Not Much Changes

It was fifth grade. I was tall already, much taller than my young male and female collegiate counterparts. In our class photo I was put in the middle, as always, part of the giant pyramid made out of squinting faces and the occasional pair of giant glasses. The girl next to me was named Courtney and as we waited under the 1950s awning she told me how her mom put flour in her hair that morning to take out the grease. Around the same time, we started rehearsing for graduation ceremonies: bad poetry, essays about “the future”, etc. It was also planned that were to subject our families to group square dancing, which would be practiced laboriously in the auditorium until the big day.
What came with this wonderful mockery of country bumpkin dancing was an opportunity to bond with a member of the opposite sex, one that would put me closer to a boy than I had ever been in my whole short lifetime. I held my breath as the teacher began to pair us up. “Please Greg. Please Greg. Please Greg…” Greg was my fifth grade crush; before him had been Joey and Brian. He was puny, tiny, bird boned. I think I was in love with how delicate he was. His brown hair was always crisply gelled and combed over from the side, left to right. His blue eyes were bluer than my own. They had more of a piercing brightness in comparison to my own, which have always had an unremarkable deep lake quality to them.
For whatever stroke of luck, I was paired with Greg. I am fairly certain it had something to do with our last names being in the beginning of the alphabet. We looked ridiculous. I towered above him. My head was much bigger than his, my arms much longer. I relished the rehearsals that came. I never said one word to him. There were no coy giggles or lingering glances. I was eleven and my eyes danced from the teacher to the floor, watching its brown and tan laminate surface moving slowly underfoot.


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