Mar. 18th, 2017

xlovebecomesher: (Hey Girl)
He pulled me aside during recess, behind the gigantic tree stump we used to love to sit on at recess. "You wanted to know this, right?"

I nodded in anticipation. Sam was the new kid in fourth grade. Rumor had it that he was Jimmy's foster brother, him and Jimmy didn't get along (but no one got along with Jimmy), and he was only staying for a short while at our school. I knew being a foster child meant you lived with parents that were not your own but I didn't pretend to understand what it meant to be a foster child. I just knew that he was the coolest person I had ever met. He knew things, seen things about the world, that I couldn't even begin to imagine.

"You're sure? I don't want to get you in trouble."

"I won't get in trouble!" I was too much of a goody-two-shoes to get in trouble but I needed to know.

"Okay," he nodded. "So, you know there's words that adults tell us that we can't use." He paused for effect. "So you can't just go around and say these words just to say them."

"What are they?" I asked impatiently at this point; there was only a few minutes left of recess and even less stolen time with Sam before one of our friends came running to find out what we were doing.

"My favorite,"  he paused again with a smile. "My favorte word is 'fuck.' You can say it just to say the word angrily or you can say 'fuck you' when you're angry at someone."

"Fuck," I repeated. "Fuck, fuck, fuck."

"Don't forget the 'fuck you'," he reminded helpfully.

"Fuck you," I smiled. "What does this mean?"

"I'm not exactly sure. I think it has to do something with sex?" We both shuddered as only kids can do when talking about sex.

"What else do you know?" The clock was ticking; I knew the recess monitor was going to blow the whistle soon.

"I know a lot," Sam bragged. "But I think we have time for another word. Do you know the word,'bitch'?"

I shook my head."Bitch," he leaned in to whisper all of a sudden, "means a female dog."

"What's so bad about a female dog? I love dogs!"

"Well, that's what it means but that's not how it's used. It's a mean word people use to call women when they're angry."

"So saying that women are like dogs?" I asked confusedly.

"Yup," he popped the 'p' on the word. "Sometimes people will say 'son of a bitch' which is weird and I don't get that. I didn't make up this word and I don't like it but I hear my foster dad call my foster mom that and she really is a bitch. So use it only for people who really deserve it. Or don't use it all; it's probably better not to use it."

The whistle blew as I processed all this new information.

"Same time tomorrow?" he asked me as we brush the dirt off and start walking toward the monitor to get in line.

"There's more words?" I asked in shock.

"Tons!" He smiled brightly. "I'll tell you tomorrow about my other favorite words!"

I walked back into class that day, feeling a little more adult, and looking forward to learning new, forbidden words and looking forward to the day that I was old enough to use them.

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Note: This conversation is based on a true story of how I learned how to curse. Sam was a good friend of mine for the couple of months he was at our school. He was a foster child who was in a shitty home life situation and his foster brother was the 4th grade bully. We used to meet and he would teach me words so that I would have comebacks when needed. He disappeared one day without warning; presumably to a different foster home and I missed him for a long time after that. To this day, I still wonder what came of him and how he is doing.

March 2017

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