Writing this makes me realize how deep set certain habits are.
  1. We kissed on my front porch, top step. Our moms saw and made us do it again for a picture.
  2. We were both too excited to see each other so we ran into each other's arms in a passionate embrace. You were too excited, couldn't contain your emotion. You bite my shoulder and wouldn't let go as I shriek.
    I wish you still felt even slightly this way about me. Sometimes I wonder if you do.
  3. I was "dating" you and your best friend (promiscuous preschooler). Went to your house with my mom. You tried to show me your whole beanie baby collection. I feigned interest. Then made my mom read to me on your bed. You preceded to go into closest, put on a new superhero/villain costume, and come out yelling TA DA! over and over. I never looked up.
    Date ended with us both hiding under front hall table though. You must have done something right.
  4. You were in your twenties and my distant cousin staying with us for a few days. You were so so tall and had minor stubble. Midwestern charm. First time in LA, shocked by our lifestyle. I wasn't even up to your knee. But I was four and infatuated. You picked me up, threw me, and caught me. And I knew.
    Not long after you died of leukemia. This is essentially all I know about you. But I still love you and I treasure this secret memory.
  5. My mom picked you up in the alley where your beach bungalow was tucked away. I was in booster seat. You sat next to me, older and taller. I leaned my head on your shoulder, awkward angle but perfect fit. I thought, "This is true love." We had a picnic in the canyon park. I taught you you could eat strawberries without sugar.
    Drive both ways my mom would sneak peeks in the rearview mirror. My smile hurt. Whenever I would touch you (head on shoulder, hand on arm) I would ask if it was okay. You said yes, stating your sister would fall asleep on you. In my mind, family=love, fueling my crush. The strawberry lesson taught me that we could be different but still the perfect match. Also, even though I put you on such a pedestal, I knew more about some things.
  6. You were younger and so small. Beach days with you and all your older sisters. It got around you liked me. I asked her why--"it's probably because you have such large lips." I hadn't realized that my lips were abnormal and was shaken. We were in the Wild Oats parking lot. Inside I nearly choked to death on watermelon and the butcher saved my life.
    She and I were then allowed to watch TV when we got home. My nerves were vicious, from the choking, from the crush, and from the realization of how large my lips are. My mom later brought the butcher his favorite wine.
  7. You chased him as he yelled out that you loved me. I was the only person you let hold your glass mini porcupine. You would let me wear your watch for hours. I could keep things of yours in my desk for safekeeping. I would catch you staring at me.
    This was one of the grade's first defining crushes and began the separation of genders.
  8. I was the "IT GIRL" of Los Angeles' elementary school westside scene. People knew who I was. I was notorious. Top of my game and in demand. We had play dates where you and your friends greatly outnumbered me and mine. Trampolines swimming pools boogie boards and Adult Swim all way over my head. Parents loved me. So did little sisters.
    I would work the family angle, using it to my advantage.
  9. Using the school roster, I would three-way call with a friend, ask your mom for you, and then giggingly interrogate you. "Rate ____'s hotness on scale of 1-10. " "Who's hotter?" This was when "hot lists" were a thing. We didn't even know what "hot" meant. But we knew it wasn't what we were meant to be asking.
  10. I was wearing a Stones shirt and pigtails. Ice skating in Culver City, like most Fridays. You took a fall, split your lip. Later you cornered me with him, and asked me out. I said no, even though you were bleeding. I said no because I wanted him to ask. Little did I know, if I had said yes to you, he would have asked. (Still don't get this logic.)
    Remember distinctly staring at myself in the rink's broken bathroom mirror after just breathing. So shaken, but never said a word. Sat on the couch watching Friends with mom for days thinking life would never be the same and I would never feel myself again. I felt so so bad. I thought everyone in the world was looking at me differently.
  11. Elementary school graduation party. If you made the shot at the hoop on the tennis court, you'd ask me to dance. If you made it again, you'd kiss me. I ran and hid in one of the many many bathrooms.