"What would a man want in a 'guy' friend?" I stared at the writing assignment on the white board. "Damn," I thought, "I'm clueless."
I breathe in deeply taking stock of my body - feet on the floor-check; head in the present-check; I glance at the white board again. "I need a feeling...."
I'm thirteen - maybe fourteen. Tym, the gender confused guy from across the street and I are sitting on the bank of the lake. His sparkly fingernail polish reminded me of the diamonds the water has when a light breeze lifts it before the sun.
"Waddayah wanna do?" I asked him.
"Let's fish" Tym said.
"No tackle" I say
He rolls his eyes and pulls from his pocket a paperclip and a long string.
"No bait" I point out helpfully.
"c'mon" he says getting to his feet as he fashioned the paper clip into a hook. "I know where we can get some cray fish."
We tumble across the road - him leading me tagging a long like a younger sister - although I was older by a month.
We squeeze through a hole in the fence entering the bird sanctuary that bordered the cemetery.
"In the marsh?" I ask
He leads us past the marsh skirting a pond to the wrought iron fence that surrounded the cemetery. He climbed a tree and jumped on to the fence-over it - and into the cemetery. He looked at me "c'mon".
Tom boy me. I climbed the tree and followed.
"I've never been in here before." I said.
"I have. I know my way around. Don't worry."
He starts down a hill toward a small lake. The grass - no marsh here - is meticulously cut. The bird sanctuary - a marvelously unkempt slice of wood, wet lands, and grass, looks brown through the fence. There are statues and large family stones that create a different kind of forest here. A silent forest. I breathe deeply and think of the bodies under my feet. A chill starts down my spine and I run after Tym.
He is squatting near the shore of the small lake. A statue of a winged baby angel looks over his shoulder as he lifts the muddy rocks at the shoreline.
"A HA!" he crowed as he lifted a cray fish. "Our first victim!"