Ten years ago today: that was the first a boy made me cry.

Granted, a half-truth; I had an big brother after all, and big brothers are mean. But this is the first time a boy boy (whom I liked liked) caused me to shudder, shiver and get pretty dumb. Jesus. Not that I knew him particularly well; he sang cowboy songs with his brothers at the fair, for money. His dad and my dad were buddies from long ago. And, in true prepubescent form, my cousin and friend made sure my silly feelings were known to the boy. I'm still embarassed; I'm still so angry.

I fell on the grass, laughing, and did my best to keep my legs together underneath my skirt (straight, short denim; yes, and acid washed too). Days later getting in line behind him at a snow-cone stand; my face, at that point, was so wet and swollen with jealousy, and he saw it, and he gloated. Seriously. Said, Boy, this sure is good, repeatedly, loudly, and this is a ridiculous memory, the sort of thing you trump when you start your first secret diary, don't allow your self to forget though frankly, really, it just wasn't that big a deal . But Jesus, though, really it's a memory, and it was spectacular and there were tears, and this is one of the things that made me who I am. That 10-year old person I was is not dead, not yet, though I vaguely remember her, and frankly, she comes back to humiliate me. I wish I would have been stronger then but I realizing my legendary self-love is now as conditional as ever - I have hair I actually like and play with, and I'm paying handsomely to get some nicer teeth, and I've grown breasts, and Venusian hips. I love my body, and never said I didn't. But I can still be broken, so easily; maybe, right now, I am broken, and this has been a bad summer for that, for solitude in too many doses, not unlike the summer of '90; go figure; it's cyclic.

I do believe my fear of myself, my fear of other humans might have begun that day, though it's a poor thing to commemorate. But baby, maybe it's time to drag out my diaries again and pay a little more attention to my younger self and my teddy bear. Maybe it's something I'm owed, a little exploration and then an explanation of my tendency to fall for spectacular dolts; all my nightmarish fantasies, after all, involve this kind of public humilation, and maybe then it isn't a craving but a really stupid habit,, one I can kick.