Posted on May 20, 2009


“Do you want to come over to my house?” I asked. “I have a lot of cool toys in my basement and my dad set up a tent downstairs. It’s filled with pillows and paper and crayons. We can make comics.”
“Sure,” she said.

My parents weren’t home and my grandmother was sleeping, so we made our way down to the basement unnoticed. I took out a Popsicle and a chocolate chip ice cream sandwich from the freezer. Heather took the Popsicle and she didn’t break it in two, which I found strange. She ate it pretty quickly and watched me as I finished my sandwich. When she was done, I showed her the tent.

The tent was my favorite place in the entire house because it was like a secret room just for me. It was silver and shaped like a rocket ship. It was filled with yarn-knit pillows on all sides so I could sleep in it when the weather was warm and my father had even hung a small battery operated lamp from a fabric hook on the roof. That day, the tent was filled with crude drawings of Batman that I had worked on the night before, a plate of dried toast crust and some choose-your-own adventure books. We sat ourselves in the middle and I explained some of my drawings to Heather. She wasn’t interested in this and I soon gave up.

We took to simply staring at one another, not knowing what to do until a moment came when she decided to stick out her tongue at me and make a funny face, popping her eyes out a bit. This was an absolutely ridiculous sight. Her tongue was purple from the Popsicle and I looked at it closely, noticing for the first time in my life the small city of bumps I would later discover were papillae. I did not know what to make of this expression in my mind and so I let my body take control of any rationality within the tent.

I suddenly tipped myself forward and wrapped my lips around Heather’s tongue. She did not recoil at all and her tongue was still a bit cold from the Popsicle. For a long moment we were connected, her tongue in stasis between my top and bottom lip, unmoving, cold and wet-fleshed; foreign tasting and familiar. I rejoiced in the flavor of the kiss and I rejoiced in the small bursts of warm air that fell from her nostrils to mix with my own exhalations. We were breathing together and I was holding her in place. I instinctively let my own tongue move forward within the cave of my mouth and upon touching it to her tongue I felt the kind of euphoria a baby river must feel when first meeting the ocean. We hung there, in the tiny space-ship tent for long minutes. It was not the kind of kiss that adults have, the kind that is based on social conventions and romantic dramas. It was the kind of kiss only two pure and innocent souls could have, a kiss unburdened by the tattoos of North American romance.

After the kiss, Heather smiled at me. She told me that she never wanted to go home, she told me that her new father would be there, and that he wasn’t like a real father should be.

Somehow the weeks drifted by, and every day my now beloved Heather would come over to play “Popsicles”, as we called it. Each kiss was a different kind of special. We didn’t experiment, we didn’t know how, we simply just did the same routine of silent communion in my toy filled basement. I began to see less and less of my friends and soon found myself elected into the “poor kids” club. This did not bother me because in those days nothing could really bother me. I was a child armored in both the unending love of his parents and the mysterious love of the girl on the slide. It was invincibility, man’s innermost desire!

Posted in: May 2009