May 1990, it's so warm and almost a year has gone past since my little rendezvous with Stewart. My eyes are closed, sounds of laughter, cheering, galloping children's feet rushing past me in small tight circles. I'm feeling at one with the ground and ready to go, listening out for my friends I'm to seek. "10, 9, 8, 7 , 6, 5...", I'm count down loudly as if I could hear myself amongst all the other children playing their games and assume my 'Getting ready to run' posture. Sun beaming down on my face, I want to call it 'A warm golden shower', but I know 'Golden shower' has a totally different meaning. Open, shut, still counting down, I swiftly open my eyes to scan the playground. Not because I want to cheat, but to make sure they don't make it easy for me to find them (After all hide and seek is meant to be hard fun not easy fun.) the breeze wraps around my neck like a velvet scarf, cooling me down and although it's warm weather my Mother somehow thought it was best for me to wear one of those Knitted jumpers (They wear the fashion then) and a shirt underneath (Come on Mom, I'm in a ghetto ass school and you're dressing me up like the Prime Minister's son).
Eyes wide open and I'm rapidly eyeball the playground and it's surrounding. Pinks and Yellows, Greens and Blues, jeans and dress and those Dungarees I wanted my mom to buy me. A train of girls in pig and ponytails dash in from my right spiral in front of me and continue to my left. I watch them enter the first playground through the bricked partition that didn't make any sense (Placed there to keep the early Juniors away from the older ones, but no gate or teacher guarding the entrance.), I lock on to the gates in the distance, watching a hunched figure clenching onto the bars like an imprisoned tiger in a zoo scouring for an exit. I begin running towards the steps that lead to it, having to weave through the massive giant sized children (who in my eyes look hairless adults right now, remember I'm 6 turning 7 in a playground full on 9-11 year olds). Having to dodge through these tall, solid bodies isn't easy, they have more meat on their bones than I do (And being called 'Mowgli' by my close friends, means I must be very awkward and skinny). Getting nudged my these tall girls and boys who look like bloody Herculean, gods of the grounds towering me isn't fun and it hurts. Having to look up at them saying sorry and then get that look that makes you feel even more pathetic than you did had you not said anything at all. I mean my bump to them was a Bee sting on a Blue whales ass.
Found the chap i was looking for, "Found you!" I scream as I close on him from a few metres distance. He looks at me a begins to run, Damn Antwan is fast. He heads off to the corner of the older children's grounds, heading towards the hut in the corner. He vanishes behind the hut and I, skip towards it. More of my age group is around the hut than the teachers would want, but we don't care cause we're in the zone. Peeking round the corner I see all of them, all of 'The' popular boys hiding and chatting, thinking I'm not going to find them and there he is too, him with those wonderful, light, sienna eyes and an un-tough Afro, unshaped but still looks good. Jerome, little did I know what he was going to do.
All of them start laughing and we all smiling at each other, "Bum bums.", yeah that correct, I heard someone say "Bum bums", whispering is going on. I silent go into my own world as I begin to play with my wobbly tooth at the front of my, what adults say was a "Cheeky, white smile." I'm fiddling with it, it's not that ready to come out but I still want to get out (I wasn't a patient child nor am I now.)
"Rogue, you have to go again." Great, me, doing the running and seeking again. Damien looks at me and Nate partners the looks, the smile and both run off, I run after them. Damien comes to a breaking stop and I bash my head onto the back of his woollen jumper, tooth gets caught, he begins to run again. "My tooth......." Loud screaming "It's coming out." Damien stops, quickly I unhook my tooth from the stray thread of his jumper. Just a little blood nothing to bad, the tooth is still not ready i can tell as I examine it. So I make my way to the 'Boy's toliets' to clean up my mouth. Walking through the crowds of thick, tall children with my hands covering my mouth isn't fun, especially when they are laughing at you, almost injured, almost scared to go to the dentist, cause the pain I'm feeling now I dont' want it to be multiplied in the chair of the Dentist, I've heard stories. Ok, I see Jerome going that way too, "Maybe I can finally say hi"I think to myself, but really? With a mouth filling with blood, I don't think so. It's not only him going into the toilets maybe I won't even try and say anything even when I do clean up.
Pushing the toilet doors open, he's there, Jerome with the ever so cute and most handsome beanstalk, Jags. Jags, is cute but he did have these real bad bags under his eye for a child, goofy looking, mixed race boy, British white and Caribbean Black, Jags Queens was, he really was cute. Looking at them at the windows of the toilets that faced the playground, but were covered in window screen (Pealing at the corners), they are talking. I'm more concerned with my mouth that appears to be filling up now with blood. Bend over the sink, turn the taps on and I begin to wash that nice but horrid metal taste of blood out my mouth. The giggles and stares of Jags and Jerome are intriguing me but I need to finish up now, whispers and intervals of silence followed by that double syllable phrase, word "Bum bums." Finishing up I turn round wiping my mouth with my right hand, looking at them and knowing it's time for me to use the toilet. Doors are locked, they're in use. Two toilets for so many children, good thing I didn't want to go do a number two then. Have to use the long urinal. The whispering continues as I begin to pee, but because I'm so eager to hear what they are saying as they maneuver their eyes up and down on my person, I hold and stop my pee from come out all in on flowing gush (Wonder if they know what I'm doing?) Both toilets flush, footsteps behind me say they are leaving (Nasty bastards! They didn't even wash their hands), quickly I look to my right to see if Jags and Jerome had gone, looking at the last body leave the door, I'm certain it wasn't them. To the right, my head slowly turns and a see a figure coming towards me from that direaction. Heart racing, cause I don't know which one of them it is. And although Jags and I know each other from playing with Annah, I still get those raging bats in my stomach when he's close.
The figure becomes apparent to me to be Jerome, teeth gleaming, hands out in front of him with curling fingers, his spidery legs tip-toeing like the 'Nosferatu' vampire as he gets closer he disappears beneath my line of sight. Swift, fast paced, cool breeze rushes down my legs and right up my spin, eyes ready to jump out of my skull as my heart is making it's way up my throat growing and filling up with the excited blood in my veins. A sharp, sting and loud clack. Jerome Has pulled my pants and underwear down to the floor and I quickly scan the floor to make sure my garments have not gone into the urinal (No one wants to smell like piss in school, or ever.)
The loud cackle of a crone, booms through the 3 by 6 room. Jerome is jumping up and down like with sheer excitement, as if he finally found an Oasis in the middle of a desert. 'Pow' and another sting right on the other cheek, I'm beginning to think, "Maybe they don't like me after all."and as Jags jumps up and claps his hands in the most frantic and mental patient way, they turn to each other and scream out "Bum bums".
"Your turn." Jerome, trying to control his laughter says to Jags. Jags turns around and bends over pulling his trousers to his knees, hold onto the window frame with is left hand, Jerome slaps his bum, spins around and that catch-phrase comes again, "Bum bums". So it's a game and they seemingly do like me. They didn't do that to me to humiliate me and spread so vile, childish rumour in the playgrounds. It's a game and I'm forming a smile on my face and my eyes are become far more relaxed than they were, my heart is making its way back to his normal place in my chest and I really want to touch Jags's bum (This is all so playful and harmless surely if they are doing it as two of the popular few it's ok, right?). Jerome turns round "Roe, do me, my turn now, come." he exclaimed with joy, I haven't seen for a while. Jags pulls up his trousers and yeah I got a glimpse of the front through the crack of his legs. Jags pulls down Jerome's trousers and to my shock, his beautiful, coco-buttred up skin on his face did not match the ashy dry (almost chalky white) cheeks in front of me. I don't want to touch, but if I don't, I'll be the party pooper (No pun intended). Shutting my eyes tightly, walking briskly towards him, a bump, I walked right into his crouching tiger, but no longer hidden dragon rump. "Go on, do it"
"Okay, okay." I whisper. I pull my right had up above my shoulder and smack, I felt his cherry sized bottom against my hand which is now stinging just a little but I like it, I feel emancipated.
"Bum bums! Rogue you didn't it." Jags looks at me holding his right hand up for a high five looking at me with what it seem to be pride in his eyes. Have I finally joined some odd, childhood cult, not children of the corn, but children of them cheeks? Only time will tell.
Jerome pulls up his trousers and we all look at each other in a circle. "After play time lets come back, when the big hand gets to the 3" Jerome makes plans for a next meeting. I'm not even to sure what this next meeting will entail, but I'm in. He laughs "Roe, your bum-bum shakes when I slap it." Really?
"Okay, me and Jags have to go after each other, cause we're in the same class."I say with a stern face then a break of a smile.
Jags, Jerome and myself meet up numerous times to play, "Bum bums". When the big hand gets to the 6, the 7 the 2, when the small hand is on the 2 and the big hand is on the 12, these are time we would meet, after assembly in the hall, after during and after play time. Sometime in the dinner-line without pulling each others trousers down, after lunch. And Jags and I would play it at Play-centre without Jerome as he never attended. Maybe his mom thought he spent enough time with his friends at school in the week, there's no need for after school hours socialisation, who know (Marbie shrugging shoulders.)
I remember going home one night asking my mom how to tell the time properly, like an adult. She was more than happy to teach me, but would she have been, had she known as to why i wanted to learn quick and eagerly. I'd go back to school telling Jerome and Jags the correct times, and meets. I became the instigator in this S and M game, rather than the follower. Recruiting some of my disciples of my own. Broadening my horizons and carefully selecting my unspoiled fruits. At one point I begged and pleaded for my mom to ask Jerome's mom for him to come to Play-centre so we could play "Bum-bums" at the after school group. It never did happen.
So Homosapiens..... Thats exactly how I learnt to tell the time, through me, being obsessed with the game "Bum-bums". How did you learn to tell the time?
© 2010 - 2011. All rights reserved N P Rogue Laudat-Scott 'Mind of Rogue' and 'Memoirs of Marbie'