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boob sweat

July 1, 2013

Summer is filled with thunder clouds, humidity, incessant requests for all matter of stuff to eat, use, wear, watch, listen to and use, chlorine, salty skin and lots and lots of togetherness. There is the usual amount of bickering and tattle-telling with a smidgen more body odor, sprouting boobs and lip hair. This is a summer that I distinctly remember as it was the last summer I spent with my father, the year my brother was born and my maternal grandfather died. 12 was a terrible year for me-except for the brother part-that was terrific but brought with it a lot of bad things that were neither my brother’s or my fault. I had gotten my period the year before and had some boobs already. I was shaving my legs and using peroxide on my hair in streaks to lighten it. Neither of which I had permission to do from my mother over the summer. It is also the year I wet my pants all the time because I just tried to stay out of the house and away from my stepmother because she hated me and made no bones about showing it. I didn’t know where to go to the bathroom around that town so I peed my pants. And then hid them along with ice cream wrappers and we got ants in the closet and I was called a dirty baby.

9 years old was a much better year although I was very chubby and was beginning to be acutely aware of how large I was in comparison to my mother and her family. I was not petite. I was not small. I was short but had big feet and hands and hips and shoulders. I loved school and was not aware enough to be really upset that I didn’t have many friends. I had my cats Sassafras and Duster and they missed me so much when I was gone it made leaving okay. I still loved being on the plane by myself and knew the routine enough to be pissed when they didn’t give me my boarding pass when I told them I needed it at a connection in Colorado and got bumped to first class and sat next to a pilot who showed me the sights from the air and gave me his big cookie so I could have two. I loved snorkeling and watching the fish and could get lost in the world going on despite my watching, bubbles and fins.

I think I am doing an okay job but I don’t have any standard to judge it. My mother is long dead and my father may as well be as he lives in Thailand (I guess , still?) and doesn’t speak to me or my brother. So I don’t have parents to tell me I am doing it all wrong and feel indignant about my choices. I don’t have any parent telling me I am doing  a great job and they are terrific kids. There is no one that knows my whole life, my history as I was making it. Remembers me wholly at age 9 and age 12. Sometimes it feels like this whole other life-a  life in the past -that I lived with parents and family and it has no connection to who I am now and whatever it is I think I am doing.

Summer is filled with lingering remembrances, wistful hoping for good weather, tanned legs, vacations, swimming, boob sweat, bug bites, lightning and thunder, tomatoes, cookouts, ocean waves, french fries, ice cream on a stick and kisses-sticky with the life we live.

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