Young woman, 162 cm, 58 kg, grey dyed hair, red lipstick, Ray Ban sun glasses. Black one-piece, pink finger nails, black sandals. Smokes cigarettes
Not knowing the young lady’s name, I named Francine.
This character study was the reason I decided to stop writing character studies of other people and write one of my own, because I was afraid that the author avatar would leak into everything.
I’m born in September, so back then when deciding whether I should start primary school, my parents decided I was “too small”
Through the summer holidays I had grown, and my chest had grown too, so in 3rd Jr High I started hanging out with the 4th graders.
I picked up smoking from them. At first it was a dare, but as the weeks went by I became more and more the initiator of those dares and was soon inventing my own ones. (n.b.: Which?)
I learned swimming when my baby brother almost drowned when he was three and I five. We were with our parents on a lake and they hadn’t been paying attention for a minute when he ran off. The second he was down I ran after him.
For years I was absolutely terrified to think of it, let alone go there. 10 years in I basically forced myself to go.
I went alone, by bike. It took me almost an hour to find the spot, and when I stood before I understood why: It looked harmless and anything but threatening. The water was peaceful and clear, but only after I had stepped in did I realize how beautiful it was. I had gained an epiphany about perspective and growing up that boys whistling after me couldn’t quite have provided: My parents had always loved this place, but we didn’t go here by an unspoken contract for ten years. I was a bit sad. This place was beautiful.
I named my favourite puppet Bob, and insisted that my brother’s Bob the builder was actually Pauline.
My parents gave up on buying me toys when they realized all I was doing was hold them and grin widely.
At that time I cannot say if it really was like that, but they “decided” for themselves and insisted for me that I was actually playing in my head. These days I am, but I don’t know if I was doing it then, or if they made me do it.
When my mother bought a computer for her job I would sometimes on those lazy or rainy weekends play games that would let me project my fantasy onto them. (n.b.: Again: Which? Why, for each.)
By the time I was in Jr High it was getting much harder to find such games. By the time I was in High school I started writing.
I bought one of those notebooks with starts and ponies and with lots of pink and rainbows. The idea was that writing my thoughts down in something so “grossly girly” would keep my brother from looking into it.
I had filled the notebook within a week or two - it was in a flash and blur - I missed out a lot in school, I suspect. It must’ve been a boring week, or weeks. I just know that when I was done, I paused and read through it. I concluded a number of things then:
Nothing in this book was worth its cover: This was the most grown up thing I had ever done - It shouldn’t be in such childish cover. If only because it was quite costly and if I kept writing at this pace it’d be pretty damn expensive. But most importantly: It was nothing I wanted to hide, not even from my stupid little brother. This was what I wanted to do. Some day the whole world will see my writing and I don’t care how … aehm … rough the style of this first attempt was — there was nothing to be embarrassed of.