I was sweet on a neighborhood boy. He was in the sixth grade, I was in the fifth. A younger girl rarely caught the eye of an older boy in those days. He was popular and had a little sister who knew how to make pom-poms out of tissue paper. She was pretty and he was athletic. They were a sibling power couple.
"Kirk's such a fox. He's tuff," I remember saying to a friend within earshot of my dad. "He's the best basketball player in the whole school."
Basketball is a religion in Indiana, or at least it was in the 70s, so the fact that my little Hoosier crush played the game well, elevated his celebrity.
"You like Kirk?" my dad asked. "That kid spits all the time."
It was true. Kirk was a spitter. Maybe he still is. But the way he spit as a kid was neat. He'd walk down the sidewalk, sometimes dribbling a basketball, look to the side and spit with speed, force and precision. He spit with equally precise frequency, like a high-pressure lawn sprinkler, ticking methodically across the grass. It was awesome. It also might have been a compulsion, but it melted my butter.
I was looking at family video recently. Chris and the two older boys braved a thrill ride at a local amusement park in August. The five-year-old boy [he was actually still four when the video was taken] and I are a crack team of backpack watchers and videographers. It was the end of the day, which is my excuse for putting a four-year-old in charge of belongings. I think he bummed a smoke from the people next to him, and karate-kicked potential abductors in the stomach.
"Spit" is a small part of the video, but I know my family will appreciate it.