Saturday, July 16, 2005

spit and polish

When I was about 10 yrs old, we went to Montana to visit some cousins. They lived near an Indian reservation, and we spent a great week or two playing with our cousins and kids from the rez, horseback riding, swimming, lighting firecrackers, etc.

One day when we were all hanging around outside, my cousin Roxanne asked for a drink of my Coke. Roxanne was 14, and I had a huge crush on her. When I handed her my Coke, she took a big swig, and -- imagine this -- she didn't even wipe off the top first. My brother and I had spent all our lives scrubbing imaginary diseases off of whatever we shared before taking a sip -- and here was Roxanne just putting the bottle right to her lips, totally oblivious to the fact that it probably still had my spit on it. I found it incredibly sexy and cool.

Now, thirty years later, we're all married with kids and only see one another every few years; I'm a head taller than Roxanne is now, and I have normal cousin-ly feelings toward her instead of being smitten.

But I still remember that shared Coke – and from that moment on I dropped the wiping-the-bottle-with-my-shirttail routine. For the rest of my childhood* whenever I shared a drink with someone I took it as it was, spit and all, because it reminded me of Roxanne and her devil-may-care ways.

*some say this is still in progress


At Sun Jul 17, 07:39:00 PM PDT, Blogger unca said...

Amazing what strikes us as remarkable when we're young. Made even more wonderful that she chose your spit to not wipe off. I remember just enough of being in my early teens and smitten several times (mostly unrequited smiting)and if that had happened to me, I too would have taken it (intended or not) as something incredibly romantic and would have pondered it for weeks. Great story.

At Mon Jul 18, 07:09:00 PM PDT, Blogger Always Smiling said...

Excellent story - thanks for sharing it! :-) (I too remember wiping the top of sodas tops!)

At Tue Jul 19, 09:06:00 AM PDT, Blogger Andi said...

I hope you've recounted this story with Roxanne. I'm sure she'd get a kick out of it. I remember being afraid of her, not smitten by her, but I still thought she was pretty cool.

At Tue Jul 19, 12:20:00 PM PDT, Blogger blogball said...

What a nice feel good story. It triggered similar memories and feeling I had at that age. Thanks for posting this Bryan.

Also: If my childhood were not still in progress I would be half dead.

At Tue Jul 19, 01:58:00 PM PDT, Blogger JB said...

This really is a great story and it reminds me of a neighbor kid who let me have a bite of his ice cream sandwich one hot July day. I took a bite out of the middle and he continued eating it as though I was completely “cootie-free.”

It felt like a kiss at the time. My first one.


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