Sixth grade still brought with it the promise of recess,
but the Big Toy had become more of a lookout post.
I told The Girl, significant in my memory for sharing
my birthday, that she needed to shave her legs,
and then proceeded to forget I had done so.
A week or so later I was on the playground again,
and I saw the huddle, The Girl and two friends
and they were looking at me, and I was at the age
of attention. The huddle broke and one of the friends
approached me and my memory says I smiled
and the friend said something like “I think
what you said to [The Girl] the other day
was incredibly rude, and you should be ashamed
of yourself” and she walked off before I could process it.
And I still haven’t processed it.
I think that was the first time
I saw the difference between
intention and interpretation.