Five-Year-Old Siren Song

I attended a Chaffee County Writers Exchange workshop today about point of view and took a trip down memory lane with two of the exercises. The first was to write about a childhood memory from a 1st person perspective present tense, like we were experiencing the event for the first time and delivering a blow-by-blow account. We had only 5 minutes to write, so it’s brief. Here’s what I wrote. Don’t judge me.

*  *  *  *  *

There he is. He’s wicked cute. He’s the cutest boy I’ve ever seen. I love his blond hair and his tan. Wish I could get a tan. It looks real good. I bet he’s nice. Cool bike too. I wonder if he knows who I am since I live down here and he lives way over there. I like him a lot. I wanna kiss him. I feel all tingly. Mom would kill me. But I’m gonna do it. There he goes again. I’m gonna do it.

“Hey,” I yell at him. He looks over at me. Probably thinks I’m just a kid. He’s probably 10, maybe even more.

“Hey, come here. I have a secret.”

Five-year-old bombshell!
Five-year-old bombshell!

Oh boy…he’s riding over here. I can’t believe I’m gonna do this. Wish he’d get off his bikes.

“Come here. Come closer.” I wave him toward my lips, ‘cuz I have a secret. He’s leaning over. It’s now or never.

“Smack!” I kiss him right on the forehead and run away. My heart’s beating real fast and my tummy feels all weird.

“EEwwww! Cooties!” he’s yelling and riding away real fast. That hurts my feelings a little bit. But I think he likes me.

I’m gonna marry him someday.

*  *  *  *  *

Our next exercise was to write about that same incident (we had about 7 minutes for this) from a 1st person past tense perspective at our current age. Here’s what happened:

I was as little hussy by the time I was five, most likely because I watched and envied my three older sisters with their constant stream of hunky boyfriends.

I honestly believed no boy would ever love me. Why would they? I was a chubby little freckle-face pale thing with curls that erupted from my head at all angles and bangs that my mother always cut too short.

When I saw Andy on his bike that day, I have no idea how I mustered the courage to do what I did. I had little-girl-lusted after him all summer. He was the new boy, their family having moved into a house on an adjoining street earlier in the summer, and he was the perfect specimen of a 10-year-old boy. He was confident and cute. I knew I’d never have a chance with him.

Somehow in my 5-year-old brain, I knew I’d have to trick him. When I got his attention and called him over, I don’t think I really had a plan, but evidently I had an innate ability to improvise.

I’m pretty sure I closed my eyes when I went in for the kiss, which is probably why my lips landed on a cool forehead rather than on their intended target, but hey, I was only five.

I wonder where my mother was while I was kissing my first boy.

*  *  *  *  *

So there you have it. My first act of passion. I wonder where Andy is now?



The Kiss

Auguste Rodin’s The Kiss*

Everyone remembers their first, right? Mine was David. I didn’t know it at the time, but he was the very model used by Michelangelo for that famous piece, so to speak, that stands contemplatively gazing down the halls of the Loeuvre. He was such a stud muffin that I felt compelled to taste his lips, or any other part of him that might happen my way. And so I set about to hasten the inevitable. As he rode his bike past my house one day, muscles pumping, body glistening in the sweltering August sun, I called him over. He came, hesitantly, and stopped ever so close to me. I could hear his heart beating as he assessed me quizzically. I told him I needed to share a secret, and that he would have to come closer. As his face came closer to mine, I closed my eyes and did it—I planted a big juicy one smack-dab in the middle of his forehead, which sent him careening away on his bike yelling, “Cooties! Cooties! EEEEW, I got cooties!”

So O.K., he wasn’t really the model, I didn’t actually notice the presence of any muscles on his 7 year old body, and I’m quite convinced now that it was my heart beating feverishly in my 4 year old breast; but hey—I knew what I wanted, and I went for it. Had I kept my eyes open, I may have tasted those fresh lips; but clearly, David was not ready for the lusty passion that drove me to my fateful deception that day. Yet despite his clamor, I know that I saw a furtive smile cross his face as he looked back at me standing on the sidewalk (I wasn’t allowed into the street or I may have chased him down) with a smug grin on my red, freckled face. Yes, I had a secret all right—A kiss is a wondrous thing, and ahhh, the spoils of victory are sweet!

Fortunately, subsequent smooching would yield far more favorable reactions from suitors.