Saturday, October 11, 2008

spitting like the big boys

Keeping up with the boys was easy in all things but spitting.

At the end of our driveway just before the curb, a sky blue line of paint marked the bus stop. We'd touch our toes to the edge of the line, lean forward and let fly. Greatness was measured by distance.

Even with practice, I was lucky to get the saliva to leave my mouth, clinging to my lower lip like baby drool. Why it came naturally to the boys, I'll never understand. Ricky would snort in and you could almost hear the mucous gather and wad. Then he'd press his lips together and blow out with force, trumpeting a big hunk of yellow hocker into the street. The right arc could take it to the middle of the pavement for a silent landing, our footsteips in quick pursuit. Results were immediate and indisputable. Landing the ultimate hocker can catipult one to greatness. It commands respect and top prize in the pecking order. Conversely, a girl with spittle dangling from her lip is a despicable thing.

I found redemption in watermelon tag. This game was reserved for late summer, played at twilight on a full belly of hotdogs and hamburgers. Mom would slice a watermelon into thick triangle slabs and slide them onto white paper plates. I'd eye the pieces, searching for one loaded with seeds. The more seeds, the better the chance of survival. We'd eat the pink flesh, faces dripping and sticky with juice, and save up the black pile of seed bullets for after. At last! Let the games begin.

With a mouth full of ammunition, we'd unload on each other in the front yard. Calm and deliberate, I'd take aim and, separating each seed with my tongue, shoot rapid fire at moving targets. Once a seed sticks on you, you're eliminated. The last one standing takes all honors.

Watermelon tag was made for me. Queen of spit. Hot as shit.

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