I've never told the story of the first girl I married. We were 5-6 years old.
Sharon lived in the blue trailer across the street from me. She had a younger brother named, Barry. Her mother had such a thick Scottish brogue I was afraid to talk to her. Her father, I didn't even know she had until he was at her birthday. Weird. Who didn't have their dad live with them?
The trailer park we lived in, the Viscount Estates, had faux gated entrance. We were allowed to play anywhere, so long as we did not leave. Back then, you didn't have adults supervising anything. They just kicked us out. If we got too much sun, there was the hell of Solarcaine.
We spent the summer playing in the ditch behind her lot or sitting on the transformer box. When we stayed in, we watched The Gong Show. All summer, we hid in the long grass in the field, and under the picnic tables. I was with her under a picnic table when I lifted my hand and there was a bee impaled on my left middle finger, flailing to escape. I had been stung many times before, but this time I freaked out. My grandmother put my hand in water and corn starch to get the stinger out. Alas, she didn't and I needed to get it removed by a doctor with what looked like my mom's seam ripper. It hurt, and left a white dot on my left hand well into adulthood. It has faded, now.
One Easter, between Mass and visiting my grandparents, I begged to go out. My mother was annoyed, as I was all nicely dressed (probably polyester slacks) and made me promise to not get dirty. Sharon was in white. We hung out in the trees next to the field. There was a huge family of kids we weren't supposed to play with. The Pickles? The Pickels? Both names are in Essex. Whatever, there were a million of them, and Trouble. So, of course we hung around them. Because we were dressed nice, the oldest pretended to marry us. We stood in the trees, while Gordy Pickle did the wedding rites.
One day I discovered one of the plating chemicals in my sister's microscope kit could immediately dissolve Styrofoam -- the very Styrofoam holding her microscope kit in place. Next thing you know, there's this gaping hole. My sister was furious. My grandmother and aunt? Oh the yelling. So I did the only thing a 6 year kid would do -- I blamed Sharon. I am not proud, dear friends. Then when the truth came out, I got yelled at for lying. We had that microscope for years, and seeing that friggin' hole just made me feel guilty guilty guilty.
I honestly don't recall if we played after then. Summer probably finished and she didn't go to Holy Name.
What I *DO* remember is S vanished and reappeared with two black eyes. I remember her riding by and not wanting to talk to me. I was probably just as shy of her as she was of me. Word on the street was she fell while trying to ride her bike with no-hands. My sister said her father did it. That made no sense to me. Did he punish her for riding with no-hands?
People regularly came and left the trailer park. She might have been there a year, or just a few months. They moved away and I never saw or heard of S again.
Was there a point to this story? A lesson? Who the fuck am I, Caillou?
My first wife was a redhead. We were 6.
July 7th, 2015