Peter was my first love. His mother was a model, and a woman so beautiful, she took my breath away every time I looked at her. I felt like I should pay money to someone, she was that striking. My mom was beautiful too, but in a natural way. Peter’s mom wore lots of makeup, and was the first woman I’d met who got her nails done. She also modeled with an apricot poodle named Bijou.
Okay, the poodle wasn’t really apricot-colored. She had him dyed. He went to the groomer I think once a week. Had his toes painted pink too. Peter hated that dog, and so did his sister. So did my little brother. So did everyone on the block. So did Peter’s father (we heard them arguing about it all the time).
Peter and I had a song, “The Yellow Rose of Texas.” We used to make up stories about how I’d be tied up by the bad guys in his tree house (before I was old enough to think up something really fun and erotic like now), and he’d come and rescue me. I didn’t mind being rescued. He didn’t mind being the hero. But my little brother and his little sister got tired of playing the bad guys. “Can’t we rescue each other this time?” my brother would ask.
The answer was always the same: No. He had the unhappy fortune to be born younger. It would never change.
Shortly before we moved away, Peter and I had the brilliant idea we should put my brother, Peter’s sister and Bijoux in Bijoux’s dog house, close the latch on the door, and roll it across the yard. And so we did.
That woman used to love making me look like Marilyn Monroe with her makeup. Even my little brother got his makeup done too. But after that afternoon with the dog house, she never looked at me the same way. I was a demon child to her. A bad influence on her son.
I don’t know what possessed me to do this. We even put our dog, Barney, in our clothes dryer and turned it on. He wasn’t hurt, but luckily my Mom got there in one or two revolutions. Barney wobbled his way out to the backyard, looking much the same as Bijoux did when Peter’s mother ran screeching and let him out of the doghouse. I noted how she was far more concerned for his safety, than Peter’s little sister. Poor Bijoux.
I guess I was going through a phase of wanting to do adventurous things. I’m not a bad person. I was experimenting. Just shaking things up. I never considered it would be bad for them.
Peter and I vowed to write, but never got addresses. We vowed to marry when we were old enough, and never met again. I wonder what he thinks of me, that tomboy who was always getting us into trouble.
What about you? Do you have a first crush, a special childhood friend, either real or imaginary?