“I’m a sex addict. And I’d gone without for so long, that I’m like a formerly obese person who just ate McDonald’s the first time in months. And I feel so greasy, so bad. But all I want is more, more.”-Balloon performer leaning on my kitchen counter after a long night
I’m combing the stationary aisle of a corner drugstore for a Valentine-worthy buy.
“No, Mom, I don’t need your help.”
She has to be there. I’m 8 years old.
Miss Piggy pops out — literally, since it’s a pop up card — alluring the imaginary Kermit with a confident command:
I march it up to the Cobble Hill counter and tell my mother to pay.
Meanwhile my best friend in a matching black crop top with neon polka dots (from a dance recital, now hidden under our coats) just buys a box of chocolate for her too-short-for-her crush.
Pshh. I’ve got this one in the bag.
And I do: I hash out a poem chronicling four years of chasing “Nicky” (a baby nickname for Nick) miles under arched jungle gyms and through cavernous wood mazes;
of beating out his pink Power Rangers suit with my fringe-filled flapper dress for the second page of the community paper for Halloween;
of ice skating side-by-side at Prospect Park in my leggings and long swinging hair (to Mariah Carey no less!);
of mourning his absence through 1st grade two rooms away.
It’s a bold but snappy confessional.
And he devours it, while my best friend’s crush just stands there staring at his sweets. Our 2nd grade classroom is wide, and segregated by genders. But cowlick-Nicky crosses to our side.
“What are you doing?” I squawk when he pulls up a chair to squeeze by me at a full round table. “There’s not any room.”
No, I didn’t want this! Did I? Well I don’t now!
So he walks away, and years later I run into him and his law school friends across from Washington Square Park.
“Nicky! Is that you?”
He’s strapping, poised, and a bit aloof. I invite him to my birthday party.
“Please come!” I text twice that week, offering drinks for his accompanying friends.
He doesn’t show, so I take to Facebook.
He has a girlfriend.