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My fuzzy wool tights and long plaid skirt

July 11, 2008

The open space is noisy and cacophonous with laughter, screeching and thumps of small feet on berber carpet. All the third grades are convening on the big rug in the middle to watch Ms. Macks slides of her trip to Ireland. It is just green blanket, after green patchwork quilt, after sheep after stoney wall. The hills are so green and vivid I think I can smell them in their earthy muddiness. Criss-cross applesauce on the rug and Patrick is next to me and he keeps looking at me sideways. The big deal is to scratch the back of the boy you love while you are all on the big rug. The hugest accomplishment is have your back scratched while rarely happens except to the other Nicole and Paige. The other Nicole has the nerve to also have the same birthday as I do and she is thin and pretty and doesn’t wear woolly tights and long plaid skirts to school that get tucked into your underwear sometimes. She packs her lunch and her money always gives her a cold coke wrapped up in tinfoil to keep it cold. I simultaneously loathe her every breath and worship the very fiber of her being. I want to be popular. I want to be liked, which I am not. I have friends that are boys and we play phonics games and then I sit alone on the playground at recess. I can’t hang upside down on the monkey bars because my underwear will show and I don’t have many pairs of pants.

After the slide show which is long and a little boring Patrick comes up to me and says he has something for me. I love Patrick because he is nice to me but no one else likes him either. He can wiggle his nose like a bunny and that is a cool trick. He is tiny, wearing a striped t-shirt and green cords and is very short. I am very tall for my age and we look kind of ridiculous of which I am aware even at 8 years old. He keeps his hand behind his back and then thrusts at me a ring. Its clear lucite with red, green and yellow straw flowers suspended in the center. Its actually cool and I can’t believe he is giving it to me. At once I am flattered and panicked now that the twerp of our class has declared me to be his love with a token of his affection.

Patty and I become friends suddenly and she is fringe popular so I enjoy a brief foray into friends. Its brief and passionate but disappears for good as I leave that school when my mom marries my stepfather and I begin the worst year of my life, in many ways.

One Comment leave one →
  1. July 13, 2008 10:19 pm

    Tucked into her underwear? That actually happened to me recently as an adult. Just partially. And someone rescued me immediately and became my instantaneous best friend.

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