Tuesday, April 19, 2011


Note:This week's prompt was to write about something red.

Permanent teeth are more solid than baby teeth, at least from a kid's perspective. Especially those two front teeth, which seem way larger than the other teeth in your mouth, at least until the rest of your body catches up. I had those two permanent teeth, I remember, when I was in third grade.

I also had a boyfriend named Eric. Well, as much of a boyfriend as one can have when you are eight. Mostly, it was all about chasing each other and holding hands. In third grade, boyfriends were given very responsible social roles, at least at the school I attended.

Boyfriends were responsible for pushing you when you were on the swings. They were one side of the teeter-totter(what we called see-saws back before electricity). Boyfriends were the ones who brought you candy and sat next to you at lunch and protected you from any bullies from the upper grade. In return, girlfriends helped boyfriends with their school work. Quid pro quo, Clarice.

Eric(last name withheld because I can't remember it) had a friend named Danny, I think. Danny had a crush on either Eric or me--crushes are sort of ambiguous that way. But he hung around. He was a nice kid, but a little pushy. We were all in the same third grade class and had recess at the same time.

Recess is just about the very best thing about school in the third grade. We were forced to walk to the playground in an orderly line, which was difficult. We all wanted to run so badly. We could see the playground all the way over there on the other side of the street, beckoning to us as we sat in our classroom learning our multiplication tables.

The shiny cardinal slide that was taller than our teacher. The bright red and yellow merry-go-round. The crimson two-seater teeter-totters(two kids could sit on either side). The brilliantly scarlet monkey bars. (The military must have gotten a discount on vermilion paint that year.)

On this particularly fine day, Eric wanted to go on the teeter-totter, so that is where we went first. We found two other people to join us on the two-seaters. Danny ended up behind me, and another boy was behind Eric. Up and down we all went, from the blue of the sky to the brown of the earth. Up and down, up and down, up and down...

Until that @#$&--er, Danny, slid off the teeter-totter. The two of us were at the bottom, and when he "accidentally on purpose" slid off into the dirt, the weight of Eric and his friend catapaulted me into the air. If I hadn't been hanging on to the handles I would have careened into the slide. I was hanging on for dear life, so when gravity asserted its hold over me, I fell. I fell face first onto the broad crimson board of the see-saw. SMACK!

I saw stars in a haze of magenta. It took me only a couple of seconds for me to sit up, and by then the Cavalry had shown up in the form of two actual adults. Who stood around a bit helplessly while I started bawling. I was actually hurt, but I figured that I would throw in a little extra drama to liven up the playground. I was a bit disoriented and it's likely that I had a mild concussion, but once I got off the teeter-totter, I thought that I was okay. Except for the lurid pain in my mouth. And the pain in my forehead. And the pain in my chest from hitting the board.

That's when I noticed that everyone was staring at me with genuine concern instead of that fake interest stuff. I looked down. Down the front of my favorite white tee shirt were shades of cherry, crimson, and cerise. Wounds around the mouth tend to bleed more, so I was naturally covered in hues of scarlet. Covered in blood from the mouth down. Blood. "AAAAAAAAAArgh!" I screamed from fear, as should anyone who finds themselves in this position. Once I realized that I did not have a gaping wound in my chest, I started to calm down. But that was when my mouth began to explode with pain, especially my lower lip. It seems that my two front teeth went into my lower lip. Ouch. Now that that question had been figured out, I held out my hands and looked at them. They were covered in burgundy that was drying in the sun. I wiped them off on my pants. In the mean time, I turned around to find Danny. He was hiding behind the cardinal slide, but I stalked over there, with my fat lip and maroon streaks and flakes all over my face and clothes. Danny just looked at me, and he did not try to deny anything. So I punched him in the face. Closer to the ear, I think. I wasn't good with the eye-hand coordination.


  1. My daughter slipped on water at her day care and broke one baby tooth and 'killed' the roots of the other when she was about 3!! BLOOD EVERYWHERE. Then my son tried to top her with a broken tooth on one fall off the 'big bad sidewalk' and both front teeth through his bottom lip with a fall from the top of our 5 front steps (onto the concrete pad- of course). For her it was a 'baby root canal' preformed in an ER dentist chair. For him it was 9 stitches to repair his lip line (4 stitches were inside the lip) and for me it was heart failure every time.... There was soooooo much blood! At least you go to blame it on the 'boyfriend'.... I could only blame it on the clumsiness of my kids! :) ~KM

  2. Oh I didn't see the punch coming! Love it!

  3. I'm so glad you punched that little jerk. I wish it had been right in the mouth so he would have bled too.

  4. Very nice description and I'm so glad you gave that kid what he deserved!

    This story reminded me of something that happened when I was in the 2nd grade. I ended up with blood down the front of my favorite white shirt too. Why do these things happen when we're wearing white?

  5. Im so glad you punched him!!! great storytelling!

  6. Not just red, but every shade of red. Wow! What a vivid retelling.

    And what an ending. Surprising to the reader. And to Danny too, I suspect.

  7. Ha, awesome. A punch in the face much deserved....


I welcome comments, but reserve the right to correct your spelling because I am OCD about it!