Sunday, October 2, 2011

Tales of Rue and Woe

Being fourteen?
You’re too old to just chill with your toys, and too young to do anything else. Just riding bikes with your buds isn’t an all day event anymore, unless you’re some kinda freaky exercise nut. Not old enough to drive, not old enough to just tell the folks you’re going “out” without having to explain in minute detail just where “out” is, and thinking up the lies to tell them about study projects and wholesome activities when all you really wanna do is go hang at the rink and watch the cute boys play in the skate park.
When my mom first took me to the park…I dunno. Maybe I was four? I found the prettiest boy in the park and told him he was my friend. He smiled at me, and to this day I compare every boy’s smile to that one. I find it hard not to compare everything in my life to that day. I can still feel the soft warmth his pouty lips and little white teeth instilled in me curling into my chest whenever I feel lost, or alone.
Of course, when I was four all I knew was I liked him. He was older, tall and strong. I thought he was the smartest, most beautiful person I’d ever met in my whole life and I asked his name. He smiled a crooked little smile, and let a jumble of letters fall from his lips.
When he told me his name I couldn’t make all the sounds come out right.  I know the very first part of the word was woe. My mother wrote his name down, I think because she couldn’t say it either, and to this day the letters look like an incomprehensible mishmash of consonants to me. I ended up just calling him Woe.
Woe was the very first boy I kissed.
At the end of a magical afternoon where he played the part of a friendly giant rescuing me from the clutches of an evil magician over and over again, he knelt in the grass to give me a hug goodbye. I recall clearly rocking up on my tippy-toes to reach his cheek, and pressing a kiss against the smooth surface with ice-cream sticky lips.
I asked him to wait for me to grow up before he married anybody.
“Woe, can you wait to gets married? ‘Cause if you wait, the you could marry me when I grow up. I don’t think nobody could never love you as much as me.”
Woe turned startled eyes on my mother, and then got up from the grass, patted my head one last time and walked out of my life. He’s been half a step ahead of me ever since. I guess not much has changed in my life in the past ten years. Boys are still running away after I kiss them.
Well, sometimes they beat the shit out of me instead, or stop talking to me. One tried to get me to bend over, but dude. He was scary. Plus, I heard Woe is moving back, and I’m waiting for Woe. 

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