Tuesday, January 18, 2005

Dusty Corners of My Mind

I am unfairly considered to have a good memory. In fact I have a selectively good memory. I can remember quite a lot about a lot of things - or at least, some things about a lot of things - but why should I have to carry this burden? If I had a penny for the number of times I've been asked, "Deek, where's the...?" I would have enough pennies for a penny arcade, a penny whistle, a penny-farthing, a penny black, Henny Penny, Chicken Licken, and the sky that fell on all their heads.

Of childhood, I can vaguely remember a lot, and I can recall specific details with accuracy in parts. Considering the anti-depressant drugs they put me on as a child, this in itself is a remarkable feat, I have come to realise. One of my reasons for being in therapy was to make sense of the times when the drugs I was on had removed sense. Retaining psychological balance in those conditions (i.e. loving parents overdosing you with barbiturates every night) was akin to walking a tightrope carrying a sack of coal and chewing an onion. That's why I so carefully guard my right to self-determination as an adult. Still, despite the relationship of my parents crashing and burning during my first 5 years, and despite the subsequent adults' best efforts to render me into soft and malleable child paste and put me in a little jar with the lid on so tightly so that superhuman strength was necessary to open it, I survived and thrived, and lived to remember most of it.

The first day at Infants School (Primary Year One) I was quite happy, socialising well with a throng of excited, blank, crying, cheerful new conscripts. We were awaiting the very first assembly and busy playing with the "educational" toys, some of which were very boring things I had grown out of years ago... I would have liked my red toy bubblecar with me, but that was at home, so I made do with some chunky painted bricks. These were not like the bricks from home, they were neat and well-painted. There was a nice smart red square one. It fitted my four year old hand excellently, in fact, it had a nice weight to it, so I lobbed it carefully across the classroom, watching it arc splendidly in the morning September sun, seeing how it's flat surfaces caught and reflected the light, and hearing it make a gentle "klunk" as it hit the skull of a boy twenty feet away. God I was pissed off when they didn't let me into assembly. Did they not see there was no malice in the act? My protests fell on deaf ears, and I think I have been determined to get into that hall ever since.

I fell in love with Janice at Infants School, and I loved her for many more than the 2 years we spent in the same playground. She was a tall willowy blonde vision of sweet perfection, and it was my great delight to make her the main object of my kiss-chasing. I worked out rapidly that her long legs would always carry her out of danger and away from me, so I cunningly recruited a gang of enthusiastic girls to head her off at the pass, whereupon I would attempt to kiss her whilst attempting to remove her knickers, like the adults did, except that my gang were also helpfully holding her arms and legs down to reduce physical movement and further enable my attentions. At playtime's end, we all brushed off the grass and dirt and trooped in for more education like the nice innocent little children we resembled.


cute aren't they? and both in dresses!
Nobody ever stopped us, an incredible fact these days when a 6 year old can be removed from school for kissing a cheek. But this is not the time to debate the merits of unsupervised play, child developmental practise, or changes in social mores since the 1960s. Suffice to say, I was not alone in these games, nobody forced us to play them, and everyone seemed perfectly happy with the high degree of excitement they caused. It was more than a game; it was love. You had to be careful about who you chased, and not be too keen, or else disappointment was inevitable. Boys and girls played different games apart from this one. But we all knew who liked who, and whether it was reciprocated. We were diffident, Janice and I, but we both knew that the chase was real.

After Janice moved away, and we all left to go to the Juniors, I would stand by her gate and look wistfully at the front door she used to emerge from. Years later, as an adult, I realised that I had missed her terribly, and that in fact, I really had loved her. It was my first love, a strange love, based on longing, ambush, underwear fumbling and the briefest of dry kisses; but she above all others was my chosen one. I can feel her as clearly as a C Major chord, I can picture her fine bones and hair, and her mid-blue East Coast eyes, and I can see her running like the wind and smiling as we chased her.

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3 Comments:

At 1:45 AM, Blogger transience quoth...

how i wish someone was obsessed with me enough to try and get my knickers off when i was young.

but i kept running away...from little boys who thought snot was romantic.

 
At 1:44 PM, Blogger retarius quoth...

i don't know much, but i *do* know that stuff you just wrote right there...that is not a blog post...that is pure fucking literature.

 
At 9:15 AM, Blogger RuKsaK quoth...

Superb -would link you a million times if I could

 

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