50 The Boys go Nuts
Leaving all that you know behind is traumatic and in a desperate attempt to impress new friends, a kid will pretty much try anything. This is what happened to me, the day that I used a new language, in a new school, to make new friends, while sitting under a table. The words I spoke got me in big trouble. Sheer embarrassment with terrible consequences.
Arm of Love.
The girls look at me, eyes wide, mouths caught in half smile. But they didn’t seem to be catching on, so I repeat my the list, hushed and hesitant. And when their mouths stumble around the unfamiliar, I correct and encourage their attempts.
Oh no, a teacher.
What are you girls doing under there? From our hiding place we see only stockinged legs and a pair of sensible shoes.
I must admit, this could look suspicious and probably sounds it too. Me, the new girl, is holding court under a table in the back of a library. It’s my first day at a new school and I’m playing my biggest card to the weakest link. I need to make friends fast and so I’ve rounded up the outliers and my plan is to become their Queen.
She’s teaching us another language, Miss.
Yeah, she is. That's a snide girl who I will learn not to trust and later fight in a bathroom.
Happy with there being a degree of implied intelligence as to the gang under the table, Miss Shoes walk away, leaving me to continue with my party trick.
There had to be some bonus of having big cousins who brought their friends home from boarding school. They were glamorous and had boobs and spent hours, lying on the roof, sunbathing naked in the blistering heat of harvest, ordering me to flick iced water onto them and in return they’d pay me with words. Words that I had no chance of ever hearing anywhere else; words that I would never read. But words with a certain currency and I realized their value and I painstakingly committed the names for a penis to memory. Not that I’d ever seen one. On a man. I’d seen one on a horse and watched him with a mare and so I could put two and two together and make five.
Back to my audience, under the table.
The group has grown by three and we’re a crushed huddle of nine year old girl faces, under a table.
Member of Cockshire.
And my favourite – Pink-Skinned Fun Bus.
Three boy faces. Upside down, hang over the edge of the table like inverted, demented, grade six apes. And that’s it, my rein, my dream of playground supremacy is over before it has even begun.
Pink-skinned fun bus.
PINK FUN BUS.
You girls wanna see a pink fun bus!
It was all downhill from here.
The girls scream. The boys go nuts. The teacher loses the plot and the three boys and I are dragged to the Principal’s office where a thin man, with thin hair, seems to enjoy with sweaty indignation, my new language.
He makes me list it all again. Slowly. And asks me where it came from. Did an Uncle or a special friend or a brother or hesitating now, perhaps it was my Father who helped me create these ‘special’ words. The way he says special makes the hairs on my arms prickle. All my life I will hate the power of this word in which, inherently, nothing will ever be special, ever again.
He refuses to believe my innocent take of payment in words for flicking of water. And when my mother arrives, flushed and forever a School Captain, she is told, this may not be the right school for me. This may not be the right fit. I am beyond embarrassed, I am mortified and I take to my bed and I do not get up for six months.