It seems quite strange now that a free online course is teaching me how to write fiction to be back in this non-fictional world with fictional illustrations which allude to reality in the absence of photographic documentation. It is early days yet, but I am having such fun trying to come to grips with another mode of expression, and interacting with other writers, some (most?) of whom are so very much more talented than I.
Today, after having translated something about a substance which tastes and feels like meat but is not meat, I think it is high time I got straight into the nitty gritty of what a delightful little girl I was:
We often played with two boys who were friends of the family. We listened to Status Quo at full volume, looked at their father’s collection of girlie magazines, and saw who could hold their tongue on the positive charge of an alkaline battery for the longest time.
We also climbed trees and jumped out of them, played touch rugby, or soccer. Or boxed.
Gary was the youngest and the smallest. I was the oldest, tallest and biggest. But I was a girl, and he had to beat me. Each one of us was laced up into one of the old leather boxing gloves by our respective siblings. It was convenient that I was left-handed.
The venue was the deep end of an always-empty swimming pool in their garden. I did not want to hurt the boy, so I was throwing the occasional gentle punch. But he goaded me – no, begged me to hit him properly.
So, with my famous left hook, I knocked Gary out cold. He lay on the concrete like a squashed mosquito, and did not move.
Our mothers rushed out, alarmed at the enormous and sudden silence from the garden. My mother gave me a hiding right then and there for being a bull in a china shop again.
Seconds later, Gary regained consciousness. When his dad got home, he got a hiding for being such a pansy.
I do hope that you have not fainted yourself at the utter lack of political correctness in the above story. Times have changed; for one, there was no such thing as political correctness back then. I will have you know that our parents got a lot of mileage out of that little event. I can still hear them laughing now.
In retrospect , it seems that my violence was of a cross-cutting nature. We had not started saying things like “cross-cutting” yet either, because the Germans had not yet developed an obsessive fondness for saying “übergreifend” yet, and no one to my knowledge had ever felt the need to translate that particular adjective into anything resembling English yet either. If the term “cross-cutting” had originated in English, I would have been the one to have started it (i.e. it would have been my fault), as is clearly illustrated in the next sad tale:
One day when I was about twelve, I was practising my golf swing with a two-iron. The club head connected with the foreleg of our Labrador-cross, Candy, as I powered through the spot where the imaginary ball lay.
Blood spurted everywhere.
She had a bandage all the way up her leg for ages after that.
The family car smelled really foul for even longer. Until about six months later, when Candy’s leather collar was found underneath the back seat.
Tit for tat.
If that bloody episode had occurred in today’s world, no doubt someone would have exclaimed WTF! without or without the final F. Readers of dictionaries will know that this capital letter can stand for many things. Life is such a wondrous voyage of discovery; this is what makes it precious, as does enhancing one’s effective communication skills at an early age:
I loved the second-hand bookshop more than I loved chocolates and bubblegum and marbles, and spent all my pocket money there.
One day when I was about twelve, I found a book about growing up in Ireland. The dust jacket mentioned something about drunkenness and fornication. It sounded interesting.
I had to look that word up in the Chamber’s dictionary when I got home.
One night, my mother inquired whether I thought this book was suitable reading. I assured her poker-faced that I thought it was.
My innocence disappeared into the awkward air between us.
I have taken a quick peek ahead in my autobiography to see what will be happening next. I should warn you now that we will be entering my adolescence. I can talk about it now because I escaped it long ago, and I am led to believe that all the wounds therefrom have healed. If you cannot wait until my next opportunity to visit my own blog, you can always rush off to purchase the book from Amazon. To order your own copy, click on the picture below:
© 2015 Allison Wright