Saturday, July 30, 2005

the forbidden fruit, part one| days of innocence

as i stand on this rooftop, my thoughts turn to you, as always.

the harsh concrete cement and rush hour traffic below beckon me with the flashing lights of euphoria. i remember the glittering sun through the trees of those summer days, years ago. the sounds of the traffic below slowly fade and are replaced with echoing laughter. we are in honduras, downtown in the capital.

we were only kids back then, our biggest problems being a lost barbie doll, or flat basketball. boys were icky, and girls were fun to poke. our innocence of the time saved us from all of the other mess in the world. i sit with you on the steps of our grandmother's house, breathing quickly, as we had just completed a rigorous game of tag. the busy street before us is exciting to simply watch; carts of ice cream coming by, kids like us smiling out of the windows of their cars at us. i play with one of the neighbor's dogs.

"you want to go again?" you say.

"no, im tired...lets get something to drink at the pupleria." my spanish was very good, considering how my younger mind was more easily adept to picking up the language.

as we walk down the hot sidewalk, i am fascinated by my surroundings. very urban and busy, i make eye contact with every stranger i pass. my mother always scolded me for doing this, worried that i would get into trouble; but i wanted to remember every single detail of this place. every smell of meat cooking, the taste of fresh mangos, the feeling of the warm breeze ruffling my hair.

we arrive at the corner store and buy two cokes for 5 lempiras. they still sell them in the classic glass bottles. it's funny how every time i see those now, i think back to you taking my bottle and cleaning the top before i naively drank from it.

"you always clean the top before you drink it," you mumble shyly.

we walk down the street back to the house. the houses are side by side, and everybody always keeps their doors open. we decline a few invitations to have "sandra's daughter and tavo's son" in for a drink and some sweet bread, and go to
sit on the steps with our other cousins once more.

emerson and jose go back inside at the calls of my aunt and mother. you and i are left alone outside.

"have you ever kissed a boy before?" you ask me quietly, eyes fixated on an ant on the ground.

"no...have you?" i say, taking a long sip from my coke. the carbonation stings my eyes, and they water.

"not a boy, but i kissed this girl once at my school." you declare proudly.

"did you force her or make a bet?" i poke. i nervously drink more coke. why am i nervous?

"no, she asked me to! so i did it...want me to show you?" suddenly we are both fixated on the same ant crawling in the sidewalk cracks.

"...i guess so."

awkwardly we turn to face each other. the ant has flipped itself over now, its frantic legs moving quickly in the air above it. you put your hands on my shoulders and i do the same to you.

slowly leaning in, you quickly peck my sugary lips. i taste the coke on yours when you pull away, and wonder if you can taste mine. we got the same flavor, but yours tastes better.

"that wasn't so bad...not as gross as i thought it would be," i say. other ants have started to come and surround the struggling ant, some have climbed on top of it.

"yeah, i guess it was okay." you take my hand and lead me inside. "lets go see if there's any food left!"


that was nice, but not amazing like in the movies. oh well.

the ant is now being torn apart. one of its' appendages lies a few millimeters away from the rest of its struggling body. the other ants slowly move it toward the main sidewalk crack.

who would have known that the simple sweet sugary kiss of that day would have turned into something much more. something much more dangerous, much more forbidden.

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