I was in love with Lisa in the third grade.
She chased me.
I ran away.
(But I never really wanted to run away, I just wanted the feeling running away provided. I would have let her catch me, but I thought I might explode. Too electric.)
Mrs. Rothhouse gave us an assignment to research one of the fifty Presidents of the United States.
I had George Washington.
I dressed the part:
Borrowing my uncle’s clothing
Cotton for beard
Ton of research.
I had about ten note cards filled with facts, quotes, and anecdotes
Directly copied from Funk & Wagnalls Encyclopedia.
I sweated my way up to the front of the class;
I was loud, (scared), and I made eye contact with the class;
I sat down.
Lisa was called. She had selected the same President.
Her costume was limp, and non-existent,
Her hair was still hay-yellow;
She wore shorts,
Sneakers with velcro.
There was some kind of jacket that looked like her fathers
Old double breasted suit:
She had one note card
Stood in front of the class
Not in character.
Just beautiful smiley-Lisa and said
I was the first President of The United States of America. I have never told a lie. When I was younger I cut down my father’s cherry tree.
And sat back down.
I remember thinking that was very fast;
I remember seeing her sit down into her chair
Clearly embarrassed at having to stand up and “perform,”
Though distinctly not embarrassed by her lack of research.
I remember feeling embarrassed for her.
The next time she chased me on the playground
Following me like sweat;
Sweet, energetic smiley-Lisa;
I let her catch me;
Then spit in her face.