Posted on June 2, 2015June 2, 2015 by Patricia Ann McNair6.2.2015 Journal Prompt Photo by Henri Cartier-Bresson June 2, 2015: We dressed up. Like this:Like Loading... Related
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We laughed at her most days. Linzi was thick and slow and not like a girl should be. She was like her mom only without the years. She dressed like her mom and her hair done like her mom’s hair, too. And she wore a hat to school events and white gloves and sunglasses like she was a filmstar, only without the glamour.
Stevie said she probably kissed like a mom, too, and he made a pair of lips with the finger and thumb of one hand and he pretended to kiss Linzi, his tongue lapping at the air and his hand wet and dripping spit. It was not a pretty kiss and we all of us laughed and pretended to be sick, making the sound of a cat trying to clear a hairball from its throat.
That’s when Kev threw out a dare and he said he’d pay ten dollars to the guy that dared to kiss her, dared to kiss fat Linzi. We all us laughed and we pictured again Stevie’s tongue moving between the gap of finger and thumb, moving like a slug that’s had salt poured over it.
‘I’ll add ten to that ten,’ said Stevie, and it soon got to be a tasty number of dollars and I don’t know why, but I just upped and said I would do it.
Linzi, and I had to take it slow at first. Talking to her and letting her think I liked her. I said she looked like a model in her sunglasses and I said she was all lit up and special. She lowered those glasses and looked at me over the top of them and she was waiting for the punch-line to a joke and expecting laughter.
‘Straight up,’ I said.
She pushed her glasses back up the bridge of her nose and she shrugged and looked away. I could see Stevie and Kev and Mark, and they were watching my every move and laughing behind the cups of their hands. I reached down and I took Linzi’s hand in mine and it was warm and soft, and holding it was not what I’d expected it would be.
Slow as honey dripping, or sneaking up on a hare and not wanting to frighten it by any sudden movement. And Linzi feeling easier with each passing day and looking at me, and looking silly and stupid. And at last, a day that was a sixty-dollar day, sixty dollars and a slice of Stevie’s mum’s pumpkin pie and a set of 50 baseball cards, and I said I thought Linzi was really something. I was holding her hand and holding it easy, and I leaned in and kissed her.
Kissing Linzi wasn’t anything like Stevie kissing his hand. It was something else entirely. And I kissed her a second time, and that one was for free, but still it felt like a triumph. And the boys all saw and they cheered and hollered and waved my winnings in the air.
After, when I was counting the 50 baseball cards and the dollars, too, they asked me what it was like. They wanted me to say it was like kissing someone’s mom and it was sticky and tasted of lip-wax and violets. I told them what they wanted to hear and everybody patted me on the back as though I was a hero and they laughed and Kev dared me next time to touch Linzi’s tits.
I see her sometimes, and she looks all wrong for a girl, and her hair all cut like she’s fifty years old, and her dresses handed down to her from her mom. She’s wearing a hat most times and those stupid sunglasses. And the thing is, I feel something, and it ain’t anything I really understand, except that I replay that free kiss over and over in my head and I nurse an ache someplace inside and I say her name, tasting the shape of it in my mouth. And it don’t make any sense at all.