the cat's eyes on the wall clock in Grandma's kitchen.


Blogger Blog Princess said...

That's a lovely memoir Phil.

I remember being madly in love at 9. I confided this to another boy who - as it turned out - was madly in love with me. He told me that the object of my affection loathed me completely and I never thought to doubt him. Boy #2 and I got married in the playground, but were divorced two months later. What does marriage at 9 mean? It means you share your fruit pastilles with your new husband and send silly notes. I think that was about it. Relationships got a bit more complicated later. :)

2/20/2008 8:09 AM  
Blogger the drifter said...

Alimony since the age of 9!
Golly! :)

2/23/2008 11:48 AM  
Anonymous s&m said...

Phil, don't ask - you don't wanna know.

3/07/2008 4:27 PM  

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