Twelve is an akward age. Especially when you are a skinny, clueless nerd with a big mouth. There was a group of kids playing on the sidewalk across the street. for some unknown reason I never played with those kids. Today there was a new girl with them. She didn't care a whit about neighborhood protocol, so when she saw me she yelled "Hey!"
I was smitten. Was it the poetic greeting? Was it the cute way her ears stuck out between her long, greasy tresses? Or was it just eye contact? I strolled cooly across the asphalt (musn't appear too eager) and tripped over the curb (I meant to do that.)
"Hey do you think you could 'take' me?" She was crazy about me! Or maybe just crazy?
"I don't fight girls." Was she serious?
"Now you do!" And then she had me in a headlock, tring to force me to the ground. She smelled of bubble gum and sweat and something else. I was a wimp, but not that much of a wimp. I wriggled out of her grasp, she reached for me and we gripped each others' hands. She had a bit of a smile and her eyes were blazing as we grappled pointlessly in the summer sun. Then a voice came from the screen door "Linda, quit that foolishness and get in here!" She gave me a parting twist of the wrist as she stuck out her tongue.
Who was that, and what was that all about? Must have been somebody's visiting cousin- never saw her again, and I had no idea. I've got a little bit of an idea now- sometimes the war between the sexes starts early- with random skirmishes, rather that later- when the heavy artillery is brought out.