Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Playground Love

When I was five years old it was Tiffany.

She was the red-headed kindergarten bombshell in those maroon
corduroy overalls, eggshell blouse with ruffles, and pink kangaroos.
We shared a bus route, dated for a week ... and then she mysteriously
disappeared over Christmas Break.
She rubbed my back once, after something happened on the bus. I'm certain I've
repressed it - everything except the consoling period afterwards.

It was my first lesson: Love is fleeting, and ephemeral.

In second grade it was best friends Courtney and Melissa. They
tore a dolalr in half and each gave me a piece. The bliss lasted
two whole days, and I learned love is a many splendor-ed
thing. An excellent lesson.

Wasn't until grade three I found rejection. I also learned not
to cry on the playground during recess.

I discovered the little white lie in sixth grade, trading I
Love Yous with Christina for a whopping two weeks.
We also traded tongues in the hallway for shock and awe. I
was, after all, a year younger.

And on go the layers
upon layers upon onion skin layers of deceits, machinations,
frightening truths, and enormous wherewithal. And we wonder why this
shit is so hard, though we've rewritten the code
so many times like we're the goddamn IRS.
It used to be so simple to say I Love You when you
didn't know any better.

I didn't say it again until fourteen and stole my friend's
girlfriend. She lived thirty miles away in a different
school system. I found that Love is hard work,
especially when you have to bike thirty miles just for a
blowjob with braces. Yes also to Love Hurts.
And to the boomerang effect, for we dated again at
seventeen, and twenty, and at twenty-three ...

The layers fall sweet and unsurprised, in no
discernable order. I experienced the younger woman when I lost
my virginity. Somewhere along the way I learned to tell the
truth (Eighteen, with Allison, when I had to tell her the condom
fell off). My ex-wife taught me that taking the next logical
step makes absolutely no sense when your heart's just not in it.

When you read trashy romance novels, everyone writes about the
feeling word pang, like a pang in the chest. At least I don't
have to wonder what they're trying to convey. I have a
pretty good notion.

But in the here and now, I wonder if I'm just naive, like
I'm savagely chasing across failed attempt after chaotic dissent
for the sensation I felt when Tiffany touched her hand to my
five-year-old back, and moved it around a little.
Creative Commons License
Playground Love by Michael W. Hyde is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 3.0 United States License.

No comments: