Fourth Grade

by authorameai

In fifth grade I knew a girl whose mother analyzes handwriting. We would play board games, and she would nickname me “Sticky Fingers” because I would go out of turn. I knew another girl who was in my first grade class who I never paid much attention to until she returned this year, and I found out that she was very good at ballet. Everyone else I knew I knew from Girl Scouts. I was friends with Catheryn Muller. Her mom worked in an insane asylum. There were three older girls from Girl Scouts, one whose brother was in my class and another who lived in the same neighborhood. The president of the Girl Scout troop later went to my high school. I met the first female twins in my life in Girl Scouts. The first male twins I met in my first grade class. Then there was an Asian girl in School Age Child Care (SACC) who I looked up to as the older figure in elementary school.

Composure and Professional Pictures (See Toddler Age)

Ever since age nine I have always been seen as older. At the age of nine I went to Olan Mills and had one of the best pictures taken of me. Mom put that picture on her desk at Our Lady High School and told me when I was older that some of her students would ask if they could date me because I looked so much older than I was. When I got a Glamour Shot around age eleven, people took me for eighteen. When I was twenty-one years old, my boyfriend’s friends thought I was thirty, but I suppose they might have been the type who would call Cindy Crawford fat.

France

We went to Paris, France this year. We also visited Normandy and the Loire Valley. I had always wanted wear a midriff so my mom allowed me to wear a midriff for the first time in France. I saw a black prostitute there, but did not realize she was a prostitute until Mom told me. I got a charcoal drawing of me made that my parents thought looked very good, but I thought it looked nothing like me.

I did not like the food and embarrassed Mom because I was complaining about the food because the French are known for their excellent cuisine. I tried caviar since I had heard about it a lot with rich people, but when I found out that it was fish eggs I stopped eating it. Being pleased with one, we tried another, but it didn’t turn out very good so we threw it away. Dad was so pleased that he was able to say one of the few phrases he knew in French and have it actually mean something: “Je vais chez l’epicier.”

Dad was pickpocketed on the metro.  He felt his back pocket and noticed that nothing was there.  At the same time my mom reached a hand in her purse and oddly enough found her hand brushed up against another hand that was not her own.  The woman was hidden behind a large map.  My mom slapped her hand and said something in French.  The pickpocket was surprised to find a foreigner who could speak French so well.  Dad announced above the crowd that he would call the police at the next stop.  A mysterious hand came out of the crowd saying “I found your wallet.”  Later in the day we found out that had also forgotten a camera in a taxi.  The taxi driver took advantage of us and tried to see how much money he could squeeze out of us, but fortunately, the concierge helped us to keep the price down.

Continuing to Read

In fourth grade, I continued being the avid reader I was in third grade. I attribute some of my literary interest to Pizza Hut’s Book It! Program, which started in 1984. I read C.S. Lewis’s Chronicles of Narnia, E.B.White’s Charlotte’s Web, Madeleine L’Engle’s A Wrinkle in Time, R. L. Stine horror novels, and Christopher Pike horror novels. I was also a fan of books in which you decide the fate of the character, an existential idea.

The End of One Friendship, The Beginning of Another

The first time I met Faye I was playing follow the leader, and I asked her to join. Ever since, we found most everything about each other to be the same and grew closer together as if we were the same being. I remember how Faye and I would talk for days about all we had in common. For example, in elementary school we even had the same pair of red shorts, our handwriting was exactly alike, and both of us liked boys with dark features. I still think that I would have been her were I free. We made up terms and began the habit of trading notes. We would encourage each other’s creative side until it reached a level of perversity. By acquiring a new “best friend,” I lost the one I had before. When I met Faye I started calling Anna Kite Faye by accident.

The Weirdo Club

With a few others, such as Paula Rakowski, Faye Viola and I created the Weirdo Club in which one gained points for being called “weird” by anyone outside of the club. The mascot was a kiwi bird and the symbols of a radioactive symbol and black widow spider (we loved to draw spiders for some reason). Our theme song was similar in ridiculousness to “I am the Walrus” by the Beatles and had allusions to cheese. For some reason, cheese was very funny and still is. Just thinking about cheese makes one burst out in laughter.

Operations

As a child, I loved projects. I think I have always been a project person. But I disliked group projects because I usually ended up doing all the work. Writing a book is a huge and solitary project and many of the traits that are in me are in me so that I can write this book. Faye and I had many sleepovers in which we had projects or “operations.” We once made riddles scattered throughout my house to lead my parents to a magazine called Everlasting Craziness in which I remember making fun of Tonya Harding and Nancy Kerrigan, ice skaters, as well as Lorraina Bobbitt (who now owns a nail salon in Northern Virginia). Another time we devised up a haunted house idea with fake blood and eyeballs. Other things that we made: a mini-ballet, breakfast in bed (for the parents), and a virtual reality computer game.

The Beatles

Paula’s father and Faye’s father introduced us to the Beatles. Faye Viola’s favorite Beatle was George Harrison and mine was Richard Starkey (a.k.a. Ringo Starr). We would sing songs written by the Beatles during recess and I later continued my interest in them until it became an obsession.

Giving a Name to My Archetype (See First Grade)

Batman Returns

I also continued to have the Aphrodite/Venus archetype I had in first grade. In fourth grade, I saw Batman Returns and was then able to give a name to my archetype. My friend Faye had the same archetype: Catwoman. After watching the movie, I wanted to change anything in my living space from wholesome to angry and to go from being a wholesome idiot to being a damn sexy and powerful kitten. Perhaps this desire is what became the “gateway drug” to the Goth lifestyle. Faye, a girl who died early in high school, and I decided to remake Batman Returns during recess. We called it Felicia Returns.

Advertisements